work > Modern Flora

Devil's-Darning-Needles
Devil's-Darning-Needles
Watercolor, gouache and pen on paper
2017

This watercolor, gouache and pen illustration is part of a small series of botanical illustrations of plants with long, hyphenated Victorian names, sometimes poetic, other times ridiculous. Devil’s-darning-needs, or Clematis virginiana L, is a flowering vine native to the Eastern United States. Blooming from July to September these demure white flowers yield to silver gray feathery seed heads in the autumn. I would imagine the unusual name of this plant was inspired by its unique seed heads, which resemble tangled knots of woolen thread, making the plant “the devil to untangle” for the unfortunate darner of socks.