The Temple of Flora is perhaps the most famous florilegium or book of flowers from the golden age of botanical illustration. It's a charming collection of deliberately idiosyncratic flower portraits that became the portrait of a nation.
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.
At the University of Stuttgart, Germany, a new architectural discipline is evolving, with leaves, branches, and roots. The research group is called Baubotanik (Botanic Architecture), and it is where the architects are gardeners, and the plants are architects.
Frank Lloyd Wright designed Hollyhock House with a stylized motif of the flower, which grow alongside the Los Angeles landmark building. The effect is a beautiful symmetry of architecture and nature, with a surprising unity of character: somehow, the concrete hollyhocks look no less elegant than the living flowers reflected beneath them.
Ever wish there was a Shazam for trees? LeafSnap is a new mobile app that can identify a tree's species by looking at a photograph of its leaf. It's a field guide for the twenty-first century, which uses facial recognition algorithms to analyze the leaf's contour so it can find a match from its index of species.
Books made from trees? Yes, and these are no ordinary volumes: Bound in the bark of their respective tree, covered with moses and lichens, and filled with pages fabricated from the tree's leaves, these book are a very literal representation of their subjects.
Royal courts have often been trend-setters and the Russian court was no exception. Anna Laurent takes a look at some of the most elaborate Fabergé Eggs in her column, looking into some of the prettiest (and fanciest) eggs, which were decorated with botanical motifs, symbolizing the start of spring.