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Magnified Portraits of Southwestern PA Native Plants

Beautiful illustrations of flora native to Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania will populate the walls of Phipps' Welcome Center!

Starting Fri., Oct. 29, guests can enjoy stunning illustrations of plants native to the southwestern Pennsylvania region in the Welcome Center Gallery. Magnified Portraits of Southwestern PA Native Plants is part of the Flora Project, a collaboration between Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens' Botanical Art and Illustration Program, and the Allegheny Highlands Botanical Art Society.

Native plants are essential to our ecosystem, as they maintain complex and specific relationships with insects that help maintain our local food chain. They are the ecological basis upon which life depends, including countless species from birds to humans.

This year, Flora participants enlarged and magnified native plants to show off inconspicuous features one might otherwise miss. Through the use of watercolor, pen and ink, and colored pencil, the illustrators honed in on details of plants such as the dissented formation of flower heads, fern spores, rhizome root structures, emerging blossoms, and the way leaves attach to stems. The magnified native plant portraits convey a sense of wonder and freedom while capturing the finer details of each native plant.

eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis), illustration by Bernice Budd

red maple (Acer rubrum), illustration by Betty Yee Yates

bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), illustration by Brenda Nemeth

columbine (Aquilegia canadensis), illustration by Catherine Park

red chokeberry (Photinia pyrifolia), illustration by Elsa Arce

Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum), illustration by Gloria Blake

Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), illustration by Gordon McLean

mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia), illustration by Helen Coltellero

black chokeberry (Photinia melanocarpa), illustration by Izabel Kubanowska

zigzag goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis), illustration by Jim Hansotte

spotted phlox (Phlox maculata), illustration by Judith Toure

mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum), illustration by Linda Hykes

sugar maple (Acer saccharum), illustration by Linda Tobin

New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis), illustration by Lori Grunick

winterberry (Ilex verticillata), illustration by Mary Reefer

cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea), illustration by Melissa Fabian

staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina), illustration by Pamela Romeo

black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), illustration by Robin Menard

Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica), illustration by Rosemarie Mazza

eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana), illustration by Sara Eve Rivera

pinxterbloom azalea (Rhododendron periclymenoides), illustration by Stephanie Lind

American hazelnut (Corylus americana), illustration by Tena Chiarchiaro

tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), illustration by Weldon Doran

For more information regarding Phipps' Botanical Art and Illustration Program or other adult classes, please visit phipps.conservatory.org/Learn or call 412-437-8308.

More Events You’ll Enjoy

  • Virtual Explorers Academy


    Explore an all-new series of virtual programs for children ages 4 – 18 from the amazing child educators at Phipps. Topics include wildlife exploration, creative movement and a healthy family cooking series.
  • Virtual Halloween Happenings

    Fri., Oct. 29; 6 – 6:30 p.m.

    Little ghosts and goblins are invited to partake in a virtual spooky evening from home with Phipps Conservatory!