Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘colony


with 4 comments

As we begin colonizing 2018, I’m reminded of the appealing little plants that had colonized flat, open areas in several places along Alberta’s Icefields Parkway when we drove north along it on September 4th of what we now get to call last year.

Not knowing what these feathery plants were, I appealed to the Alberta Native Plant Council, and the answer came back that they are a species of Dryas, probably D. drummondii or D. octopetala. I learned that Dryas is in the rose family, and its seed heads are similar to those of its family mate Fallugia paradoxa, known as Apache plume.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 5, 2018 at 4:55 AM

Rocky Mountain iris colony

with 24 comments

Click to enlarge.

On June 9th, after we’d driven clockwise more than half-way around the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway north of Taos, New Mexico, I came across this happily flowering colony of Rocky Mountain irises. Given the wildflower’s popular name, which I learned on the trip, I was later surprised to find out the scientific name is Iris missouriensis. As far as I know, the Rocky Mountains don’t make it into that state; sorry, Missouri.

Today’s picture confirms what the website of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center says of this species: “it often forms dense, large patches in low spots in pastures, where the tough leaves are avoided by cattle.”

After the reactions to the rattlesnake in the previous post, I’ll bet many of you are relieved to see wildflowers again.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 15, 2017 at 4:49 AM

Coreopsis flowering

with 32 comments

On May 5th Eve and I drove up to the town of Cedar Park, which borders the northern reaches of Austin, to check out the new Whole Foods 365 that opened there a couple of weeks earlier. Lots of construction had gone on (and is still going on) in the area recently, and on a piece of disturbed ground we noticed a good stand of coreopsis flowering. The next morning I went back with my camera equipment to photograph the colony of Coreopsis tinctoria.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 10, 2017 at 4:51 AM

Another kind of sumpweed

with 11 comments


Do you remember the picture of narrowleaf sumpweed from a few weeks ago? We have a second species of Iva in central Texas, Iva annua, known as annual sumpweed. On September 28th I found some growing in a hollow in a dense mound of broomweed, Amphiachyris dracunculoides. The location was along a new street called Wildhorse Ranch Trail in Manor. All the land there is getting developed, but in the meantime I’ve visited several times and taken lots of pictures.

Now you can say to your friends: “I’ve a picture of Iva.”

© 2106 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 27, 2016 at 5:06 AM

Tapestries of yellow

with 21 comments


In a comment this morning about the picture of a dense partridge pea colony, MelissaBlueFineArt spoke of “whole tapestries of yellow, shimmering from lemon yellow to old gold.” Normally the flowers of partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata) are of a yellow that leans toward orange, but in the colony that I photographed on September 7th along Central Commerce Dr. in Pflugerville I was quickly drawn to a very few plants with flowers of an unusually pale yellow that I don’t recall ever seeing in this species anywhere else.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 18, 2016 at 8:43 AM

Central Commerce

with 16 comments


My only commerce on Central Commerce Dr. in Pflugerville on September 7th was with wildflowers. In particular, part of the yard of a seemingly closed business along that street had filled with a densely flowering colony of partridge peas, Chamaecrista fasciculata. Look at all that gorgeous yellow.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 18, 2016 at 5:00 AM

An apotheosis of yellow

with 22 comments

Black-Eyed Susan Colony with Horsemints and Trees 6313

No sooner had I woken up on May 30 than there came a loud clap of thunder. Rain followed intermittently for a couple of hours. By around 11 in the morning, though, the sky had mostly turned blue so I headed out to check the large field at Tejas Camp in Williamson County about 25 miles from where I live in northwest Austin. Here you see a part of it. As fantastic as this colony of black-eyed susans (Rudbeckia hirta) punctuated with horsemints (Monarda citriodora) looks, you may be surprised to hear me say that I’ve seen this field looking even better. That was at the same time of year in 2008, and I’ll probably never find the place looking as flowerfully wonderful as it did then.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 28, 2016 at 4:39 AM

%d bloggers like this: