Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Acmella repens

with 30 comments


At Cypress Creek Park along Lake Travis on June 12th I came upon a DYC (darn yellow composite) I didn’t recognize. Almost as soon as I posted several pictures of it in the Texas Flora group on Facebook, moderator Aidan Campos identified the species as Acmella repens, which I looked up and found is called creeping [Latin repens] spotflower.



Notice how the central disc “mounds up” as the flower head ages.





Toutes choses sont dites déjà ; mais comme personne n’écoute, il faut toujours recommencer.

Everything has already been said; but because nobody listens, we always have to start over again.

— André Gide, Le Traité du Narcisse, The Treatise on Narcissus, 1891.


© 2022 Steven Schwartzman





Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 27, 2022 at 4:32 AM

30 Responses

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  1. Good work

    Sadaf Khan

    June 27, 2022 at 4:55 AM

  2. Mahalo for your botanical identification of our growing wildscape.

    Yoli B

    June 27, 2022 at 5:21 AM

  3. You mentioned last November that you’d never seen one. It took me forever to identify it, too, but I often see them now. Some were blooming at the San Bernard refuge this weekend, despite the droughty conditions. The change in the central column reminds me of the growth patterns of some Dalea species, as well as frog fruit. I do like the curve of the stem in that middle photo.


    June 27, 2022 at 6:10 AM

    • If only I’d remembered your post. Fortuntely, as you’ve heard, the Texas Flora group quickly came to the rescue. Now that I’ve seen my first ones, maybe I’ll follow in your tradition and notice them from now on. That long, curving, mostly reddish stem is why I included the middle picture. Have you seen that feature in the specimens you’ve observed?

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 27, 2022 at 6:25 AM

      • I haven’t, but I often come across them in areas at the refuges that have been mowed or burned, especially alongside the roads. If left to their own devices, they might become taller than those I usually see.


        June 27, 2022 at 6:27 AM

        • Then we’ll both be on the lookout for more of those tall, sinuous stems.

          Steve Schwartzman

          June 27, 2022 at 8:14 AM

          • Well, it’s time to revise my report. I found a few spotflowers at San Bernard yesterday, and sure enough, there were those long, reddish, sinuous stems and leaves that looked just like these. Some stems were so long the plants had gone to ground; they were two feet or longer in many cases.


            July 11, 2022 at 8:23 AM

            • I’m glad to hear you did a second take on your second visit (or probably more than second). So maybe long, reddish stems are pretty normal for this species.

              Steve Schwartzman

              July 11, 2022 at 8:38 AM

  4. Beautiful photos



    June 27, 2022 at 8:26 AM

  5. Kind of like the LBM’s (Little Brown Mushrooms) I try to identify. So over time it becomes a conehead which in your quest for flowers slightly past their prime makes it a good candidate with those fading rays. Amongst all the cr*p on Facebook, there are a few redeeming qualities.

    Steve Gingold

    June 27, 2022 at 8:52 AM

    • And I’ve heard of birders referring to LBJ, or little brown jobbies, for those small, nondescript blandly colored birds that are so numerous.

      I’m not fond of Facebook, either, but the two Texas plant groups have alerted me about places to go (like Belton Lake and all those mountain pinks in yesterday’s post) and identified plants I couldn’t identify. Eve likes Facebook because it lets her stay in touch with her family in several countries, including live video calls.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 27, 2022 at 11:00 AM

      • Facebook is a mixed bag for me. Just as with the blog I have made new friends that I otherwise would not and many are at great distances…like New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Texas. I’ve also reconnected with a few cousins. And there are a few groups, such as your Texas Wildflower one, where I can get help identifying plants, insects, mushrooms, and other things. And in a few instances actually sold a print or two.

        Steve Gingold

        June 27, 2022 at 1:48 PM

        • Good for you with those sales. I’ve never attempted that through Facebook.

          Steve Schwartzman

          June 27, 2022 at 1:54 PM

          • The sellees volunteered to this seller. I’ve had a few people ask if I sell my images and have mentioned gallery events but basically have not promoted myself. I can honestly say I am a candidate for worst self-promoter in the world of photography.

            Steve Gingold

            June 27, 2022 at 2:01 PM

            • I’m afraid I may outrank you there, having sold even less.

              Steve Schwartzman

              June 27, 2022 at 2:03 PM

              • I’ve done okay considering how little effort I have put into it. That said, I could do a lot better and maybe I will…or not.

                Steve Gingold

                June 27, 2022 at 2:08 PM

  6. These creeping spotflowers look great against the dark background, Steve. You created them with your favourite flash technique, I suppose.

    Peter Klopp

    June 27, 2022 at 9:22 AM

    • You suppose correctly: I got close with my ring flash. And there’s always a regular flash in my camera bag for those times when I didn’t bring the ring flash along.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 27, 2022 at 11:03 AM

  7. It is a beautiful flower, Steve. I like the dark background.

    Lavinia Ross

    June 27, 2022 at 10:07 AM

    • I used to more commonly use a bright blue sky as an isolating element. For the past year I’ve been opting a lot for the flash technique that produces dark backgrounds.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 27, 2022 at 11:05 AM

  8. I don’t think I ever realized how that central disk mounds up like that. I’ve seen flowers with different heights and shapes, just didn’t put 2 and 2 together to connect them all to growth of the flower. Fascinating.

    Todd Henson

    June 28, 2022 at 8:29 AM

    • Some other yellow daisy-type flower heads do mound up in the center like that as they age, while others don’t, or do only to a lesser degree. Different genes, different growth habits. Sometimes my thoughts mound up, too, but that’s a different phenomenon.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 28, 2022 at 9:14 AM

  9. Great photos Steve ..


    July 5, 2022 at 3:39 AM

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