05.31.2015 Yellow Star-grass

The rain held off this morning and allowed me to get out for a few hours.  That came to an end as I made this image.  I didn’t get soaked, but I had to quickly cover up the bag and get the camera under cover to put it away.  As soon as I did all that the rain stopped.  We are now getting a slight drizzle that isn’t going to amount to much.  It is said there is heavy rain to come but we’ll wait and see.Promises, promises.

This flower is one of a few annual pilgrimages that I make to specific plants.  I found this little Yellow Star-grass (aka Common Goldstar, Common Star-grass or Eastern Yellow stargrass)-Hypoxis hirsuta several years ago and enjoy it enough that I visit it every year.  I haven’t seen any evidence of it multiplying much as it has been the same size for all that time.

Yellow-Star-Grass-053115-700WebSurprisingly, it is in the Asparagales family and is a relative of asparagus.  I have to take a closer look at asparagus flowers.  Maybe I can get Mary Beth to not harvest a couple in the garden to see what develops.  They are in a spike so different from these.

Anyway, getting back to the Yellow Star-grass…naturally I like to get a little closer and made a few more images.  I think this is my preferred view, but there may be another to come.

Yellow-Star-grass-053115-2-700WebIn case you are wondering..this is the same flower but obviously viewed from above.  In metering for the bright yellow, the background has darkened and I did remove some of the dried leaves to cut back on distracting lighter color.  I also did some selective adjustments to further reduce the background contrast and allow the flowers to shine.  The first image was about reality…this one is for art.


About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Closeup Photography, Flora, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts, Wildflowers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to 05.31.2015 Yellow Star-grass

  1. Jim in IA says:

    One for reality. One for art. I like that. Beautiful yellow and shape.

    We walked by the local pond yesterday and noticed some wild irises we hadn’t seen before. I had no camera that time. Maybe next time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope you didn’t get hypoxia from panting after pictures of this flower.

    There’s art, there’s reality, there’s realistic art, and there’s artistic reality.


  3. shoreacres says:

    It’s a sweet little plant, but its name surely seemed strange. I get the hirsuta, since the Wildflower center tells me it “grows 3-8 in. tall from a hard, hairy corm…[with] hairy, grass-like leaves.” The Hypoxis has me puzzled, though. I found one reference to the fact that the corms, if split, will blacken once they’re exposed to oxygen. But, I can’t find the reference again.

    Well, enough of that. It’s a beautiful flower. And, I like its lavender companion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your curiosity became mine and with the same lack of finality. I will keep looking. It appears to have been named by Coville, so I will include that in my search terms.


    • Btw, the lavender little buddy is a bluet…related to the forget-me-not….my lawn is full of them.


    • Okey, dokey. Here is what I have come up with….”The name Hypoxis is coined from the Greek words hypo meaning below and oxy referring to the pointed base of the ovary or fruit.” –referenced.

      The genus is fairly large and several of the plants are used in Traditional African Medicine. It is also now being used to treat Aids patientsin Africa.

      I had thought the name might have some relation to Hypoxia treatment but don’t see a direct connection in the original naming so far.


      • shoreacres says:

        I saw that, too, and was going to post it. Then, I decided it’s not correct. But I haven’t been able to surface anything to support my hypothesis that hypoxis is related to hypoxia, other than what I mentioned, and another brief mention of the spreading of the corms under the soil.


      • I’ll keep looking. So far I have come up with nothing more.


      • I think I understand this. The ox- in Hypoxis means ‘sharp, pointed.’ You can see that in Latin-derived relatives like acute, acrid, and even acid, where the sense has been extended to the burning sort of sharpness you feel from contact with that kind of substance. The hypo- does mean ‘under, below’ in Greek. At


        The CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names gives four possible explanations of the genus name Hypoxis- (the last being “simply meaningless”!).

        The ox- in hypoxia is short for oxygen, so hypoxia is ‘an under-amount of oxygen.’ The ox- in oxygen is indeed the same one that means ‘sharp, burning,’ and to see how oxygen got its name, you can read the brief account at



  4. Steve, I really hope the Northeast gets some rain. It look as of it the rain has left us here in Texas for awhile. Today, (Sunday) was the first cloudless day for the past several months. I just hope you wont be saturated with too much of a good thing.

    The last photo of the yellow grass it beautiful The yellow contrasts so well with the background color.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was quite happy with the way exposing for the bright yellow caused the background to darken as it did.
      It started raining in earnest last night and should continue at various intensities through tomorrow night. We may end up with a few inches which will get us back to within a few inches of normal. Connecticut and Rhode Island as well as eastern MA have seen larger amounts. I am glad that your weather seems to have returned to normal and hope the drying is speedy enough that recovery is quick for those seriously affected by the flooding.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Actually Asparagales is a botanical order, which puts it one level above that of a family; an order typically contains several families. Garden-type asparagus is in the family Asparagaceae, while Hypoxis is in the family Hypoxidaceae. The situation has been complicated by the recent reorganization of Asparagaceae:


    I find it easier to photograph all these plants than to keep track of them botanically, and I expect you do too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That was a “typical Steve” slip of the keyboard. When I checked out the species, I noted “Order”, but by the time I switched windows I had “Family” on my mind. What you have just witnessed is the reason I do NOT lead workshops. My ability to misspeak is a basic trait of mine. I once co-led a wildflower photography workshop and one individual was, correctly, constantly correcting me. He was very accurate but irritating.
      I cannot keep track of much, Steve. My memory facility has left the building.


  6. Beautiful work Steve, love the comparisons for art and reality!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. tomwhelan says:

    Both fine images, especially the second. I’ve found this flower in my area as well – on Horn Pond Mountain in Woburn, high and dry, often in rocky soils. Glad that Steve S. put you in order…


  8. Pingback: 06.05.2021 Frostless Frostweed | Stephen Gingold Nature Photography Blog

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