Botanical illustration of the day

botany, florilegium, Mrs Morgan's Florilegium, Mary Grierson

Mary Grierson, who has died aged 99, was one of the world’s most accomplished botanical artists.

She embarked on her career only in middle age — and then only by accident — in 1960, while applying for a post organising exhibitions at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.

Her first big project was from the publisher Paul Hamlyn, who invited her to illustrate a series of volumes on Orchidaceae. In the event, only one volume — which took 10 years to produce — was published, in 1973, but she regarded these illustrations as “the most spectacular of my work”.

Among her other works were A Hawaiian Florilegium, The Country Life Book of Orchids, and An English Florilegium.

Above, Amorphophallus abyssinicus (left) and Tulipa greigii (right), both watercolour and pencil.


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