Saturday, July 24, 2010
Ring Gentian, Pen and Ink by Bobbi Angell, US
Listing: Newly discovered, not yet listed. Using IUCN criteria it is critically endangered.
The Plant’s Story:
Symbolanthus jasonii, a member of the Gentian family, was collected for the first time during a recent expedition to the poorly-studied Cordillera del Condor on the Ecuadorian-Peruvian border. The plant is 10-feet tall sparsely distinct from other species in the region. This area of South America is dotted with neotropical montane microhabitats that are surrounded by large disturbed areas, so individual plant populations can be many miles apart. Many plants here are found in a very small area, so the odds of any given species being lost completely to habitat conversion is high.
The Artist’s Story: Bobbi Angell
I have drawn over 20 species and varieties of Symbolanthus, but most have been reconstructed from single pressed herbarium specimens. In contrast, the new species provided me with refreshingly complete material from which to prepare an illustration. I was able to dissect a pickled flower (a flower preserved in a liquid solution) to show the distinctive corona (the ‘ring’ that gives the genus its common name of Ring Gentian).
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.