US museum exhibit to focus on endangered plants

Aug 14, 2010
A watercolour painting shows Lycaste Orchids, a species found in mid-elevation cloud forests from Nicaragua through to Bolivia, which are threatened by logging and agricultural development. Washington's Smithsonian Museum of Natural History is opening an exhibit of pictures endangered, threatened and extinct plants from around the world, officials have said.

The Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History on Saturday opens an exhibit of pictures endangered, threatened and extinct plants from around the world, officials said.

The goal is "to record the beauty of these plants that are more likely to disappear," said Carol Woodin with the American Society of Botanical Artists and the exhibit coordinator.

The 44 illustrations include detailed work from of "some of the top artists in the world," said Woodin.

"We wanted artists to develop relationships with scientists and then to focus on rare and at risk plants of today," she said.

The artists, who come from Australia, Brazil, Israel, South Africa, South Korea, Britain and the United States, were invited to choose the endangered plant of their choice to illustrate, as long as that plant was on an institutional list of endangered plants.

Of the nearly 300,000 known species of plants across the world, around 20 percent are in danger of extinction, said Peter Raven, president of the Missouri Botanical Garden.

"The US flora is estimated to encompass about 20,000 species," said Raven.

Of these, "nearly 3000 US species are in decline," he told AFP.

The portrayed in the museum artwork are from the United States, South America, Australia, Europe and South Africa, organizers said.

The exhibit, titled "Losing Paradise," will remain in Washington until December, when it moves on to Britain's Royal Botanic Gardens outside London, Woodin said.

Explore further: Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Thousands of undiscovered plant species face extinction

Jul 07, 2010

Faced with threats such as habitat loss and climate change, thousands of rare flowering plant species worldwide may become extinct before scientists can even discover them, according to a paper published today by a trio of ...

UK botanists bank 10% of world's plant species

Oct 15, 2009

Botanists at Britain's Kew Gardens have collected seeds from 10 percent of the world's wild plants, their first goal in a long-term project to protect all endangered species, they said Thursday.

Rust fungus to tear backbone out of boneseed

Jan 29, 2008

CSIRO’s newly refurbished containment facility for exotic insects and plant pathogens in Canberra is hosting a species of rust fungus which shows promise as a biocontrol agent for the highly invasive plant ...

Recommended for you

Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

20 hours ago

(Phys.org) —The incident was captured by Dr Bruna Bezerra and colleagues in the Atlantic Forest in the Northeast of Brazil.  Dr Bezerra is a Research Associate at the University of Bristol and a Professor ...

Orchid named after UC Riverside researcher

Apr 17, 2014

One day about eight years ago, Katia Silvera, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Riverside, and her father were on a field trip in a mountainous area in central Panama when they stumbled ...

In sex-reversed cave insects, females have the penises

Apr 17, 2014

Researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on April 17 have discovered little-known cave insects with rather novel sex lives. The Brazilian insects, which represent four distinct but re ...

Fear of the cuckoo mafia

Apr 17, 2014

If a restaurant owner fails to pay the protection money demanded of him, he can expect his premises to be trashed. Warnings like these are seldom required, however, as fear of the consequences is enough to ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

(Phys.org) —The incident was captured by Dr Bruna Bezerra and colleagues in the Atlantic Forest in the Northeast of Brazil.  Dr Bezerra is a Research Associate at the University of Bristol and a Professor ...

Researchers develop new model of cellular movement

(Phys.org) —Cell movement plays an important role in a host of biological functions from embryonic development to repairing wounded tissue. It also enables cancer cells to break free from their sites of ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...