Anna Laurent

Anna Laurent

Articles & Photos

The Bodhi Tree is a sacred fig under which Buddha found enlightenment, and the Sri Maha Bodhi tree in Sri Lanka, grown from a cutting of the Bodhi Tree, is considered the oldest tree planted by human hands and is more than 2,000 years old. These two botanically notable trees have a sacred and interesting history.
A tribute album for a botanist? Carl Linnaeus—a botanist who named pretty plants for his friends and ugly plants for his enemies—knew the power of a name, and he would certainly be pleased that this modern Swedish folk music album bears his. 
Related Topics: Ideas | Anna Laurent | art + botany | linnaeus | music | Sweden
In the last several years, artists have reclaimed moss as a medium, creating site-specific installations to reclaim public spaces, and creating a new sort of growing, living graffiti.
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We've all seen neat tree houses, but did you know that there's a tree church? In France, the Chêne Chappelle (Chapel Oak) is 800 years old, houses two tiny chapels in its hollow trunk, and was said to have been visited by William the Conqueror himself.
Maps to the stars! No, wait, maps to...fruit trees? The Los Angeles-based group Fallen Fruit created maps of the city's fruit trees, a reminder that Los Angeles was once organized by boulevards of orchards, not Hollywood and Sunset. It's little locavore, a little urban farmer, and it's a new way to understand a city.
The dandelion is a flower of medieval legend and contemporary ignominy. It is also a master of survival. A profile of the unpopular flower may seem blasphemous, but, in the garden it is best to know your enemy.
Biologist and artist Ernst Haeckel introduced the term "ecology," and pursued his study of the natural world with a scientist's rigor and an artist's philosophy. He traveled around the world to find botanic specimens and illustrated them as perfect forms and unifying patterns. 
A desert plant, the Welwitschia mirabilis is beloved among botanists who seek the very old and the very strange. It's a living fossil that survives in the desert, neither a typical succulent or a cactus, and neither a shrub nor a bush. It has been named a dwarf tree, and a director of the Royal Botanic Gardens once described it as "the most wonderful plant ever brought to this country, and the very ugliest."
Fire is generally the death knell for many plants, but the beautiful flowering shrubs and trees of the genus Banksia are adapted to even thrive in wildfires—in fact, the plants need fire to reproduce.
A series of 19th-century Japanese tree panel paintings, currently on exhibit at London's Natural History Museum, depict each type of tree on a matching wood panel, combining taxonomy and art.
Related Topics: Ideas | Brown | Green | Anna Laurent | art botany | Japanese | Kew | London | Trees
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