November 28, 2011

Victoria Amazonica

I stumbled on these incredible botanical illustrations of Amazon Lilies recently and can’t stop looking at them. It’s difficult to tell from the pictures, but the pads of these lilies are enormous and covered in extremely sharp spines – nothing like the quaint lily pads you see floating on ponds in most gardens. I have witnessed these amazing things first-hand at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, where they have their own enclosed pond that I recommend you visit if you get the chance.

The first image is a beautiful example of my favourite type of botanical drawing, with the cross sections and individual parts shown in separate diagrams – they’re so much more appealing to me than a simple image of the specimen as a whole. I think maybe I respond to them so much because they occupy a particular space in the scientific world that photography never can, and because they reflect mankind’s profound desire to not only appreciate these beautiful things, but to explore and understand them. I can’t wait to do a more thorough rendition of an Amanita muscaria mushroom in this style, which hopefully might happen next mushroom season.

The first four of these images came from the NYPL Digital Library, and I found the last two in the exhaustive collection of images from Curtis’s Botanical Magazine on Wikimedia Commons. Enjoy.

Victoria_Regia._(Analyses)_(1851) Victoria_Regia._(Opening_flower)_(1851)  Victoria_Regia._(Expanded_flower)_(1851)





Captain I said...

this is really fuckin with my head, just caught in some loop and can almost taste the real, shit missed it again...

Lorenzo said...

Those are some great images of the Victoria water lilies. It should be noted that they are annuals and bloom at night.

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