Watercolors of Endemic Plants

Dov Bock: Science Illustrator

Dov originally met botanist Wayt Thomas in Bahia, Brazil, while volunteering as an assistant with the Northeastern Atlantic Coastal Forest Project. With a background in biology, her illustration work combines her passion for science with her artistic talent. After working in biotechnology for three years, Dov attended the graduate program in science illustration at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and she now works full time as a freelance illustrator and web designer. More of her work will soon be available at dovbock.com.

Dov Bock climbing a rain forest tree


We asked Dov to paint five plant species endemic to Bahia, and the national tree of Brazil, Caesalpinia echinata, a coastal forest endemic. The species painted are listed below.  Clicking on any of the first five will give a larger version of the same painting.  Clicking on the Caesalpinia flower will reveal a full 'portrait' of the plant, with leaves, inflorescence, fruit, and a dissected flower.

Brodriguesia santosii flower painted by Dov BockBrodriguesia santosii - A legume in the Caesalpiniaceae, this small tree is restricted to four municipalities in coastal southern Bahia, north of the Rio de Contas.

Harleyodendron unifoliolatum flowers painted by Dov BockHarleyodendron unifoliolatum - A legume in the Fabaceae, this understory tree is known only from four municipalities from Itacaré to Una.

Ruellia affinis flower painted by Dov BockRuellia affinis - This vine or scandent shrub in the Acanthaceae is endemic to Bahia and is most characteristic of moist forests.

Pavonia cauliflora painted by Dov BockPavonia cauliflora - The type locality of this rare Malvaceous shrub is Ilhéus, where it can still be found.  It is also known from forests in Rio de Janeiro and Santa Catarina.

Pavonia morii painted by Dov BockPavonia morii - This rare shrub in the Malvaceae is only known from collections made in and around the Reserva Biologica de Una in southern Bahia.

Caesalpinia echinata flower painted by Dov BockCaesalpinia echinata - This legume tree is the national tree of Brazil and its common name (pau brasil) is the origin of the name of the country.  A coastal forest endemic originally found from Rio Grande do Norte south to São Paulo and inland, the species was almost logged to extinction by the Portuguese colonists for its deep red wood which provided, in addition to timber, a prized analine dye.

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