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Postings are excerpts from the exhibition catalog edited by Carol Woodin

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cyprus Tulip, Watercolor by Gillian Barlow, UK

Tulipa cypria

Listing: Endangered, Red Data List of Cyprus

The Plant’s Story:

Many Cyprian plants are threatened by habitat loss, in part due to the impact of building and mass tourism around the coastal areas, as well as heavy grazing and fertilizer use on poor land. The lowlands host habitats of thickets, open scrubland, coastal dune ecosystems, marshes and two salt lakes, important for winter migrating birds. During the rainy season, wildflowers follow one another, beginning with scillas and narcissus, then cyclamen, anemones, lilies, and of course, the beautiful red Cyprus tulip. It is found at three locations on Cyprus, in the northern Akamas peninsula, near Mammari, and in the area bounded by Myrtou and Kormakitis-Panagra.

The Artist’s Story: Gillian Barlow

Visiting Cyprus with a holiday group, mostly of bird watchers, I met Dr. Yiannis Christophides, who was our expert botanist leader. On that first visit, he prepared so well, showed us so much, and was so passionately concerned with his native island’s botany and wildlife that I longed to return for a longer and more flower-focused visit. Since then I have done so several times. We have driven all over the island to search for special rarities some of which I sketch, beginning to paint the series of endemic and endangered plants of which this was the first subject.

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.