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Fig. 2.5 Viola nephrophylla – Northern Bog Violet

Fig. 2.5 Viola nephrophylla – Northern Bog Violet

8.25” x 11” Acrylic/Mixed Media on paper/Framed

Saskatchewan is a province of extremes – cold winters, hot summers, broad horizons and expansive skies. The plants and animals that are native to this place, have been tested by Mother Nature and developed an amazing array of coping strategies to survive their environment. The six pieces in this collection explore a few of Saskatchewan’s many wildflowers and their relationship with the world around them. Unlike many tropical flowers, Saskatchewan wildflowers are small–tiny even. You must get out of your car, and sometimes even down on your knees if you want to see them. But their ability to adapt to and thrive in our harsh climate is astonishing, their symbiotic relationships with insects, astounding. There is inspiration and profound meaning to be had, if only we take the time to look closely.

The Northern Bog-Violet has an amazing symbiotic relationship with butterflies and ants. This violet has developed an array of tools to facilitate reproduction. Small lines on the bottom petal act like the markings on a runway, clearly indicating that butterflies should land “here.” Small secondary flowers, low on the plant, never open, and can reproduce without pollination. The flowers turn their heads to the ground at night or when it is cloudy as a defense against rain and dew. Finally, the seeds of the violet have small protuberances of oils and sugars that attract ants. The ants collect the seeds to eat the sugars, thus scattering the violet seeds into the broader environment – ingenious.


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