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Illustrations in the Grand Canyon Project

by Susan E. Ashton

The Grand Canyon Project is an effort to improve the documentation of the plants of the Grand Canyon. Grand Canyon National Park is best known for its broad vistas of the striking geography of the canyon. Less well known is that the Grand Canyon National Park is home to more plant species than any other national park. The present field guides to these plants do not, however, include enough of the key characteristics of the plants and lack illustrations for many of the plants. The Grand Canyon Project was started to provide the illustrations to many of the important plants of the Grand Canyon. The project was started by Wendy Hodgson, Herbarium Curator at Phoenix's Desert Botanical Garden, and Lori Makarick, the Vegetation Manager at the Grand Canyon. The illustrations were done by students in the botanical illustration program at the Desert Botanical Garden, including Susan.  Illustrations of plants are often more useful for plant identification than photographs since they can ensure that key features are well presented, and lack the background distraction present in photographs.  Most of the pictures below were in the exhibit "Grand Canyon's Green Heart; The Unsung Legacy of Plants" at the Kolb Studio on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, July 2 - August 31, 2010 and  again December 10, 2010 through the end of February 2011.
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Euphorbia aaron-rossii
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All art on this web site is copyrighted by Susan Ashton, 2010.
For information contact SAshtonArt@cox.net.