anatomy of a rose . . .

Eighteenth century educational content here, sans actual text. Petals, seed pods, leaves, stalks and thorns . . . I so admire these old botanical illustrations, and you might ask “what is a botanical illustration?” It is the pre-photographic era of scientific documenting of flora, centuries ago taken very seriously in the life sciences, and the artists were scientists by trade. Can you imagine living in the Eighteenth Century and observing things in the world around you such as a rose, only by a tactile context, as from the actual wild, or in the garden? Maybe you might once in rare occasion see some illustrations in a book in a library, or if a person of privilege, you might actually own such a botanical book. But I find most curious and illuminating are the cut-views; just look at this illustration of the spiral fibrous cells of the stalks! Fiber made from the stalks of roses, by the way, happens to be readily available now as roving for spinning, but that is a subject for another day!

See all posts in this series.

7 thoughts on “anatomy of a rose . . .

  1. These are beautiful drawings. I think the art of getting fiber out of plants for knitting or weaving purposes is an amazing thing. You have to wonder what it was that drove people to discover and use such things.

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