sydenham edwards


1) Iris germanica (German Iris), Iris versicolor (Various-coloured Iris), Iris      variegata (Variegated Iris)

2) Kalmia glauca (Glaucous Kalmia), Linum arboreum (Tree Flax)

3) Helianthus multiflorus (Perennial Sun-flower), Hedysarum obscurum (Creeping-rooted Hedysarum)

4) Lavatera trimestris (Annual Lavatera), Lathyrus sativus (Blue-flowered Lathyrus)

5) Lychnis Chalcedonica (Scarlet Lychnis), Leucojum vernum (Spring Snow-flake), Lysimachia nummularia (Creeping Moneywort)

6) Lobelia Cardinalis (Scarlet Lobelia), Lilium Candidum (White Lily)

7) Mirabilis jalapa (Marvel of Peru), Mimosa sensitiva (Sensitive Plant), Monarda didyma (Scarlet Monarda)

8) Nigella Damascena (Love-in-a-mist), Narcissus Jonquilla (Jonquil)

9) Nelumbium speciosum (Chinese Water Lily), Nolana prostrata (Trailing Nolana)

10) Oenothera fruticosa (Shrubby Oenothera ), Origanum dictamnus (Dittany of Crete)

Illustrations taken from ‘The New Flora Britannica’ (Vol 2) by Sydenham Edwards. Published 1812.

McGill University Library.


Flora Londinensis, or, Plates and descriptions of such plants as grow wild in the environs of London

with their places of growth, and times of flowering, their several names according to Linnæus and other authors : with a particular description of each plant in Latin and English : to which are added, their several uses in medicine, agriculture, rural œconomy and other arts /
By Curtis, William, 1746-1799
Darton, William, 1755-1819
Edwards, Sydenham, 1768-1819
Kilburn, William, 1745-1818
Sansom, Francis, acti-e 17
Sowerby, James, 1757-1822
White, Benjamin, acti-e 17
White, Benjamin, 1879-
Publication info London :Printed for and sold by the author … and B. White,1777.
Contributor: Smithsonian Libraries
Sponsor: Biodiversity Heritage Library
18th century , Botanical illustration , Botany , Early works to 1800 , England , Engravings , Herbals , London


Apparently it’s National Gardening Week! Celebrate with these images from our library of the 1807 work A Complete Dictionary of Practical Gardening, illustrated by Sydenham Edwards. If you are interested in…

“Comprehending all the modern improvements in the art; whether in the raising of the various esculent* vegetables, or in the forcing and managing of different sort of fruits and plants, and that of laying out, ornamenting and planting gardens and pleasure grounds”

…then this is the only book for you!

(via @Amgueddfa_Lib on Twitter)

*adj. Fit to be eaten; edible.


Flowers Of The Woods
van E. J. Salisbury
Publisher: Penguin Books Limited
Edition: fitst edition
First Edition; Published Date: 1946
Illustrations: James Sowerby, Sydenham Edwards and William Kilburn.

Flora Londinensis

Tussen 1777 tot 1791 publiceerde William Curtis zijn meesterwerk de Flora Londinensis. Een prachtig boek vol beschrijvingen en handgekleurde kopergravures van de planten die binnen een straal van 10 Engelse mijl rond London groeiden en bloeiden. Levendige gravures vervaardigd door de beste botanische illustratoren uit die tijd: James Sowerby, Sydenham Edwards and William Kilburn.

Door tegenvallende opbrengsten, werden er uiteindelijk niet meer dan 300 exemplaren van het folio met 432 botanische meesterwerken uitgegeven, waardoor er heden ten dage nog maar een paar complete exemplaren zijn. En die zijn onbetaalbaar! Helaas.

Flowers of the woods

Maar wat wil het feit, sta ik laatst in de kringloop winkel en wat zie ik daar weggemoffeld tussen de de oude boeken? U gelooft het niet…
Tussen het leergekafte tweedehands leesvoer staat daar gewoon voor het grijpen ‘FLOWERS OF THE WOODS’ een boekje uit 1946 door E. J. Salisbury. Een eerste editie nog wel.

Nu is ‘flowers of the woods’ natuurlijk geen ‘Flora Londinensis’. Dat dan weer niet. Maar in het boekje uit 1946 zijn wel 24 verkleinde reproducties uit de Flora Londinensis opgenomen. En hoewel die het niet halen bij het origineel zijn ze nog steeds meer dan overtuigend. Kijk zelf maar.


1) American Globe Flower, Greater Nasturtium

2) Madagascar Periwinkle, Laurustinus

3) Red Valerian, Siberian Speedwell

4) Lobe-leaved Meadow Sweet, Iris-leaved Sisyrinchium

5) Sweet Scabious, Bell-flowered Squill

6) Lilac, Yellow Sarracena

7) Canada Puccoon, Oval-leaved Saxifrage

8) Purple Rudbeckia, Single Yellow Rose

9) Syringa or Mock Orange, Blue Greek Valerian

10) Panicled Lychnidea, Box-leaved Milkwort, Winter Cherry.

Illustrations taken from ‘The New Flora Britannica’ (Vol 2) by Sydenham Edwards. Published 1812.

McGill University Library.



1) Square-stalked Justicia

2) Strapped Passion-flower

3) Dwarf Yellow Monkey-flower

4) Mexican Argemone (pale yellow variety)

5) Various-leafed Collomia

6) Chilean Geum (large-flowered variety)

7) Purple-flowered Currant

8) Shewy Phlox

9) Purple Mallow

10) Copper-coloured Highclere Azalea

Illustrations taken from Edward’s Botanical Register by Sydenham Edwards, John Lindley.

Published 1829-1847 by James Ridgway.

New York Botanical Garden, LuEsther T. Mertz Library.


1) Malva

2) Shewy Cleome

3) Necklace-stemmed Dendrobium

4) Long-horned Dendrobium

5) Whitish-leaved Acacia

6) Scarlet Grevillea

7) Tuberous Pachypodium

8) New Holland Cassia

9) Succulent Milk Vetch

10) Laurel-leaved Custard Apple

Illustrations taken from Edward’s Botanical Register by Sydenham Edwards, John Lindley.

Published 1829-1847 by James Ridgway.

New York Botanical Garden, LuEsther T. Mertz Library.


Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis 

This North American native perennial blooms August through September on tall 3-4’ tall spikes. A member of the bellflower family (Campanulaceae), it grows best in part shade here in the south and thrives in wet soil, making it a good selection for naturalizing along stream beds and creeks. Because the leaves and fruit are poisonous (it contains alkaloids similar to those found in nicotine), it is not bothered by deer or rabbits, allowing it to grow and bloom freely in a woodland setting. The long red tubular flowers rely on hummingbirds for pollination, but it also attracts butterflies. Combine it with other wildflowers, perennials, and native plants for use in a wildlife habitat.  

The genus, Lobelia, was  named after the Flemish botanist, Matthias de L'Obel (1538-1616), and its species name cardinalis (Latin: “of a cardinal”) refers to the scarlet color of the cardinal bird. 

Whence is yonder flower so strangely bright?

  Would the sunset’s last reflected shine

Flame so red from that dead flush of light?

  Dark with passion is its lifted line,

Hot, alive, amid the falling night.

Dora Read Goodale—Cardinal Flower.

Illustration: Sydenham Edwards (1817)