Sunday Garden: Volume 75 (1849) of Curtis’s Botanical Magazine



Mojave Mound Cactus (Echinocereus polyacanthus) by Walter Hood Fitch.

For this week’s Sunday Garden feature, I am featuring Volume 75 of Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, published in 1849 and edited by Sir William Jackson Hooker. The botanical SciArt created for this issue was done by Walter Hood Fitch. Fitch was a prolific botanical artist who produced more than 2,500 illustrations for Curtis’s Botanical Magazine and thousands more for other works. Many of these illustrations can be viewed in Biodiversity Heritage Library‘s Flickr account here. Hooker, also an illustrator, was best known for his work as a botanist, particularly his botanical expeditions, and his role as Director of Kew Gardens from 1841 to 1865. In addition, he edited 38 volumes of Curtis’s Botanical Magazine from 1827–1865.


Hidden Ginger (Curcuma petiolata). SciArt by Walter Hood Fitch.

Curtis’s Botanical Magazine is the longest running botanical publication, having been published continuously since 1787 and is currently produced by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The botanical art featured in each issue was produced by leading botanical artists of the time. Volume 75 was contributed for digitization in Biodiversity Heritage Library by the Peter H. Raven Library of the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Find more Sunday Garden posts on my blog and by searching my social media sites with the hashtag #HSASundayGarden.

Sunday Garden: Flowers & Fruits from Java

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This week’s HSA Sunday Garden focuses on the incredible art and science of Berthe Hoola van Nooten from her Fleurs, fruits et feuillages choisis de l’ille de Java (c1880). Java is a large island of Indonesia, which Hoola van Nooten moved to Java around 1860 with her brother. She was able to publish her work due to the patronage of Queen Sophie of the Netherlands, and the chromolithographs of her illustrations were executed by Pieter De Pannemaeker, the Belgian lithographer. Sadly, Hoola van Nooten died in poverty at age 74 in what is now called Jakarta, despite the popularity and success of her work.

This work was digitized by the Raven Library of the Missouri Botanical Garden for inclusion in Biodiversity Heritage Library. You can explore all 40 chromolithographs from this exquisite work in BHL’s Flickr album.

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Cacao Tree (Theobroma cacao), the source of chocolate!

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Flame Tree (Delonix regia).

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Papaya (Carica papaya). 

Wouldn’t these look great hanging on a wall? You can download high resolution versions of these illustrations, along with many others, from Biodiversity Heritage Library! Learn more here.

Sunday Garden: Ladies’ Flower Garden

Jane Webb Loudon

The Ladies’ Flower Garden, Vol. 2 (1844) was written and illustrated by Jane Webb Loudon (1807-1858). The 50 hand-colored chromolithographs include many varieties of flowers grouped as bunches, which was a signature artistic method of Loudon’s.

This volume was contributed for digitization by Smithsonian Libraries for inclusion in Biodiversity Heritage Library. Explore more of Jane Loudon’s works in BHL.


Varieties of Chrysanthemum indicum



Plate 86: Beardtongues
1. Gentian-like Penstemon (Penstemon gentianoides)
2. Slender Penstemon (Penstemon gracilis)
3. Smooth Penstemon (Penstemon laevigatus)
4. Bell-flowered Penstemon (Penstemon campanulatus)


Plate 95: Irises
1. Chalcedonian Iris (Iris susiana)
2. Florentine Iris (Iris germanica)
3. Nepal Iris (Iris germanica)
4. Savannah Iris (Iris tridentata)
5. Dwarf Iris (Iris verna)


Plate 63: Bellflowers
1. Campanula medium
2. Campanula alpina
3. Campanula alliariifolia
4. Campanula barbata
5. Campanula sarmatica
6. Campanula punctata

Wouldn’t these look great hanging on a wall? You can download high resolution versions of these illustrations, along with many others, from Biodiversity Heritage Library! Learn more here.

In Focus: Catesby’s Natural History

Catesby's Natural History1st Ed., Vol. 1 (1731)

I am starting a new feature for 2018 called #HSAinFocus. In this series, I will select one particular scientific work to highlight across social media. To kick things off, I thought I would begin with one of my favorite works that was inspiration for creating HistSciArt.

Mark Catesby was an English naturalist, scientist, and scientific artist whose multi-volume series, The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands was the first scientific work documenting the flora and fauna of North America. Volume 1 from the first edition was created over the period of 1729 to 1732, and this particular volume was digitized by Smithsonian Libraries for inclusion in Biodiversity Heritage Library. This volume covers many of the birds and plants that Catesby saw, including the now extinct Carolina Parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis) with a Swamp Cypress (Taxodium distichum) shown below.

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Carolina Parakeet with a Swamp Cypress

The header illustration features a Blue Grosbeak (Passerina caerulea) with a Sweet Bay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana). Read more about digitizing Catesby’s remarkable works on Biodiversity Heritage Library’s blog, as well as another post about the taxonomy additions to BHL’s Flickr albums. I was able to add taxonomy to these images with the published research found in The Curious Mister Catesby (2015). You can also read about Catesby’s SciArt Methodology here.

Sunday Garden: Reichenbachia


This week’s #HSASundayGarden features Reichenbachia, Vol. 1 (2nd Series, 1891) by orchidologist Frederick Sander with SciArt by Henry George Moon and others. The header illustration features Miltoniopsis vexillaria. Explore all 43 illustrations from this stunning work in Biodiversity Heritage Library‘s Flickr album. Thanks to the Peter H. Raven Library of the Missouri Botanical Garden for digitizing this book!


Disa uniflora by Henry George Moon.




Oncidium candelabrum by Henry George Moon

Wouldn’t these look great hanging on a wall? You can download high resolution versions of these illustrations, along with many others, from Biodiversity Heritage Library! Learn more here.

Cécile Pfulb-Kastner

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Cécile Pfulb-Kastner was a French botanical artist and lithographer who illustrated Volume 1 (1906) and Volume 2 (1908) of Nouvelle Flore Coloriée de Poche des Alpes et des Pyrénées by Charles Flahault (1852-1935).

Naming conventions for the 19th and 20th centuries often did not include the first names of French women in publications, but instead they were identified by their titles, Mademoiselle (Mlle) and Madame (Mme). Note the changes in Pfulb-Kastner’s name from Volume 1 to Volume 2. These naming conventions, along with the cultural taboo of women working during this time, make researching early women in science a challenge. Pfulb-Kastner is no exception, and so far, I have only found mention of her in bibliographies of the works mentioned above. For example, this entry is from Bibliographisches Bulletin der Schweizerischen Landes-Bibliothek, Volume 8 (1908).

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Google Books is a great resource for full text searching of out-of-copyright works that they have digitized. Another search under her married name came up with her listed as a member of the National Horticulture Society of France as of January 1, 1909.Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 9.26.45 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-03-12 at 9.24.00 PM.png

Based on the key, she is listed as an “Officier d’Académie” and a “dessinateur-lithographie pour la botanique”, which is roughly translated as an Academy Officer and botanical lithographer.

Explore Cécile Pfulb-Kastner’s botanical art in the Flicker account and catalogue of Biodiversity Heritage Library.