KATHRYN MARTIN

‘Flora Londinensis, or, Plates and descriptions of such plants as grow wild in the environs of London’ began with William Curtis' humble yet grand idea to document all of the species of flora in London and its ten mile radius. Inspired by the natural bounty of Lambeth Marsh, the descriptions of the plants included hand coloured copperplate prints by botanical artists such as James Sowerby, Sydenham Edwards and William Kilburn. The first volume of Flora Londinensis was produced in 1777 and the final one, containing a title and an index, was published in 1798. Unfortunately the collection was not very profitable, gardeners were not interested in 'weeds', they wanted to see garden flowers. Because gardeners were more affluent than botanists at the time, he discontinued his work on this publication and began work on the Botanical Magazine. The immediate success of the Botanical Magazine prompted Curtis to say that while Flora garnered him 'praise', Botanical Magazine earned him 'pudding'.

PTO