Anna Laurent

Anna Laurent

Articles & Photos

The bewitching fragrance of jasmine vines is a difficult-to-bottle scent. Capturing jasmine's essence is considered a superlative feat of aromatic alchemy, which is why jasmine is an ingredient in some of the world's most expensive perfumes.
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Since 1890, Harvard's glass flowers have fascinated both academics and the general public. Made in Dresden, Germany, these full-size specimens are meticulously detailed, existing as both scientifically accurate models and unusual pieces of art.
Related Topics: Ideas | Anna Laurent | art | art + botany | Victorian
Despite its efforts to keep a low profile—lurking, as it tends to do, deep in Southeast Asia's undisturbed rainforests—the Rafflesia arnoldii has international notoriety. Its detractors might call it a hulking, smelly parasite, and they would not be wrong. It's the world's largest flower, and it smells like rotting meat.
It takes a village to grow a picture in a rice field: Since 1993, a small Japanese village has been creating rice paddy art, in an effort to increase tourism.  It's a hybrid of traditional illustration and crop circles, with canvases that are as large as football fields.  
An aspen forest in Utah could be awarded 47,000 blue ribbons that read "World's Largest Tree." That's the number of discrete tree stems that constitute Pando (Latin for "I spread"), a colony of genetically identical aspens that converge underground in a single sprawling root system. Also known as The Trembling Giant, the trees' fluttering leaves are a soft soundtrack in the forest.
Inspired by the natural world, artist Sasha Prood has illustrated an alphabet by drawing plants that naturally fall into the shapes of the letters. Garden Design interviews Prood about her work and her plant muses.
The world's oldest tree is Methuselah, a 4,741-year-old bristlecone pine in California's White Mountains.
The first best-selling plant book was published in 1530, launching a new age of botanic study; its success is credited to Hans Weiditz’s accurate and beautiful botanic illustrations.
You probably won't find these flowers at any summer weddings, but the water-dwelling plant would be a perfect accent at the world's tiniest garden party. Sparking like tiny green jewels, each less than a millimeter in diameter, the Wolffia globosa is the smallest flowering plant in the world.
In Fruiting Bodies, UK-based photographer Julia Claxton captures the beauty and mystery of common mushrooms.   
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