Leaf of the Day: Begonia Seed Pod, the ASBA and the FSBA.

Part of the reason for the trip to Sarasota was to meet up with Phillip Phillips who runs the Florida Society of Botanical Artists (more info here ) who are in turn the Florida Chapter of the American Society of Botanical Artists. (More info here)
I have joined both of the societies which have wonderful artists in their membership and a huge variety of styles. Being a pod person I love this image by Dick Rauh of the Snake Root pods.. the Black Cohosh ..

I had met with Phillip before at the exhibition that the members of the Florida group had mounted in Sarasota on the theme of Native Florida Plants. The exhibition was lovely and here are 3 of Phillip’s images. How nice to see a bit of wildlife. Thinks must paint more bugs and lizards.

Centrosema or butterfly pea (native)

Butterfly – Papilio lorquinianus albertii, Swallowtail, Mt Arfak, Irian Jaya, Indonesia

Saururus cernuus – Lizard’s Tail (native)

As normal I should have paid more attention to the paintings instead of chatting but as I am out on a limb here (..oh dear, no botanical pun intended) it was so nice to talk to another botanical artist and know that others agonise about the quality of the paper and size of the brushes and other knotty problems of paint granulation and transparency etc etc. I am now looking for some more local inspiration for my drawings here at the Florida Native Plant Society. http://www.fnps.org/

As I have been away from the drawing board most of this weekend my contribution today is a very quick and modest seed pod of one of the Begonias in the garden.

Begonia Seed Pod

Leaf of the Day: Neches River Rose Mallow

After 10 days of hard work, today I took some time off to meet with a friend at Leu and have a walk and a think about my next drawings and paintings. Just as I was leaving the garden I bumped into Pedro, and Joel who takes care of the Butterfly Garden here. We were talking about the various species of climber that are draped around the garden which are so loved by the butterflies and to my great delight Pedro has now shown me a fence where there are many beautiful scrambling, climbing, clinging things, including… joy of joys…the bat leaved passion flower! Only 4 days ago I was talking about this and I hope to have a leaf later this week to draw. He has also given me a mysterious fruit which I am to put in a paper bag until ripe. I am intrigued.
Today’s drawing is a leaf that I had hoped to use for the course submission. It has been chilling in the fridge for a few days now and is the most elegant and stylish leaf from the from the Neches River Rose-mallow, Hibiscus dasycalyx.
This grows in one of the borders near the Courtyard Gazebo and is a perennial hibiscus found on the Neches River in east Texas. The leaves are beautiful and the flowers are ivory colored with deep pink to maroon throats.

photo from the University of Florida here plus article about hardy Hibiscus

Originally from warm southern China, the hibiscus was developed by the gardeners of the Chinese royal court who bred many varieties in their continual search for new and different flowers, now there are thousands. They were introduced into Europe in the 1700’s and first arrived in the USA in about about 1842. The enterprising nurserymen, the Reasoner Brothers of Oneco, Florida published the first catalogue of 25 species of hibiscus in 1887. Their huge importance in introducing new species to Florida is celebrated in a waymarker sign in Manatee County, more info and map here

The leaves of this plant are gorgeous. Its fine delicate lanceolate fingers are held at the strange angle away from the stem and it was because of this, that I decided not to include it in the page of leaves for the submission. It needs a few drawings to understand its shape and aspect. This is the first hibiscus I have drawn.


Naches River Rose Mallow