Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘pods

Slenderpod sesbania

with 25 comments

I made this more-is-more portrait of drying-out Sesbania herbacea plants in the northeast quadrant of Mopac and US 183 on November 1st. Because this species grows in many places, it has accumulated a bunch of common names: slenderpod sesbania, hemp sesbania, coffee-bean, danglepod, coffeeweed, Colorado River-hemp, and peatree sesbania. The photograph confirms that the first of those names is accurate; the pods really are slender, measuring 10–20 cm in length but only 3–4 mm in width.

One of the plants was conspicuously fasciated, as you see in the second picture.
You might also say it was having a bad-hair day.

And here’s an unrelated thought for today (with the original spelling and capitalization): “we have spent the prime of our lives in procuring them the precious blessing of liberty. let them spend theirs in shewing that it is the great parent of science & of virtue; and that a nation will be great in both always in proportion as it is free.” — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Joseph Willard, 1789.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 16, 2020 at 4:40 AM

Paloverde parts

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From August 25th at Mopac and US 183, here are the ever cheery flowers of a paloverde tree (Parkinsonia aculeata). I also did a closeup of one of the tree’s drying pods.

Below is a minimalist view of a paloverde leaf whose curling tip had turned reddish.

And here’s an unrelated quotation for today:
“Sensible people don’t grieve over what they don’t have but rejoice in what they do have.”
Epictetus, Fragments.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 23, 2020 at 4:41 AM

Green milkweed flowers and pods

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From May 29th at the Benbrook Ranch Park in Leander you’re seeing the flowers and pods of green milkweed, Asclepias viridis. And how about those great clouds? Because I took these pictures only three minutes apart, the clouds hadn’t changed that much, so if you compare you can still match some of them up.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 16, 2020 at 4:40 AM

Mesquite pods

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While on the Blackland Prairie in northeast Austin on August 24th I spent time at a mesquite tree, Prosopis glandulosa, whose many pods caught my attention. Indian tribes in what is now Mexico and the southwestern United States used to grind the pods to make a sweet flour. In fact many places sell mesquite flour today. There’s even a Texas mesquite group on Instagram. And it isn’t just people who like mesquite: I noticed plenty of ants attracted to the pods, presumably due to their sweetness.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 3, 2019 at 4:42 AM

Another insect

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Texas Bow-Legged Bug on Mesquite Pod 1510

Near the end of my foray through the field at the corner of Metric Blvd. and Howard Ln. on the morning of October 9th, I stopped to photograph some pods on a honey mesquite tree, Prosopis glandulosa. On one pod I found a type of insect I don’t think I’d ever seen before, the Texas bow-legged bug, Hyalymenus tarsatus (which is truly a bug). This photograph introduces the insect and the pod but not the mesquite tree itself to these pages.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 11, 2013 at 5:59 AM

Wavy milkweed

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Wand milkweed; click for greater detail.

Yesterday’s post featured wand milkweed, Asclepias viridiflora, whose erect stance is clearer in today’s picture of the species. As for the fanciful alternate name green comet milkweed, perhaps that’s a reference to the hemisphere of green buds at the top. If I had naming rights, I’d be tempted to say wavy milkweed, not only because of the plant’s crinkle-edged leaves, but also because of its stem, which zigzags in a shallowly sinuous way rather than growing straight. The vertical object in the background at the lower right is the upper portion of one of the plant’s pods, which lack the warty texture so prominent on the pods of some other local milkweed species.

I found this wand milkweed growing at the northeast quadrant of US 183 and MLK in east Austin on August 23.

You can visit the USDA website for more information on this species, including a clickable map showing the surprisingly many places in North America where wand milkweed grows.

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 2, 2011 at 5:47 AM

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