Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography


with 14 comments

At Palmetto State Park in Gonzales County on November 23rd the Lady Eve called my attention to some small flowers of a type I’d never seen before. Floyd Waller later identified them (thanks) as Dicliptera brachiata, colloquially known by the quaintly descriptive name branched foldwing. Have any of you ever heard of this wildflower? Later I checked botanist Bill Carr’s Travis County plant list and learned that this species grows in my own county, so now I’ll be on the lookout for it closer to home.

You might also use the word branched to describe the shadows on a nearby swampy pond covered with duckweed and fallen dry tree leaves.

And speaking of fallen leaves, here’s an abstract view of some on a drying palmetto (Sabal minor):

‡       ‡       ‡

American school districts continue to racialize their curriculum and their teaching, even as they deny doing so. That New York Post article includes links to four related stories. Those stories contain links to even more articles.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 4, 2021 at 4:26 AM

14 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I really like that last picture: a great still life.


    December 4, 2021 at 7:27 AM

  2. I’ve never seen duckweed with such an appealing grayish-green color; it certainly fits well with the drying palmetto leaves. That last photo’s equally attractive. It’s intriguing to see the same patterning on both the palmetto leaves and those ‘other’ leaves: elm, maybe? I can’t help wondering whether the fallen leaves took on that splotchy appearance after coming to rest on the palmetto.

    I can’t remember ever seeing your branched foldwing. When I looked to see if it grows in our area, I found the answer is ‘yes.’ I looked on the USDA map first, and then went over to iNaturalist, and got a laugh. The first sighting I found was Shannon’s, at Brazos Bend State Park. It’s interesting that on iNaturalist, the given common name is ‘false mint.’


    December 4, 2021 at 7:57 AM

    • So branched foldwing grows in both our areas (note Tina’s comment below), and yet neither of us was familiar with it. Now that you mention the duckweed, it does seem grayer than I’m used to. You raise a good question about whether the smaller leaves fallen on the palmetto got splotchy before or after landing there. Like you, I thought they might be some from some sort of elm. It’s alway rewarding to recognize the name of someone you know, in this case Shannon. As for ‘false mint,’ I always prefer a name that speaks in its own right rather than denying something else.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 4, 2021 at 9:11 AM

  3. I grow branched foldwing in my garden! It appeared, courtesy of who knows how, but reseeds itself. I like it, as it’s a hot season bloomer. I’m surprised that it’s still blooming. I need to check mine. Here are some photos of mine, though you’ll need to scroll through the whole post. https://mygardenersays.com/category/branched-foldwing/


    December 4, 2021 at 8:12 AM

    • Thanks for letting me know you’ve got branched foldwing right here in Austin. The fact that it appeared “who knows how” gives me hope of finding it in the wild on this part of town one of these days. You’d think the fact that it blooms in the hot part of the year should have made it stand out to me somewhere in Austin by now, but it hasn’t. Maybe next summer.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 4, 2021 at 8:41 AM

  4. I love those long shadows in the middle image, and the colors, and textures in the other two. The palm with the colors, and added leaves really is a neat image.


    December 4, 2021 at 8:58 AM

    • I’m a sucker for shadows, so as soon as I saw those long ones in the swamp I couldn’t resist photographing them. And of course I’m a fan of abstractions, too, which accounts for the third picture. Glad you like it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 4, 2021 at 9:05 AM

      • The shadows of the branches make the image atmospheric for me. I can almost sense the presence of the trees behind me and feel the sunlight penetrating between them – so effective! 🙂

        Ann Mackay

        December 5, 2021 at 1:26 PM

        • As much as I knew the trees were there casting shadows, I never paid any attention to them; I put all my attention on the shadows and the surface of the water in swamp. Maybe we can call that aesthetically benign neglect.

          Steve Schwartzman

          December 5, 2021 at 2:21 PM

  5. I have never seen branched foldwing, let alone heard of it. What I really love is that swamp image! The shadows and leaves laying atop the water is beautiful to my eyes. It almost looks like a gorgeous sage green pathway. Photographing fallen leaves is one of my favorite things to do as I walk the woodlands this time of year.


    December 4, 2021 at 10:21 AM

    • Regarding never having heard of branched foldwing, until a few minutes ago you were in the same state I was two weeks ago. The shadows and leaves in the middle picture got to you as much as to a couple of other commenters, so I can consider it a success. I’ve photographically played with shadows for as long as I can remember. And, as you say, fallen leaves are another source of inspiration.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 4, 2021 at 10:47 AM

  6. […] August 9th and November 9th and December 4th I reported that the people in charge of many American elementary and secondary schools are […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: