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Illustration Gallery

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Choose from 337 images in our Illustration collection.


Livistona chinensis, ca 18th century
Livistona chinensis, ca 18th century
Elevation of the Great Pagoda as first intended, 1763
Elevation of the Great Pagoda as first intended, 1763
Elevation of the Great Pagoda
Elevation of the Great Pagoda
Crocus sativus, 1887
Crocus sativus, 1887
Cinera cum flore
Cinera cum flore
The Mosque
The Mosque
The Great Pagoda, (exterior)
The Great Pagoda, (exterior)
A View of the Wilderness with the Alhambra, the Pagoda and the
A View of the Wilderness with the Alhambra, the Pagoda and the
Stewartia malacodendron L
Stewartia malacodendron L
Solanum lycopersicum, Tomatoes
Solanum lycopersicum, Tomatoes
Foliage, Flowers, and Seed-vessels of a rare West Australian Shrub, 1880
Foliage, Flowers, and Seed-vessels of a rare West Australian Shrub, 1880
Iris bulbosa latifolia, 1757
Iris bulbosa latifolia, 1757
The Great Pagoda, (exterior) Featured Image

The Great Pagoda, (exterior)

Sir William Chambers first published this design of the Pagoda in 1763 in his Plans, elevations, sections, and perspective views of the gardens and buildings at Kew in Surry'. The building itself was constructed between Autumn 1761 and Spring 1762. This particular illustration appeared as a large format fold-out drawing of the Pagoda. Engraving on paper by T. Miller

© RBG KEW

Mesembryanthemum simplex, 1793
Mesembryanthemum simplex, 1793
Tulip Baquet Rigaux Optimus, 1740
Tulip Baquet Rigaux Optimus, 1740
Aloe mitriformis, 1810
Aloe mitriformis, 1810
Capsicums or Chilli Peppers
Capsicums or Chilli Peppers
Rhododendron Dalhousiae (frontispiece), 1849
Rhododendron Dalhousiae (frontispiece), 1849
Papaver somniferum, opium poppy
Papaver somniferum, opium poppy
From top of Choonjerma Pass. 15,000ft looking West over Nepal, snows, 1848
From top of Choonjerma Pass. 15,000ft looking West over Nepal, snows, 1848
Sea of mist from 16,000ft elevation, from Choonjerma Pass, 1854
Sea of mist from 16,000ft elevation, from Choonjerma Pass, 1854
Microscopical observations of cinchona bark and seedlings, 1862
Microscopical observations of cinchona bark and seedlings, 1862
Lilium henryi, 1891
Lilium henryi, 1891
Allium giganteum, 1885
Allium giganteum, 1885
Dracula chimaera (Vampire orchid), 1882-1897
Dracula chimaera (Vampire orchid), 1882-1897
Aloe mitriformis, 1810 Featured Image

Aloe mitriformis, 1810

Original illustration of Aloe mitriformis, from Curtis's Botanical Magazine, published as plate 1270, 1st March 1810. The currently accepted plant name is Aloe perfoliata, and is commonly known as mitre aloe. Watercolour and pencil on paper. Native of the Cape of Good Hope. This drawing was made at Salisbury's Botanic Garden in Sloane Square.
Curtis's Botanical Magazine is the longest running botanical periodical featuring colour illustrations of plants and has been published continuously since 1787

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

Dendrobium kingianum, 1834-1849
Dendrobium kingianum, 1834-1849
Roses (Rosa multiflora or Rosa polyantha), woodblock print and manuscript on paper, 1828
Roses (Rosa multiflora or Rosa polyantha), woodblock print and manuscript on paper, 1828
Poppy (Papaver), woodblock print and manuscript on paper, 1828
Poppy (Papaver), woodblock print and manuscript on paper, 1828
Tamarindus indica, tamarind
Tamarindus indica, tamarind
Fructus artischochi
Fructus artischochi
Study of Coco de Mer - Lodicea sechellarum
Study of Coco de Mer - Lodicea sechellarum
Corypha taliera, c 1795 - 1804
Corypha taliera, c 1795 - 1804
Pandanus candelabrum, P.Beauv. (Lustre Screw-pine)
Pandanus candelabrum, P.Beauv. (Lustre Screw-pine)
Corypha umbraculifera (Talipot Palm)
Corypha umbraculifera (Talipot Palm)
Buddleia colvilei, Smith M
Buddleia colvilei, Smith M
Buddleia crispa, Fitch W
Buddleia crispa, Fitch W
Aconitum napellus
Aconitum napellus
Study of Coco de Mer - Lodicea sechellarum Featured Image

Study of Coco de Mer - Lodicea sechellarum

Illustration of the germinating nut, a snake twined around one of the trees and also a drawing of the cross section of the nut. The illustration includes hand written notes by Gordon on different aspects of the plant.
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

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

Vanilla planifolia, 1858-1863
Vanilla planifolia, 1858-1863
Mesembryanthemum digitatum, 1772-1793
Mesembryanthemum digitatum, 1772-1793
Stapelia reticulata, 1814
Stapelia reticulata, 1814
Hoodia bainii, 1878
Hoodia bainii, 1878
Stapelia olivacea, 1876
Stapelia olivacea, 1876
Ramalina sp, 1789
Ramalina sp, 1789
Lactarius deliciosus, Tafein 6, 1831–1846
Lactarius deliciosus, Tafein 6, 1831–1846
Tafeln 4, 1831-1846
Tafeln 4, 1831-1846
Stropharia aeruginosa, 1795-1815
Stropharia aeruginosa, 1795-1815
Tafein 6, 1831-1846
Tafein 6, 1831-1846
Pholiota squarrosa, 1795-1815
Pholiota squarrosa, 1795-1815
Myriostoma coliforme, 1795-1815
Myriostoma coliforme, 1795-1815