It is unlikely that many of us will ever see Phragmipedium kovachii in the flesh. Discovered only seven years ago, the stunning pink orchid
grows on inhospitable limestone cliffs in Peru's tropical cloud forest. But visitors will now be able to see the orchid at the world's first gallery
dedicated to botanical arts at Kew Gardens in London. The gallery's collection features a depiction of the orchid by Carol Woodin, who travelled
to Peru specially to paint the species.
The gallery allows Kew to display a tiny fraction of the art it owns. Its archives contain more than 200,000 items of botanical art, from works by some of the most highly regarded botanical artists in history, such as G D Ehret, an 18th century German water colourist. The oldest item in the exhibition is a plant book from 1491, the Hortus Sanitatis or Garden of Health, which was printed in Mainz, Germany. Its woodcut illustrations combine science and myth, such as the page showing a female mandrake in fruit.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.