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Amorphophallus titanum flowering, 1901 Featured History Image

Amorphophallus titanum flowering, 1901

The Titan arum, Amorphophallus titanum is known as the corpse flower in its native Indonesia because of the rancid smell, described by Curtis's Botanical magazine as a mixture of rotten fish and burnt sugar, which it emits as it flowers. It caused a sensation when it first bloomed at Kew in June 1889; the odour attracted "many bluebottle flies" and visitors were greatly disturbed by the smell. The artist Matilda Smith, who recorded the first flowering endured many hours painting it and consequently felt ill. The inflorescence can grow to more than 2.5m and is surrounded by a single purple leaf. These photographs were taken over a four-day period during a later blooming in 1901

© RBG KEW

Seedlings of Cinchona succirubra, India, 1861 Featured History Image

Seedlings of Cinchona succirubra, India, 1861

Seedlings of Cinchona succirubra, photographed on arrival in Ootacamund, southern India, 9 April 1861. Collected by Richard Spruce in Ecuador, the plants were received by WIlliam McIvor, a former Kew gardener, who was superintendent of the Botanic Garden in Ootacamund, where he successfully cultivated the red bark trees. Extracts of the bark of Cinchona produced quinine, a malaria medicine

© RBG KEW

Ernest Henry Wilson Featured History Image

Ernest Henry Wilson

Ernest Henry Wilson - 1876-1930 - May15th 1922 - Ernest Henry "Chinese" Wilson, better known as E. H. Wilson, was a notable English plant collector who introduced a large range of about 2000 of Asian plant species to the West; some sixty bear his name

© RBG KEW

Adventurer, Black And White, Botanist, Botany, Ernest Henry Wilson, Explorer, Male, Man, Mono, Monochrome, Plant Collector, Portrait, Wilson E H