MEDIA: Watercolor and acrylic
PROJECT: Botanical Illustration
BRIEF: BRIT wanted a botanical illustration of the Comanche Peak Prairie Clover. But why this plant?
Well, the Comanche Peak Prairie Clover, or Dalea reverchonii, has an interesting story behind it. To the average person, this low growing perennial with tiny magenta flowers may not seem like much. However, it’s a rare flower endemic to North Central Texas that grows on a particular type of rock known as the Walnut formation. In addition to its restricted habitat, cattle love it and it’s difficult to grow from seed. This is due to the seeds hard outer coats that need certain conditions in order to sprout.
Thought to be extinct, BRIT Resident Research Associate Bob O’Kennon rediscovered it in 2003. It’s now among the rare native plants that BRIT seeks to conserve. The search for the Comanche Peak Prairie Clover was renewed, eventually finding it in eight counties in North Central Texas.
Due to its elusive nature, I created the botanical illustration without ever seeing the plant in person. I referenced a few photos, including one of a dried specimen, and descriptions of the plant. The illustration was used in their 2016 annual report.