Skip to main content
Image Licensing since 2004


Henry Ridley Featured Image

Henry Ridley

When Henry Ridley took over directorship of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, (1888-1911)there were many overgrown jungle areas and he was tasked with making a preliminary forest survey. Ridley is holding a machete for cutting his way through the undergrowth, while his assistant is carrying a vasculum for any interesting specimens they might come upon.Ridley on foot from the Henry Ridley Papers, RBG Kew Archives HNR/1/2/9/66

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

557. View of Matang and River, Sarawak, Borneo Featured Image

557. View of Matang and River, Sarawak, Borneo

Palms (Arenga saccharifera, Labill., &c.) and Mangosteens in the foreground. Toddy, or Palm Wine, an intoxicating drink, is made from the Arenga and sugar is obtained by boiling and evaporation of the sap of this palm. A good tree will yield 100 pint


Art, Artist, Borneo, Drink, Foreground, Landscape, Leaves, Marianne North, Matang, Painting, Palms, River, Sarawak, Wine

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