Friday, April 30, 2010
Cyperus-like Sedge, Watercolor by Betsy Rogers-Knox US
Listing: Endangered, Connecticut, Indiana, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania
The Plant’s Story
Carex species can be found almost everywhere in the world, with nearly 500 species in North America. Carex pseudocyperus inhabits a large portion of northeastern North America, preferring moist to wet habitats. It is endangered all along the southern end of its range. Carex are very important, serving to hold water, stabilize soils and prevent erosion. Although many Carex thrive in naturally occurring wetlands they are reluctant to independently recolonize restored wetlands. This makes the restored wetlands more vulnerable to take-over by alien vegetation. Thriving wetlands are hubs of activity, alive with insects and amphibians. The most recent National Wetlands Inventory (1997/2004) which utilized aerial and satellite imagery, revealed that nearly 60% of losses in all categories of wetland were due to urban and rural development. A collected specimen has been pressed, mounted and incorporated into the University of Connecticut Biological Research Collection in Storrs.
The Artist’s Story: Betsy Rogers-Knox
In my endeavor to locate and illustrate a threatened or endangered plant, it took numerous emails and phone calls for me to find an enthusiastic supporter, the Research Director at the White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield, Connecticut. From a nearby boardwalk over the wetland I spent many hours during the summer of 2007 observing and illustrating this infrequently found plant and its habitat. Participating in my own small way to a project devoted to raising awareness about endangered plant species has been especially meaningful to me.
More of the plant’s story and the artist’s story can be found in the exhibit catalog, available at the exhibition venues or online from the ASBA.