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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

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

4. Puzzle -Monkey Trees and Guanacos, Chili Featured Images Dated Image

4. Puzzle -Monkey Trees and Guanacos, Chili

Pehuen is the Chilian name of the familiar Araucaria imbricata, Pav. here represented in full development at home close under the Cordilleras of Chili, where there are no monkeys, and
where it loses its branches as it grows old, and its thick bark

© RBG KEW

1795, 1892, Art, Artist, Branches, Darwin States, Deer, Landscape, Marianne North, Monkey, Mountains, Painting, South American