Thistle Sage (Salvia carduacea)

Margaret Neilson Armstrong American

Not on view

Using a delicate range of purples and pinks, Margaret Armstrong here records a thistle sage found in Owl, a village between Redlands and Palm Springs, California. By 1914, the year this illustration was likely made, the artist had already traveled west from New York four times and completed hundreds of botanical drawings to illustrate her "Field Book of Western Wild Flowers" (1915). In 1909, and 1911–-13, Armstrong explored wilderness areas in California, Utah, and the Canadian Rockies. She used this final 1914 journey to seek missing specimens and probably to visit J. J. Thornber, a professor of botany at the University of Arizona in Tucson, who consulted on her book.

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Thistle Sage (Salvia carduacea), Margaret Neilson Armstrong (American, New York 1867–1944 New York), Watercolor and brown ink over graphite, with page design indicated in graphite and two details in ink

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Thistle Sage, Salvia carduacea