Botany & Birds: Taking Flight

By Matthew C. Pace

May 12 2023

The exhibition on now at The New York Botanical Garden, is the work of artist Ebony G. Patterson, who is strongly influenced by nature. In particular, birds often play a major role in her work.

Birds and plants can have important relationships - some birds are pollinators of flowers, while other birds disperse their seeds. Hummingbirds, honeycreepers, and sunbirds pollinate the flowers of plants. Blue jays, finches, parrots, and toucans are responsible for dispersing the seeds of plants. In fact, jays are more important dispersers of acorns than squirrels!
Birds also inspire the names of plants, from the Latin word for egg (ovum) used to describe the shape of some leaves, to common vernacular names used in a myriad of languages, such as the english name “Bird of Paradise”.

Enjoy exploring these specimens that truly take flight!

McShea, W.J. and W.M. Healy [eds.]. Oak Forest Ecosystems: Ecology and Management for Wildlife. The Johns Hopkins University Press. pg 1-432.