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

Study of Coco de Mer - Lodicea sechellarum Featured Images Dated Image

Study of Coco de Mer - Lodicea sechellarum

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

270. Distant View of Kinchinjunga from Darjeeling Featured Images Dated Image

270. Distant View of Kinchinjunga from Darjeeling

Tree Ferns and Oaks, festooned with Thunbergia coccinea, Roxb., in the foreground. Kinchinjunga is 28, 136 feet high, and the highest mountain in the world except the neighbouring Mount Everest, which is 29, 002 feet high, and Peak K. 2 in the Karakora

© RBG KEW

Art, Artist, Darjeeling, Foreground, Kinchinjunga, Landscape, Leaves, Marianne North, Mount Everest, Mountains, Oaks, Painting, Snow Peaks