Rhodamnia makumak_stellate hair detail

Picture me peering into a microscope and counting 0.1 mm star-shaped hairs… amazing “stellate trichomes.” And handling fragile dried plants with care. While in residence at the Bishop Museum’s Herbarium Pacificum in Honolulu, HI a few years ago, I had the opportunity to create illustrations to accompany the descriptions of two new species of Rhodamnia from New Guinea. They were named Rhodamnia makumak and Rhodamnia toratot  in an article published today in PhytoKeys, by author Dr. Neil Snow (PhytoKeys 19:31-49 (2012)). He describes five species in minute detail and clarifies their taxonomy, their exact positions in the tree of life.

Clearly, the illustrations must be precise, too! In the detail of the  published image at left (below), each flower is just over 2 mm.

makumak detail

R makumak, pen and ink

A number of my pen and ink drawings have been included in botanical journals, from trees and shrubs of New Guinea, New Caledonia, and Madagascar, to sedges and rushes of coastal and inland California (see links in Published, or  examples on my website

www.illustratescience.com). 

Under the microscope today, an unnamed sedge… on with it!