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Study of Coco de Mer - Lodicea sechellarum

Includes hand written notes by Gordon on different aspects of the plant, also a drawing of the cross section of the nut, an illustration of the germinating nut, and a snake twined around one of the trees.
Major Charles George Gordon, (Charley Gordon' and later 'Chinese Gordon') was one of the most celebrated soldiers and diplomats of the Victorian era. A somewhat eccentric character, Gladstone described him as a 'hero, and a hero of heroes'. His violent death at Khartoum was commemorated by George William Joy's painting 'General Gordon's Last Stand' (1885). Sir Joseph Hooker enlisted Gordon's services in the collection of plants while Charles was appointed Governor of the Egyptian Equatorial Provinces. In 1881, Gordon went as Commanding Royal Engineer to Mauritius, and while visiting the Seychelles became interested in the Coco-de-mer. Specimens of both this tree and the breadfruit tree were sent by Gordon to Kew. In 1882 Gordon also sent an illustrated letter to Kew outlining the possibility of the Seychelles being the site of the Biblical Garden of Eden, also suggesting that the breadfruit tree was the 'Tree of Life' and the Coc-de-Mer the 'Tree of Knowledge

Copyright © RBG KEW

Media ID 7899198

Date: 3rd February 2010

Copyright Status: Copyrighted Work

Owner URL:

Position: Photographer

Credit: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Filename: 005105PL100203143026.jpg

Image Size: 3561 x 4908 Pixels

Filesize is 2.76MB

Associated Categories: Botanical illustrations

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