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Cactus chinensis, R. (Opuntia ficus-indica)

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Watercolour on paper, no date (late 18th century). Hand painted copy of an illustration commissioned by William Roxburgh (1751-1815). In his 'Flora Indica', Roxburgh believed this plant to be a native of China, 'from thence it was introduced into the Botanic garden at Calcutta about twenty years ago, during all that time it has blossomed only once'. The plant, probably Opuntia ficus-indica, was not native to China, but introduced to the East from the West Indies, possibly as early as the late 15th Century.

Copyright © RBG KEW

Media ID 654457

Date: 3rd December 2007

Author: Unknown

Filename: ROX00001027.jpg

Image Size: 2072 x 4544 Pixels

Filesize is 5.55MB

Version 2 is 2.69MB

Associated Categories: Botanical Art

Associated Categories: Botanical illustrations

Associated Categories: William Roxburgh

Keywords: 18th century, botanical art, cactaceae, cacti, east india company, economic botany, india, useful plants, west indies, william roxburgh collection