Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Monday milkweed

with 21 comments

Only occasionally do I come across Texas milkweed, Asclepias texana. Yesterday morning along the Upper Bull Creek Greenbelt Trail was one of those times. To give you a sense of scale, I’ll add that each little flower in the cluster is only about a quarter of an inch (6mm) long.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 14, 2021 at 4:41 AM

21 Responses

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  1. Ah, morning sweetness! I like the background for this image. It really helps the cluster of flowers stand out!


    June 14, 2021 at 6:50 AM

    • Happy floral white to you this morning. Fortunately this milkweed had direct sunlight on it, so the flowers stood out in their brightness and made the background seem darker than it really was. I processed the image to play up that contrast.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 14, 2021 at 7:01 AM

  2. It’s lovely! It’s popping off the page. 😀🌺


    June 14, 2021 at 8:05 AM

  3. What exquisite little tiny blooms! Stunning with the dark background.

    Birder's Journey

    June 14, 2021 at 8:25 AM

    • Right: these flowers are a lot smaller than the ones on antelope horns milkweed, which is by far the most common species we have here.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 14, 2021 at 12:06 PM

  4. I wish we could grow that in our “wilderness” area for the sake of the Monarch butterflies, but as much as we have tried: no success. 😦


    June 14, 2021 at 8:50 AM

  5. Lovely photo, Steve. I’ve never been able to grow the natives and I’ve tried several times. It’s a treat to see them in the wild though.


    June 14, 2021 at 11:58 AM

    • Do you have any idea why the local milkweeds won’t grow for you?

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 14, 2021 at 1:00 PM

      • My garden is fairly shady and milkweeds are super sun-lovers. I’ve planted the tropical in a couple of spots, but no luck with any of the natives.


        June 15, 2021 at 10:19 AM

        • What about in your front yard: does that get more sun?

          Steve Schwartzman

          June 15, 2021 at 11:57 AM

          • It does get more sun and might get more in the future, depending on what happens with my February freeze-damaged Arizona ash tree. If it goes, THEN I might just have enough of the bright stuff for some native milkweed. Stay tuned!


            June 15, 2021 at 1:44 PM

  6. No surprise that your milkweed is flowering ahead of ours. The buds are still tight but a few early adopters are swelling a bit. Can the monarchs be far behind?

    Steve Gingold

    June 14, 2021 at 6:44 PM

    • Our most common milkweed has been flowering and even releasing seeds here for a month or two. I don’t often see the species in today’s post so I don’t have a feel for when it normally blooms.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 14, 2021 at 7:00 PM

  7. Looking great against the dark background, Steve!

    Peter Klopp

    June 14, 2021 at 7:15 PM

    • I agree that the dark background does a great job highlighting the white of the milkweed flowers. I like the way it isn’t all black; the brown adds variation.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 15, 2021 at 7:13 AM

  8. This is one I’ve never seen. It’s not only a Texas endemic, it’s extremely limited in its range. At first glance, I would have assumed it was the aquatic milkweed (A. perennis) but the structure of the flower head is different, and there are leaf and stem differences as well. It certainly photographs well, and besides — it’s white! There’s nothing not to love about that.


    June 16, 2021 at 6:48 AM

    • I wonder if the disjunct distribution shown on the map—central Texas versus the Big Bend region—is real, or if specimens are waiting to be discovered in the intervening counties. As for not having seen the species before, you actually did (https://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com/2019/07/12/texas-milkweed-flowers-and-buds/). I certainly don’t remember all the things I saw two years ago. Errare humanum est remains true when you replace the first word with oblivisci, ‘to forget.’ and yes, for you this is another white delight.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 16, 2021 at 7:34 AM

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