A Hint of Things to Come


A tall and dramatic Liatris species, this prairie blazing star, Liatris pycnostachya, will come into full flower later in the summer. It blooms from the top down; here, it shows the first hints of its future color, as well as the pleasing structure of its buds.


Comments always are welcome.


52 thoughts on “A Hint of Things to Come

    1. I’ve only seen this plant at the other end of its life cycle, so I’m looking forward to tracking its progress myself. When I first found its seedheads, I had no idea what it was, and to be honest, when I discovered its first shoots this year, I wasn’t sure about them. Now that I know what it is, I know what to look for.

    1. Isn’t it, though? It’s pretty from the side, but I’m glad I thought to look at the top. Those pinpoints of color are delightful, and once I saw the spirals — well, that had to be the place to start!

    1. I loved those spirals as soon as I saw them, and thought about the Fibonacci numbers. Those patterns just keep popping up; I’m glad I could keep these mostly in focus.

    1. This Liatris species really is dramatic. I was surprised to see them at the Watson preserve, but there they were — a lot of them. I’ve seen their seedheads on the prairie at Armand Bayou, too, so those will be easier to keep track of — provided they keep the place open. It’s a tall plant, and the photos I’ve seen of it in full bloom are dramatic.

    1. Do you remember which species you planted? I’ve found three at the Watson preserve area, where I photographed this one. There’s no mistaking this one, that’s for sure. It’s tall and dramatic — I can’t wait to see these develop.

  1. Those aren’t stickers, are they?? Such wonderful detail, and I’ll be watching to see what the full flower looks like when you return with an update!

    1. No, this is a soft, pleasant plant. Those are the tiny, almost imperceptible beginnings of the flower’s buds, even though they look a little spiny. It’s another example of the wonders a macro lens can do. I’m anxious to watch these develop, too — the color is wonderful.

    1. I was delighted to see the pattern in the top of the growing plant. The relative flatness made capturing the swirls easier, and the deep shade provided the background. The fact that the photographer’s getting better at slowing down and thinking things through didn’t hurt, either!

      1. You and Mother Nature are excellent collaborators. One must stay in tune with her. Sometimes she demands that we slow down; other times she demands that we snap to it before we miss it.

  2. Loving the swirls of this! I was sad I was early at watson last weekend–it will be gorgeous there with liatris in a month or so!

    1. I know now that these grow at Armand Bayou, too — much closer for me, and maybe even for you. They’re open again, and bless their hearts, they’ve established summer hours that extend until 7 p.m. now. When they closed at 5 p.m., and a last admission at 4:00, it just isn’t any fun in the summer. I haven’t been out there yet, but after we get past this holiday weekend I’ll check it out.

    1. What’s funny about this Liatris is that I’ve seen it after it’s gone to seed, and now I’ve seen it in its early stage, but I’ve never seen it in full bloom. This should be the year that’s remedied!

    1. You like the square ones, don’t you? I remember that you liked that curl of a pitcher plant, too. There’s something about squares and curves that’s appealing — maybe it’s a throwback to that Fibonacci pattern: squares that turn into spirals.

    1. I think so — it’s just a matter of taking the time to search them out in the various stages. I think I know where I can find some a little closer to home, too, so that will help. I was just browsing when I found this. Now, I need to change to my search mode!

  3. You wouldn’t think a photograph could have rhythm or movement, but this one does. I hope we get to see one further along in the swirling dance of blooming.

    1. It calls up pinwheels, I think — or those July 4th toys that spun and made sparks. They weren’t as much fun as sparklers, but they’d do in a pinch. I’m really anxious to watch these develop. I may celebrate the upcoming holiday by checking on their progress.

    1. They can become quite tall, which makes their blooms even more impressive. I think I read they can grow to three feet, and I’d believe that, because I’ve already seen some plants that are two feet tall.

    1. You and me both, Gary. There are worse things in the world than hanging around waiting for a flower to bloom. I’m hoping to find some a bit closer to home, so I have a better chance of capturing various stages.

    1. Oh, I like that image. You’ve reminded me that I have a post hidden away somewhere in my draft files titled, “By Their Ripples Ye Shall Know Them.” I’ll have to dig that out. I do think this flower has some of that same energy — so interesting.

  4. This is remarkable Linda. I just love it that you caught it against a very dark background. I confess I did cheat and looked up a sample to find found what sort of bloom it was. I was just too curious.

    1. The background was darker, because I was shooting downward, toward the ground, but I used the camera to darken it a bit more, and then darkened it even more in processing. I really like the effect; I’m glad it appealed to you, too. I almost added a photo of the flower in bloom to this post, but since I didn’t have one of my own and didn’t want to take attention away from the bud, I decided to save that for another post — once I’ve found one in bloom.

  5. Looking forward to your future visits to see what unfolds.The Fibonacci pattern is attractive on its own and all the small hairs add to the pleasing appearance. Very nice against the dark background too.

    1. It tickles me that a few years ago I didn’t know Fibonacci from gnocci, and today I can recognize the pattern quickly enough to take a photo. Great fun, really. If I can get my chores done tomorrow, I may make a quick run up to the Watson Preserve despite the heat. That heat may be nudging the plants along, and I wouldn’t want to miss the bloom.

          1. Of course, I was kidding. Most normal folks don’t keep my hours. Bentley got me up this morning even earlier than usual…1:45. not sure how I am still functioning. I hope you get to catch the Liatris blooming tomorrow. If the forecast can be believed we are due for some nice fog in the a.m.

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