Monday, July 12, 2010
Blue Latan Palm, Watercolor by Monika DeVries Gohlke, US
Listing: Endangered, IUCN Redlist
The Plant’s Story
The Republic of Mauritius consists of two major islands, Mauritius and Rodrigues, as well as a number of smaller islets, surrounded by coral reefs. The Blue Latan Palm as well as other plants unique to these islands have been yielding their habitat to agriculture and development, and have also been affected by grazing goats and rabbits. Although it is very rare in its native environment, this palm tree is cultivated as an ornamental tree in gardens. The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation works to conserve rare plants and animals and maintains an endangered plant propagation program.
The Artist’s Story: Monika DeVries Gohlke
This beautiful “latanier bleu” as it is called in Mauritius, is currently being cultivated as an ornamental in some of the gardens on the island. It was in one of these private gardens that I was privileged to observe the tree and paint the maturing fruit.
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.