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Images Dated 2007 December

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Choose from 655 images in our Images Dated 2007 December collection.


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

Gossypium herbaceum, Willd. (Cotton) Featured December Image

Gossypium herbaceum, Willd. (Cotton)

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 mentions that this species and its varieties Dacca, Berar and China, are the most cultivated by the natives in India. Roxburgh reports "'G. herbaceum' is in general cultivated all over Bengal and Coromandel. It is reared about Dacca, and furnishes that exceedingly fine cotton wool employed in manufacturing the very delicate, beautiful muslins of that place."

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

'The Welwitschia mirabilis' Featured December Image

'The Welwitschia mirabilis'

Oil on canvas. Inscribed in paint on verso ' The Welwitschia mirabilis, Nyanka Kykamkop or plant of Hykamkop or Otjitumbo Otjihooro. Stump with a head. South West Africa T. Baines. Sketched Hykamkop May 9 1861. Painted 15 Whitehall Place, London April 10 1867'. A watercolour sketch by Baines of the same plant is also held in Kew's collections, probably that referred to by Baines in the above inscription. In his 'Explorations of South West Africa', Baines noted 'The Late Sir Wm J. Hooker acknowledged my sketch and specimen as the first he had ever seen, but it had almost simultaneously been discovered by Dr. Welwitsch south of Loando, and his description arriving first, it was very rightly called after him... It has but two leaves, but the manner in which they were split up led me to think there were four', The gentleman seen sketching the plant is Baines, his ox-wagons featured in the distance. The identity of the person seated behind Baines is unknown

© RBG KEW