Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘seed

Sunflowers on the prairie

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Behold the flower head of a “common” sunflower, Helianthus annuus,
on the Blackland Prairie in northeast Austin on August 24th.

Sunflower seed head remains also have their appeal, whether from the front or from behind.

As much as I normally don’t like shooting up into a white sky,
once in a while it serves as a good way to isolate a subject.

You may imagine the stem at the bottom of the second image continuing on into the stem
at the top of the third image. I didn’t do that on purpose but I like the way it came out.

©2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 9, 2019 at 4:41 AM


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But truth be told of glory:
It’s always transitory.

This is what had become of a soft golden-aster flower head
when I photographed it in Bastrop State Park on June 6th.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 21, 2019 at 4:40 AM

A Rembrandtian composite

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This post’s title notwithstanding, today’s photograph is not a composite of several images. No, “composite” is a traditional botanical name for any member of the sunflower family. Of which composite these are the remains remains unclear. Horticulturist Anna Fialvoff said that she thought it might be running groundsel, Packera obovata [which amazingly also grows in Austin], but that she would expect more fluff on the spent seed head.

I made this portrait, which strikes me as Rembrandtian in its tonality, at Garden in the Woods in Framingham, Massachusetts, on June 12.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 11, 2018 at 6:29 PM


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Sandbur Seed Head 0621

Yesterday’s photograph of strangely spiky galls at Illinois Beach State Park suddenly reminded me this morning of something spiky that’s common in Austin but that I’ve somehow never shown you in these pages. It’s Cenchrus spinifex, a native grass known as sandbur and bur grass. What’s common to those two common names is the bur, and in this June 30th photograph from Great Hills Park you can see how sharp the burs on the seed heads of this grass are. Ouch.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 28, 2016 at 5:31 AM

Posted in nature photography

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Hierba de zizotes

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Hierba de Zizotes Flowers and Seed 7236

Here’s a first for this blog: Asclepias oenotheroides, which has the vernacular names side-cluster milkweed and (even in English) hierba de zizotes. Hierba in Spanish means ‘plant,’ and as best I can make out, zizote is one of various forms of a Mexican Spanish word—others being sicote, cizote, sisote—that refers to a type of skin lesion. When milkweeds are bent or bruised, they release drops of a white liquid that can indeed irritate some people’s skin, so perhaps this species of milkweed was known to cause those lesions. Or maybe the opposite was true, namely that this plant could be used to treat that skin condition. If anyone has better information about the name, I’d be glad to hear it.

In any case, you need no words to enjoy this milkweed flower, seed, and silk that I found at the Meister Lane cul-de-sac in southeastern Round Rock on October 1st.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 15, 2015 at 5:02 AM

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