Painted from specimens in Kew's Herbarium, Rachel Pedder-Smith's Herbarium Specimen Painting is an 18-foot masterpiece of botanic illustration, and a tapestry with hundreds of narratives that depict a history of plant evolution and scientific discovery.
A dual exhibition at Kew Botanical Gardens features Plants in Peril and Losing Paradise, showing illustrations of endangered plants through the world. The exhibition closes March 18, 2012, so go see it if you can!
A curmudgeonly traveler, Marianne North went around the world—twice! alone!—during the Victorian era, armed with a parasol and an easel, determined to paint as many of the world's plants as possible. The result, some 800 paintings of flora, many of which were unknown to European audiences, are on display at Kew Gardens, and her travel writings have been gathered in a new book, Abundant Beauty. We take a look at the life of this remarkable woman.
The leaves reach nine feet (almost three meters); its nocturnal blossoms are white with the first moon, and pink with the second, with a sweet aroma that will fill the night. Victoria water lilies (Victoria amazonica) are the largest in the world, and have been marveled at since first discovered in 1801.