Catesby, Marshall Show Opens Aug. 8 at Petersburg Library

Print of Mark Catesby's painting of the Cardinal in a hickory tree.

Mark Catesby’s “Red Bird, Hickory Tree, and the Pignut” depicts the Northern Cardinal in a Mockernut Hickory, with a single nut of the Pignut Hickory, or “Sweet.”

An exhibition of botanical art, titled “Flora of Virginia,” opens officially this Friday, Aug. 8, at the Petersburg Public Library, 201 W. Washington St. The opening is part of Petersburg’s Friday for the Arts for August, which runs from 6 to 9 p.m.

The exhibition is an outreach program of the Flora of Virginia Project, Richmond, made possible by the Petersburg Public Library, the Willcox Watershed Conservancy, Petersburg, and Addison Publications, London.

The exhibition is two exhibits in one. In the main gallery are displayed 16 reproductions of the watercolors of colonial naturalist Mark Catesby, which were featured (as engravings) in his Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands (published in two parts, in 1731 and 1743). Along a gallery wall in the library proper are reproductions of 14 watercolors by Petersburg’s Bessie Niemeyer Marshall, depicting plants collected in Lee Memorial Park in 1937 in a program of the Works Progress Administration. This project and Marshall’s art are chronicled in With Paintbrush & Shovel (UVA Press, 2000), by Nancy Kober.

All art works are annotated with information about the species depicted, the portion on the plants coming mostly from the Flora of Virginia, published in 2012 by the Flora Project. Most of the Catesby plants and all of the Marshalls are Virginia natives.

The exhibition is already open to the public and will run through September 15.

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‘Shop BRIT’: Now Order the Flora Online

Photograph of the Flora of VirginiaNow you can order the Flora of Virginia online through Shop BRIT, the web store of our publisher, the Botanical Research Institute of Texas Press.

Shop BRIT launched July 7. “We are truly excited to have this new means to reach people and share our love of botany and the natural world with a broader audience,” reads the site.

To order the Flora now, click here or click the box at right. The cost is $89.99 plus $6.50 shipping and handling.

For more information on the work of BRIT and BRIT Press, in Fort Worth, visit

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Governor Gets a Flora

Governor Terry McAuliffe with Flora team.

IN THE NATURAL HERITAGE HERBARIUM: Tom Smith, Chris Ludwig, Governor McAuliffe, Bland Crowder, and Johnny Townsend

Gov. Terry McAuliffe visited the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation on Apr. 14, visiting with staff of the Virginia Natural Heritage Program. The Flora team gave him a copy of the Flora of Virginia.

Presenting the Flora to the governor was Tom Smith, Natural Heritage director and member of the Flora Project board, joined by Chris Ludwig, chief biologist with Natural Heritage, a Flora co-author, and executive director of the Flora Project; Johnny Townsend, a Flora co-author and staff botanist with Natural Heritage; and Bland Crowder, associate director and editor with the Flora Project.

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