Coloring Our Flora


Illustrations by Margot Mazur

Imagine, if you will, standing before a mural of a thousand tiles illustrating the plants of the Chicago region—a public art piece for all to see the floristic diversity and beauty of a region like nowhere else on earth!


Margot Mazur (Mary Marguerite Lowther), illustrator of the Flora of the Chicago Region: A Floristic and Ecological Synthesis, is currently undertaking the task of coloring the book’s illustrations for just such an exhibit.


Work at Conservation Research Institute is ongoing.


We need ongoing financial support so that our researchers can continue their work on lichens, bees, ants, and vascular plants, and so that our illustrator can hand-color botanical drawings for educational public art works. Donors will be acknowledged in
upcoming publications.


“Having been the illustrator for Flora of the Chicago Region was a great privilege and a tremendous learning experience but I don’t want to stop there. My goal through this effort is to find ways outside of the book to enable the people of this region to see and be inspired by the floristic diversity and uniqueness of their local habitats.”

— Margot Mazur

Just as with the over 1,600 black and white illustrations found in the Flora, the task of coloring the illustrations is arduous and time consuming. With this in mind, we are hoping you will want to help Margot by contributing to the effort. For every $100 donated Margot can complete the coloring of two to three illustrations.


We see this idea having potential to be a wonderful learning tool for people of all ages. The tile murals could take any shape… a wall, an archway, a bench, an entryway, etc. The murals could be located across the City and throughout the region in parks, schools, libraries, museums, etc. The tiles are applicable inside and out. The possibilities for installations are endless. It is our hope we can inspire smaller installations as well, for example, just the region’s grasses, ferns, peas, orchids, roses, etc.


Donations in support of this effort can be made to Conservation Research Institute. All donations are tax deductible. Updates on the latest paintings will appear on this page.


If you are interested in being an organization that exhibits the illustrations, please contact Margot directly at 262-909-0552.


We thank you for your interest and participation in this exciting project.