US National Arboretum


Current Exhibits

Conservation Portraits: Botanical Illustrations of Japan’s Endangered Plants

March 1-June 30, 2005
Administration Building Lobby
8am - 4:30pm daily

In 1998 members of the Japanese Association of Botanical Illustration agreed to undertake the ambitious project of painting Japan’s rarest flora from living specimens. Seventy-five artists published 182 paintings in the 2004 Endangered Plants of Japan: A Florilegium. Seventy-two of these paintings, each by a different artist, will travel to the United States for an exhibit at the National Arboretum and, later, at the Chicago Botanic Garden. It is the first exhibition of the paintings in North America.

The Japanese Association of Botanical Illustration was founded in 1991 to bring together lovers of botanical art, including both amateur and professional artists. Wanting to use their talents to promote the conservation of Japan’s native flora, Association members hoped that painting portraits of some of Japan’s rarest plants would focus public attention on the increased risk facing many of the country’s endemic flora through, in most cases, habitat loss and over collecting. The 182 species they present in the Florilegium represent just 10% of the total endangered plants in Japan.

The arboretum will show the paintings in two parts: The first set of 36 will hang from March 1 – April 30; the second group from May 1 – June 30. The exhibit then travels to the Chicago Botanic Garden where it will be on display in its entirety from August 19 – October 2, 2005.

Copies of Endangered Plants of Japan: A Florilegium and reproductions of 16 of the paintings will be available through the Arbor House Gift Shop at the National Arboretum.

Click on any image below for a larger picture (which are 757x1000 pixels; file size ~150kb).
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Click here for a new window with a PDF file (2.5MB) containing all 17 plates shown below.

Plate 5

Pseudotsuga japonica*
Mieko Konishi, artist

Grows on open, barren, dry ridges or rocks of mountainous regions; populations limited by intolerance of competition from encroaching woodland shade.

Plate 11

Aconitum ciliare
Yoko Kawasaki, artist

No longer known in the wild due to loss of woodland habitat.

Plate  21

Nuphar subintegerrima
Yuko Inujima, artist

Numbers declining due to land reclamation and modern water management and sanitization practices.

Plate  28

Paeonia japonica
Takeko Sagara, artist

Native populations grow in deciduous broad-leaved woodlands.

Plate  45

Rhododendron amagianum
Mt. Amagi Azalea*
Atsuko Arai, artist

Endemic to Japan; found in under story of deciduous broad-leaved woodlands.

Plate  46

Rhododendron degronianum subsp. heptamerum var. kyomaruense
Kaho Sawada, artist

Found in mountainous areas.

Plate  64

Melastoma tetramerum*
Mieko Ishikawa, artist

Small evergreen shrub of limited distribution in wet areas; on the verge of extinction.

Plate  124

Pandanus boninensis
Screw Pine*
Yuka Kimizuka, artist

Evergreen deciduous shrub with aerial prop roots; endemic to Japan, found in the Bonin Islands growing on rocks.

Plate  125

Amorphophallus hirtus
var. kiusianus*
Takeo Mori, artist

Found on wet floors of evergreen broad-leaved woodlands.

Plate  127

Arisaema sikokianum
Kiyoko Sato, artist

Populations declining as a result of collecting for horticultural purposes.

Plate  126

Arisaema heterophyllum
Kazuto Takahashi, artist

Populations dwindling due to deforestation and reclamation of marshes.

Plate  138

Iris laevigata
Kiyohiko Sugizaki, artist

Much cultivated as an ornamental; some wild iris colonies in Japan have been designated protected areas.

Plate  143

Lilium japonicum var. abeanum
Japanese Lily*
Hidenari Kobayashi

Found in mountain grasslands.

Plate  158

Calanthe discolor*
Sumi Nishida, artist

Wild populations sharply diminished due to over collecting.

Plate  172

Cypripedium japonicum
Lady’s Slipper Orchid*
Mari Inoue, artist

Populations have declined because of plant hunters and land development for residential use and golf courses.

Plate  173

Cypripedium macranthon
var. hotei-atsumorianum
Lady’s Slipper Orchid*
Kyoko Yamada, artist  

Inhabits grasslands and open woodland from cool temperate to subartic zones; decline due to collecting for horticultural use.

Plate  181

Phaius flavus*
Kumiko Yamada, artist

Wild populations sharply diminished due to over collecting.


* available as reproduction

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Last Updated   July 27, 2005 1:23 PM