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East India Company Gallery

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Choose from 89 images in our East India Company collection.


Ficus indica (Banyan tree)
Ficus indica (Banyan tree)
Ficus religiosa Willd. (Peepul, pipal, pipul or bo-tree)
Ficus religiosa Willd. (Peepul, pipal, pipul or bo-tree)
Nelumbium speciosum, Willd. (Lotus)
Nelumbium speciosum, Willd. (Lotus)
Urania speciosa, Willd.(Ravenala madagascariensis, Travellers Palm')
Urania speciosa, Willd.(Ravenala madagascariensis, Travellers Palm')
Gossypium herbaceum, Willd. (Cotton)
Gossypium herbaceum, Willd. (Cotton)
Oryza sativa, L. (Rice)
Oryza sativa, L. (Rice)
Cactus indicus, ca 18th century
Cactus indicus, ca 18th century
Erythrina indica, Willd
Erythrina indica, Willd
Caesalpinia sappan, Willd
Caesalpinia sappan, Willd
Nymphaea rubra, R
Nymphaea rubra, R
Dillenia speciosa Thunb
Dillenia speciosa Thunb
Citrus acida, R
Citrus acida, R
Nelumbium speciosum, Willd. (Lotus) Featured Image

Nelumbium speciosum, Willd. (Lotus)

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 tells of his familiarity with two sorts of this plant from the coast of Coromandel, one with rose-coloured flowers, the other with white ones, and with a third variety brought from China, with smaller rosy flowers. He describes how they grow in such sweet water lakes and how, on the coast they flower all year. In Bengal they flower during the hot season, April, May and June. Roxburgh writes also about the radical joints which, in old plant, are swelled into tubulosities of various size, ...from them issue many fungous fibres, and from the upper part and the interior part of these tubulosities issue one, two, or more leaves and flowers...'. Roxburgh then reports that the tender shoots of the roots are eaten by the natives, boiled or in their curries. The seeds are eaten raw, roasted and boiled. The natives also use the leaves as plates from where to eat. This beautiful plant, known with their Sanscrit name Padma, is considered holy and often used in religious ceremonies. The specimen here figured is the pink variety

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

Plumeria acuminata
Plumeria acuminata
Tamarindus indica, tamarind
Tamarindus indica, tamarind
Adansonia digitata, Willd. (Baobab or Upside-down tree)
Adansonia digitata, Willd. (Baobab or Upside-down tree)
Corypha taliera, c 1795 - 1804
Corypha taliera, c 1795 - 1804
Areca catechu, L. (Betelnut, pinang, areca nut)
Areca catechu, L. (Betelnut, pinang, areca nut)
Jasminum scandens, Willd
Jasminum scandens, Willd
Lagerstroemia regina, Willd
Lagerstroemia regina, Willd
Eugenia malaccensis, Willd
Eugenia malaccensis, Willd
Butea frondosa, Willd
Butea frondosa, Willd
Gossypium herbaceum, Willd. (Dacca cotton)
Gossypium herbaceum, Willd. (Dacca cotton)
Licuala peltata, ca 1800
Licuala peltata, ca 1800
Asparagus curillis, Buch
Asparagus curillis, Buch
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

Dioscorea aculeata, Roxb
Dioscorea aculeata, Roxb
Heliconia buccinata, Roxb
Heliconia buccinata, Roxb
Zingiber officinale, Roscoe (Ginger)
Zingiber officinale, Roscoe (Ginger)
Jonesia asoca, R
Jonesia asoca, R
Gossypium obtusifolium, R. (Cotton)
Gossypium obtusifolium, R. (Cotton)
Garcinia pedunculata, Roxb
Garcinia pedunculata, Roxb
Senna alata, R
Senna alata, R
Coffea plant, Company Art
Coffea plant, Company Art
Bambusa balcooa, Roxb. (Bamboo)
Bambusa balcooa, Roxb. (Bamboo)
Diospyros ebenum, Kön. (Ebony)
Diospyros ebenum, Kön. (Ebony)
Panax fruticosum, Willd
Panax fruticosum, Willd
Lawsonia inermis, Willd. (Henna)
Lawsonia inermis, Willd. (Henna)
Garcinia pedunculata, Roxb Featured Image

Garcinia pedunculata, Roxb

Watercolour on paper, no date (late 18th, early 19th century). Hand painted copy of an illustration commissioned by William Roxburgh (1751-1815). In Flora Indica, Roxburgh reports that this species is "a native of Rungpoor, where the tree is indigeneous". He adds that "flowering time [is from] January till March" and also how "the fleshy part of the fruit which covers the seeds and their proper juicy envelope, or aril, is in large quantity, of a firm texture and of a very sharp, pleasant, acid taste. It is used by the natives in their curries, and for acidulating water"

© RBG KEW

Vitis indica, Willd
Vitis indica, Willd
Gossypium religiosum, Willd. (Nankeen or brown cotton)
Gossypium religiosum, Willd. (Nankeen or brown cotton)
Garcinia mangostana, Willd
Garcinia mangostana, Willd
Chaulmoogra odorata, R.(Gynocardia odorata)
Chaulmoogra odorata, R.(Gynocardia odorata)
Calamus viminalis, ca 1800
Calamus viminalis, ca 1800
Trichosanthes heteroclita, R
Trichosanthes heteroclita, R
Poa tenella, L
Poa tenella, L
Melica latifolia, R
Melica latifolia, R
Cyperus alopercuroides, Rottb
Cyperus alopercuroides, Rottb
Arum bulbiferum, Roxb
Arum bulbiferum, Roxb
Arum campanulatum, Roxb
Arum campanulatum, Roxb
Arum margaritifer, Roxb
Arum margaritifer, Roxb