Trees by Julia Ellen Rogers

It’s fun to find trees I talk about on school field trips in botanical print books. I’m highlighting Julia Ellen Rogers book about trees published in 1926 today. The book includes 48 color illustrations and I’ve picked four favorites. The digital version of the book is available from Internet Archive here.

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The black walnuts that are easy to find at the Howard County Conservancy’s Mt Pleasant Farm and Belmont locations. The summer campers find the immature nuts that look like green tennis balls; in the fall field trips the nuts live up to their name – the outer husk becomes a gooey black mess; in the spring we find the nuts the squirrels have eating – like oval works of abstract art.

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The horse chestnut is something I point out when it’s in bloom – during spring time. It is easy to spot at the end of the tree lined road up to the Manor House at Belmont – it is the last tree.  The leaf pattern is interesting as well.

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The sycamores at Belmont are along the drive and into the forest that surrounds Belmont. They are very large trees – hard to miss in the winter because their branches look so white. They also have seed balls that are fuzzy.

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We often ask the children to look at the seed balls for sycamores and sweet gum trees…to describe how they are the same/different. Sweet gum balls are something the students recognized because the trees were planted in many Columbia developments as yard trees (the seeds are spikey but the tree itself is beautiful – nice shade and turns red in the fall).

Simple Botanical Drawings

Draw 50 Flowers, Trees, and other Plants by Lee J. Ames with P. Lee Ames. Available from Internet Archive here.

The drawing diagrams in this book are not at the level of botanical prints but they are a start toward producing plant drawings. If I wanted to create botanical prints, I would quickly graduate to drawing from fresh plant models. For now, I am taking a different direction - using the instruction diagrams as starters for upcoming Zentangles where it is OK for the drawing to not look realistic in the end!

My two favorites are the instructional pages for producing drawings of Skunk Cabbage and a Calla Lilly. These are the one I’ll experiment with first.

2009 Galleries

Rather than creating a page for the 2009 botanical eBooks, I'm including them in a blog post. There are 173 of them in all and the didn't start until April. Enjoy!










Marianne North

The Marianne North Gallery at Kew Royal Botanical Gardens displays 833 of her paintings displayed in geographical order, which she hung after traveling around the world. She built the gallery and it opened in 1882.

The next best thing to visiting the physical gallery, it to view the online gallery which is organized so that it can be browse by country, plant group, or category. I chose to view each of the ‘plant groups’ as a ‘book’ and then the landscapes it two parts.  Some sample images are below; there are many more in the online gallery. Her paintings are of plants in their natural setting rather than traditional Victorian prints.


Eduard Regel started the illustrated botanical magazine Gartenflora in 1852. He served at its editor until 1885 but it continued to be published until 1940. Internet Archive has over 50 of them available (link to the list here). The text is in German…but the illustrations are the draw for me anyway. I’ve include a sample image from each of magazine’s I looked at back in 2013.

Paxton’s Magazine of Botany

The Internet Archive has 10+ issues of Paxton’s Magazine of Botany and Register of Flowering Plants published from the mid-1830s into the 1840s. Sir Joseph Paxton was the publisher; he is also known for cultivating Cavendish bananas and designing the Crystal Palace for the Great Exhibition of 1851. The list of links for the volumes available can be found here. Beyond the botanical prints, the issues also are good examples of what was happening with plants during that time. I enjoyed them back in 2013 and include a sample image from the volumes here.

Asa Gray and Trees

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The plates from Asa Gray’s Forest Trees of North America are among my favorite botanical prints. They were produced in the mid-1800s for a report and are works of art. They appeal to me for their beauty and their true-to-life accuracy. Most of them are trees I know and appreciate in Maryland….although the last one in the volume – labelled as a ‘dogwood’ is not the tree that we commonly have in our area by that name. I looked it up on Wikipedia with the genus/species name and found that its common name is green osier, alternate-leaved dogwood, and pagoda dogwood…and it isn’t native to the part of Maryland where I live; it does grow in far western Maryland, however.