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Botanical Art Gallery

Choose from 1,658 images in our Botanical Art collection.


Baobab near the bank of the Lue (Adansonia digitata) Featured Botanical Art Image

Baobab near the bank of the Lue (Adansonia digitata)

Oil on canvas. Inscribed in paint on verso of canvas BAOBAB near the bank of the Lue, a tributary of the Zambesi River above Kabrabasi. It seems to consist of three original stems now united as they have grown up. The whole group is 17 yards in circumference and two of the stems now united In 18 feet from the ground 13 yards. Novr 27 1858'. The painting was executed around seven months later at Tete. This particular tree was observed by Baines while accompanying Dr. David Livingstone on his Zambesi Expedition. Livingstone set out to explore the rapids at Kebrabasa, finally reaching them on the 9th November 1858. Of the surrounding topography he noted, The country, between Tette and Panda Mokua, where navigation ends, is well wooded and hilly on both banks...Conspicuous among the trees, for its gigantic size, and bark coloured exactly like Egyptian syenite, is the burly Baobab. It often makes other trees of the forest look like mere bushes in comparison

© RBG KEW

Adansonia digitata, Willd. (Baobab or Upside-down tree) Featured Botanical Art Image

Adansonia digitata, Willd. (Baobab or Upside-down tree)

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 plant as a tree which is very scarce in India, and probably not a native of Asia'. Roxburgh tells that in the Botanic Garden of Calcutta, where this tree blossoms in May and June, and ripens its seed in the cool season, there is a 25 years old plant of Adansonia digitata, with an irregular, short and sub-conical trunk, which is 18 feet in circumference. In a letter sent to Roxburgh the 2nd of July 1802, from Mantolle, in Sri Lanka, General Hay Macdowell notes: In my walk last night on the ruins of this once rich and extensive city, called by the natives Mande or Maddoo-ooltum, I chanced to observe a tree whose prodigious magnitude induced me to measure it...fifty feet in circumference, above six feet from the ground, the natives call it Peerig, and from what I have been able to collect, it is not indigenous here

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