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Botanical Art Gallery

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Choose from 1446 images in our Botanical Art collection.


Livistona mauritiana (chinensis) from the Company School Collection, ca 1700-1800 Featured Botanical Art Image

Livistona mauritiana (chinensis) from the Company School Collection, ca 1700-1800

Water colour of Livistona mauritiana, by unknown artist from The Company School Collection, ca 1700-1800

© RBG Kew

Art, Art On Demand, Carey, Illustration, Library, Livistona, Livistona Mauritiana, Palm, Tree, Watercolour

Erythrina indica, Willd Featured Botanical Art Image

Erythrina indica, Willd

Watercolour on paper, no date (late 18th, early 19th century. Hand painted copy of an illustration commissioned by William Roxburgh (1751-1815). In his 'Flora Indica', Roxburgh describes this species as an armed tree, common over India and 'the Islands'. It flowers in March and April, and ripens its seed in June and July. Roxburgh also mentions that the Malays usually employed this tree to support the black pepper vine, and in this case they call it 'Chinkereen.' The drawing has been inscribed by Roxburgh in pencil 'This side....['], the racemes being always horizontal', possibly referring to which way up the drawing should be viewed

© RBG KEW

Nelumbium speciosum, Willd. (Lotus) Featured Botanical Art Image

Nelumbium speciosum, Willd. (Lotus)

Watercolour on paper, no date (late 18th early 19th century). Hand painted copy of an illustration commissioned by William Roxburgh. In his 'Flora Indica', Roxburgh tells of his familiarity with two 'sorts' of this plant from the coast of Coromandel, one with rose-coloured flowers, the other with white ones, and with a third variety brought from China, with smaller rosy flowers. He describes how they grow in 'such sweet water lakes' and how, on the coast they flower all year. In Bengal they flower during the hot season, April, May and June. Roxburgh writes also about the radical joints which, in old plant, are swelled into tubulosities of various size, '...from them issue many fungous fibres, and from the upper part and the interior part of these tubulosities issue one, two, or more leaves and flowers...'. Roxburgh then reports that the tender shoots of the roots are eaten by the natives, boiled or in their curries. The seeds are eaten raw, roasted and boiled. The natives also use the leaves as plates from where to eat. This beautiful plant, known with their Sanscrit name Padma, is considered holy and often used in religious ceremonies. The specimen here figured is the pink variety

© RBG KEW