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Images Dated 2007 December

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


Baobab near the bank of the Lue (Adansonia digitata) Featured December Image

Baobab near the bank of the Lue (Adansonia digitata)

Oil on canvas. Inscribed in paint on verso of canvas BAOBAB near the bank of the Lue, a tributary of the Zambesi River above Kabrabasi. It seems to consist of three original stems now united as they have grown up. The whole group is 17 yards in circumference and two of the stems now united In 18 feet from the ground 13 yards. Novr 27 1858'. The painting was executed around seven months later at Tete. This particular tree was observed by Baines while accompanying Dr. David Livingstone on his Zambesi Expedition. Livingstone set out to explore the rapids at Kebrabasa, finally reaching them on the 9th November 1858. Of the surrounding topography he noted, The country, between Tette and Panda Mokua, where navigation ends, is well wooded and hilly on both banks...Conspicuous among the trees, for its gigantic size, and bark coloured exactly like Egyptian syenite, is the burly Baobab. It often makes other trees of the forest look like mere bushes in comparison

© RBG 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

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