Listing: Threatened, Tennessee, Georgia
The Plant’s Story
Fothergilla major is a rare shrub of the southern Appalachians, favoring well-drained acid soils in mountain woods. In the wild, although it has a pretty broad range, it is not common anywhere, being sparsely dispersed. Its bottlebrush-like flowers are composed of long yellow stamens with long filaments. Its fragrance and autumn color add to the visual interest of the spring flowers. Dr. Fothergill, physician, naturalist, and philanthropist, had a garden in Essex, England, in which he grew “a variety of most curious plants”, according to Linnaeus, who named this genus after him.
The Artist’s Story: Rose Pellicano
Although I had never seen Fothergilla major, in my research on endangered plants I found that a specimen grew at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. I’ve been working with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for ten years, as one of the artists in its Florilegium project. Established in 2000, the Florilegium is a project to document Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s living collections through botanical art. Artists from around the country have contributed 175 artworks to the project.
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.
Links to other Florilegium projects: Chelsea Physic Garden, Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, Australia, Filoli, Woodside, CA and Highgrove Estate of HRH Prince of Wales