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Choose from 1446 images in our Botanical Art collection.


Gossypium religiosum, Willd. (Nankeen or brown cotton) Featured Botanical Art Image

Gossypium religiosum, Willd. (Nankeen or brown cotton)

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 describes this species as a perennial allied to 'G. hirsutum Willd.'. Roxburgh writes: 'This species has been introduced into Bengal under the name Nankeen cotton, but does not thrive so well as to make it profitable; the colour of the wool tawny, and very different from the colour of the cotton cloth commonly called Nankeen, which is no doubt dyed. This can scarcely be more than a variety of hirsutum.' Inscribed in ink is 'Gossypium fuscum R.'. Drawing is also inscribed by Sir George Watt (1851-1930) in the lower left corner, ' = G. hirsutum Linn. Sp. Pl. forma religiosa Roxb

© RBG KEW

Garcinia mangostana, Willd Featured Botanical Art Image

Garcinia mangostana, Willd

Watercolour on paper, no date (late 18th early 19th century). Hand painted copy of an illustration commissioned by William Roxburgh. In 'Flora Indica', Roxburgh reports that this species is "a native of the Malay Peninsula, and of the Islands to the eastward of the Bay of Bengal, where they often grow to be trees of a large size... it is in flower and fruit a great part of the year". Later he adds: "From the earliest accounts we have of this charming tree and its delicious fruit; we learn that all the innumerable attempts hitherto made to familiarize it to other countries, besides those in which it is placed by nature, have uniformly proved unsuccessful. For these thirty-five years past I have laboured in vain to make it grow and be fruitful on the continent of India. The plant has uniformly become sickly when removed to the north or west of the Bay of Bengal, and rarely rises beyond the height of two or three feet before it perishes."

© RBG KEW

Aerides quinquevulnera, 1838 Featured Botanical Art Image

Aerides quinquevulnera, 1838

Original drawing for plate XXX in John Lindley's 'Sertum orchidaceum: a wreath of the most beautiful orchidaceous flowers; selected by John Lindley', published in 1838. Illustration shows part monochromatic, part colour study of leaves, roots and flowers. Drawing inscribed by Drake across top edge, 'Thick, fleshy, bright green leaves, veins indistinct - use German blue for the green & a little body colour to give a waxy effect['] Aug 8.1839'. Also inscribed by Drake 'Cuming's...[']'. Several creases on drawing as a result of being poorly mounted. Also inscribed lower left corner in different hand 'Rec'd Sept. 15 1925'. According to Lindley, 'Mr Hugh Cuming, who has been passing some time in the Philippines, and who has investigated the Botany of those rich islands with great zeal and industry, sent the plant now published to Messrs. Loddiges: with whom it flowered in August last'. This date corresponds with Drake's inscription (Lindley's publication was printed as ten fascicles beginning in 1838) The reference to 'German blue' probably means a colour close to Prussian blue, which was used as a dye to colour German military uniforms at the time

© The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew