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Postings are excerpts from the exhibition catalog edited by Carol Woodin

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Moss, Watercolor by Maria Alice De Rezende, Brazil

Itatiella ulei

Listing: Critically Endangered, List of Endangered Flora of the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil

The Plant’s Story

Mosses are notoriously difficult to identify due to their small size and remarkable diversity. Tropical Atlantic rainforests of Brazil are havens that nurture a richness of mosses. Atlantic rainforests cover just a small portion of the area of Amazonian rainforest, but their biodiversity is just as great. In addition to moss diversity, the entire flora of the region is rich, with over half of its tree species found nowhere else. New York Botanical Garden researchers counted over 450 species of trees in less than 3 acres!

The Artist’s Story: Maria Alice De Rezende

The idea of making a watercolor painting of this endangered moss arose when I was working with the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden illustrating “Endemic and Threatened Species from Itatiaia National Park”. These mosses are so small it is difficult for people to see what they look like. We decided a painting of an enlarged plant would allow people to be able to see how beautiful they can be, and maybe provide an increased understanding of the importance of preserving them in nature.

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.