Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘bush

Coyote bush with fluff flying

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While walking a path through the wetlands of California’s Martinez Regional Shoreline on November 2nd of last year I saw this bush and even from a distance I figured I was looking at some sort of Baccharis. It turned out to be Baccharis pilularis, known as coyote bush, chaparral broom, and bush baccharis.

I’ve never neglected Austin’s species of this genus, Baccharis neglecta, as you can confirm by scrolling down the posts at this link.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 26, 2017 at 4:41 AM

Sand cherry

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Did you know that cherries are in the same genus as plums and peaches? ‘Tis true, and that genus is Prunus, a word you recognize as the source of the prune that is a dried plum. Here you see some flowers of Prunus pumila, known as sand cherry, that I found at Illinois Beach State Park on June 9th.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 25, 2016 at 4:50 AM

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Poverty weed tufts and leaves

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The previous post showed a landscape view of the supple-branched little tree called poverty weed, Baccharis neglecta. This closeup from the greenbelt off Taylor Draper Lane on October 7th reveals the linear leaves of this species and the brushy tufts that its fertilized flowers produce.

If you’re interested in the craft of photography, you’ll find that points 1, 8, 9 and 15 in About My Techniques apply to this image.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 13, 2016 at 4:43 AM

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Not yet its own flowers

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As of September 9th these poverty weed bushes (Baccharis neglecta) along BMC Drive in Cedar Park hadn’t yet produced any of their own flowers but were adorned with those of Ipomoea cordatotriloba, known as purple bindweed or tievine, which had been having a great time around central Texas for some weeks already, both crawling along the ground and climbing on other things. Notice how the vine was questing into the air in several places, looking to go higher even when there was nothing any higher to latch on to.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 21, 2016 at 4:56 AM

Beautyberry with fruit

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When I walked a mostly shaded trail along the upper reaches of Bull Creek on September 12th I passed several American beautyberry bushes (Callicarpa americana) that had already produced fruit.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 19, 2016 at 5:09 AM

A tale of two junipers

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Lady Bird Johnson website: "Although commonly a tree in Eurasia, Common Juniper is only rarely a small tree in New England and other northeastern States. In the West, it is a low shrub, often at timberline. Including geographic varieties, this species is the most widely distributed native conifer in both North America and the world. Juniper berries are food for wildlife, especially grouse, pheasants, and bobwhites. They are an ingredient in gin, producing the distinctive aroma and tang.”

The other juniper that Melissa pointed out to us at Illinois Beach State Park on June 6th was a species that forms broad, low mounds, Juniperus communis. Here’s a picture from the overcast morning of June 9th showing a prominent common juniper mound in the foreground and several others farther back. The yellow-orange wildflowers are the hoary puccoon that you saw closer views of a few weeks ago.

Whenever I come across the species name communis I’m accustomed to finding out that the plant in question is native to Europe, where Linnaeus and other early botanists considered it “common.” I was surprised, then, to learn that Juniperus communis is native on several continents. Here’s what the website of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center says: “Although commonly a tree in Eurasia, Common Juniper is only rarely a small tree in New England and other northeastern States.  In the West, it is a low shrub, often at timberline. Including geographic varieties, this species is the most widely distributed native conifer in both North America and the world. Juniper berries are food for wildlife, especially grouse, pheasants, and bobwhites. They are an ingredient in gin, producing the distinctive aroma and tang.”

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 30, 2016 at 5:07 AM

Creeping juniper

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Creeping Juniper on Dunes 7635

Melissa told us on June 6th at Illinois Beach State Park that two kinds of juniper grow on the dunes there. The one shown here from a photo outing three days later is Juniperus horizontalis, which lives up to its species name by staying close to the ground as it creeps along the beach. Note the mostly immature fruit in the second picture. (Both photographs look predominantly downward.)

In Undaunted Courage, Stephen Ambrose quoted from Meriwether Lewis’s journal entry of April 12, 1805, written in what I think is now North Dakota: “This plant would make very handsome edgings to the borders and walks of a garden…. [and it is] easily propegated*.” Lewis had called the plant “dwarf juniper,” which Ambrose interpreted as creeping juniper.

Creeping Juniper with Fruit 7693

* Neither Lewis nor Clark used standardized or even consistent spelling. The quoted sentence, with just one mistake, is an example of Lewis’s best spelling.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 29, 2016 at 5:11 AM

Agarita flowers and buds

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I’m a bit late in showing you these flowers and buds of an agarita bush, Mahonia trifoliolata, that I photographed off Yaupon Dr. on February 26. Taking too many pictures to show in these pages isn’t a bad “problem” to have.

For a closer look at some of the agarita flowers, click the following excerpt.

Agarita Flowers and Buds 6720A

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 29, 2016 at 4:57 AM

Flowers that have no petals

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When we think of flowers we usually think of petals, but the truth is that some flowers don’t have petals. A good local example is elbowbush, Forestiera pubescens. Here’s a close look from February 23 at an inflorescence of the elbowbush on some of whose dead branches you saw lichens in the previous post.

Elbowbush Flowers 6012

Come to think of it, the flowers in their helter-skelter-ness and colors remind me of the lichens themselves:

Lichen on Dead Branch 6015

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 10, 2016 at 4:58 AM

More December wildflowers

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Most of you who visit this blog live well north of the Equator, so the phrase December wildflowers likely strikes you as a contradiction. That’s not the case in Austin, where we always have at least some native wildflowers blooming near the end of the calendar year. In the previous post, for example, you saw a goldeneye flower head as it was opening on December 4, and now here’s one branch of an Ageratina havanensis bush that I found abundantly flowering in my neighborhood on December 18. In fact a few plants of this species in my part of town are still putting out flowers, thanks to the lack of a freeze so far this winter.

Common names for Ageratina havanensis include shrubby boneset, Havana snakeroot, and white mistflower. The white in that last name is an approximation because there’s usually a pale pink tinge in these flowers, and even a bit more in the buds.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 5, 2016 at 5:18 AM

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