Wildflower is published quarterly by the Wildflower Center. Its content is national in scope with articles about the conservation and use of native plants as well as news from the Wildflower Center. A subscription is provided to Wildflower Center members as a benefit of membership.
A COLLEAGUE AND I WHO SHARE HISTORY in both California and Texas recently mused that we'd never known Californians to rush their children out into the California poppies for photographs the way Texans do for bluebonnets. It's true: this "Texan rite of passage" as it was described by 2010 Wildflower photo contest winner Sara Leslie is – to my knowledge – unique to the state large enough to hold all that pride.
When we began our wildflower photo contest in 2010, we wanted to attract photographers from all parts of the country. Last year, many entries were from Texans, evidenced by the fact that all but two of the nine contest winners were from Texas. This year, we're seeing a different trend: Many of our entries since the contest began in March are of wildflowers native to areas across the county and are from photographers outside of Texas. We've even received a considerable number of entries taken in North America from photographers abroad.
Talking about native plants and wildflowers to an audience that is geographically diverse can be tricky. Native plants are by nature local. But while wildflowers can be what sets our regional landscapes apart, the way they can inspire us – especially in the showier spring and fall seasons – is universal. It's clear they beg us to take their pictures; nearly 1,500 people have already entered this year's photo contest.
As for whether we all want to lie down and take our pictures in them too, it's hard to say. If this year's entries in the People with Wildflowers category are any indication, the answer is that this particular rite of passage may just be for Texans. See what I mean at www.wildflower.org/photocontest (People/Wildflowers).
— Christina Kosta Procopiou, Editor
The Wildflower Center's 2011 photography contest will accept entries through June 15 at www.wildflower.org/photocontest. This year's contest is held in partnership with Texas Highways – the travel magazine of Texas.