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Botanical Illustrator

Sunflower and Goldfinch, Watercolor Painting


sunflower and goldfinch
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) and Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis), watercolor

About the illustration:
Commissioned by: Organic Gardening Magazine, Rodale Publishing
Organic Gardening Magazine

About sunflowers (Helianthus annuus):
Sunflowers are annuals, native to the U.S., which grow to three to ten feet tall. Cultivated sunflowers often do not grow true from seed. They will revert back to the wild variety within several generations. Flowers are about three to five inches in diameter. The brown center of the flowers is comprised of disk florets. Twenty to forty ray florets surround the brown center and are golden yellow. Blooming is from mid to late summer. Sunflowers prefer full sun and slightly dry soil.

Taxonomy:
Kingdom: Plantae (plants)
SubTaxonomy:
Kingdom: Tracheobionta (vascular plants)
Superdivision: Spermatophyta (seed plants)
Division: Magnoliophyta (flowering plants)
Class: Magnoliopsida (dicotyledons)
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae (Aster family)
Genus: Helianthus (sunflower)
Species: Helianthus annuus (common sunflower)

More about sunflowers:
Wikipedia: Sunflower
Illinois Wildflowers: Annual Sunflower

About American Goldfinches (Carduelis tristis):
American goldfinches are small birds, about four to five inches in height. They eat thistle and teasel seeds, among others. They are primarily monogamous. They may also be known as "wild canaries" or "Eastern goldfinches".

Taxonomy:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata (having a spinal chord)
Class: Aves (birds)
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Fingillidae
Genus: Carduelis
Species: C. tristis

More about goldfinches:
Animal Diversity Web: Carduelis tristis
Wikipedia: American Goldfinch

Also see photos of goldfinches:

Goldfinch Goldfinch



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