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.
In the late 1500s, the illustrator Johann Theodor de Bry produced a rare series of six still-life floral prints, titled Polyptoton de Flores (The Variance of Flowers). The captions are scripted in Latin hexameter, and derive their lessons from various phases of a plant's life cycle.
Published in 1847, Les Fleurs Animées imagines a world where the flowers reclaim the meanings bestowed upon them by a covetous Victorian audience, and become actresses in their own drama. In J.J. Grandville's engraved illustrations, an exotic Lady Tulip bewitches, while fair young Forget-Me-Not mourns her loneliness.
Edward Gorey's The Evil Garden (Pomegranate, March 2011) is a cautionary tale for botanic enthusiasts everywhere: Beckoned by the delights of a lush, enticing garden, a family traipses through nature's alluring gate toward the promise of a flowering sanctuary. But any notions of floral delights are replaced with grave encounters when the plants turn bad.
Andromeda polifolia, or bog rosemary, got its name from Greek mythology, and was named by the Father of Taxonomy, Carl Linnaeus.
His journals, with meticulous details, careful field sketches, and eloquent descriptions, read like botanic field guides, cultural ethnographies, and dream journals, all rolled up into one.
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.