NOTE: All member and nonmember tickets must be reserved in advance, and masks are now optional but recommended. Learn more about how you can join us!

Virtual Exhibit Now Open
Southwestern PA Native Plants with a Spotlight on Caterpillars

Enjoy beautiful illustrations of flora native to Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania!

In this virtual exhibit, plant lovers of all ages can now enjoy stunning illustrations of plants native to the southwestern Pennsylvania region. Southwestern PA Native Plants with a Spotlight on Caterpillars 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. This exhibit will also be on display in the Welcome Center Gallery starting Fri., Oct. 28 through Sun., Jan. 8. Stay tuned for more details! 

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 studied native plants with a highlight of caterpillars that have the greatest impact on terrestrial ecosystems: those that contribute the most energy to local food webs and those responsible for most of the pollination required by plants. Through the use of watercolor, pen and ink, and colored pencil, the illustrators honed in on the intricate integration of caterpillars and their unqiue role in the lives of native plants. The balance of caterpillars, other pollinators and fine details of the native plants portraits display an elegant balance of mulitple life cycles of inscets and the benefits they provide to native plants. 


Witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginia), illustration by Abby Krick 


Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis), illlustration by Autumn Secrest 



River birch (Betula nigra), illustration by Betty Yee-Yates 



Garden phlox (Phlox paniculata), illustration by Brenda Jordan 



Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina), illustration by Brenda Nemeth




Blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides), illustration by Else Arce



Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginia), illustration by Gloria Blake 



Wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis), illustration by Helen Coltellaro 



Black-eye Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), illustration by Holly Dobkin 



Winterberry (Ilex verticillata), illustration by Holly Johnson 



New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (Aster)), illustration by Jan Wilson 



Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus), illustration by Jim Hansotte



Rosebay (Rhododendron maximum), illustration by Linda Hykes 



Bee-balm (Monarda didyma), illustration by Linda Tobin



Tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), illustration by Lisa Rasmussen 



Sugar maple (Acer saccharum), illustration by Lori Grunick 



Great blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica), illustration by Marguerite Matz



Beard-tongue (Penstemon digitalis), illustration by Maria Joseph 



Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), illustration by Mary Reefer 



Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis), illustration by Melissa Fabian 



Virginia creeper vine (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), illustration by Pam DeSimone Romeo 



Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), illustration by Raana Flemm



Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium (A. scopanus), illustration by Robin Menard



Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum), illustration by Rosemarie Mazza



Redbud (Cercis canadensis), illustration by Sara Rivera 



Sassafras (Sassafras albidum), illustration by Stephanie Lind 



Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), illustration by Sue Ralston



Wild plum (Prunus americana), illustration by Tamara Swanson
 

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.

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