Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia


Art & illustration


A spectacular exhibition of contemporary botanical art featuring Australia’s finest botanical and natural science artists. >> More.

Botanical Illustration

Botanical illustration provides detailed and scientifically accurate illustrations of new and renamed plant species to complement taxonomic descriptions. Entire scientific ‘plates’ may include the plant’s habit (growth form), details of reproductive structures, and other features relevant to its identification. Often such features can be microscopic. The illustrations are made from either pressed or living plants - collected from the the Botanic Gardens or from the wild.

Margaret Flockton Award

Botanical illustrators have been associated with research in the National Herbarium of NSW since its opening in 1901. One notable past illustrator was Margaret Flockton. Margaret Flockton was the first and most long-serving botanical illustrator at the Botanic Garden.

Botanical illustrators can are invited to submit works of black & white scientific botanical illustration for the prestigious Margaret Flockton Award. The Margaret Flockton Award for Scientific Botanical Illustration commemorates her contribution to Australian scientific botanical art. The Margaret Flockton Award is open to Australian and overseas artists producing scientific botanical illustrations of a high standard. The judges select works for inclusion in the Margaret Flockton Award Exhibition to be held at the Red Box Gallery in the National Herbarium of New South Wales.

Artist in Residence program

In keeping with the ongoing use of the Gardens by artists since European settlement and before, the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust offers an annual Artist in Residence Program which allows artists to work in and be inspired by the Royal Botanic Garden and its collections. The program is offered to a practicing artist who has a demonstrated history of producing work of a high standard for exhibition and whose residency will contribute to the Trust’s programs. Currently the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust is not offering an Artist in Residence program. Following a review process, we plan to relaunch the program for our bicentenary celebrations in 2016.

Botanical Art & Scientific Illustration courses

For hundreds of years scientific plant drawings have aided the visual identification of plants for both the botanist and plant enthusiast. However, in the hands of a talented botanical artist, illustrations go beyond accuracy and precision and become works of art in their own right.

Do you love botanical art and want to learn to draw from nature? Be inspired by the natural beauty of the Gardens and join an art class? Under the guidance of award-winning professionals, the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust has a range of art and illustration courses and classes to suit every level of interest, availability and expertise - see the events calendar for the Royal Botanic Garden, the events calendar for the Australian Botanic Garden (enquiries phone 4634 7903), and the events calendar for the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden (enquiries phone 4567 3012). 

The Foundation & Friends of the Botanic Gardens offers an art school program for classes in botanical painting and drawing for artists with some experience wishing to improve their skills and a general class for artists with some experience covering acrylic still life painting. While the subject matter is predominantly plants, similar techniques are used to illustrate animals. The Foundation & Friends also offers a basketry program.

Florilegium Society

The Florilegium Society at the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney was formed to create a collection of paintings of the significant plants growing in the estates of the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust. The original paintings and the copyright will be gifted to the Trust by the artists of the Society.

Botanica & Artisans exhibitions

Botanica is the Foundation & Friends' annual botanical art exhibition, known for the high quality of work shown, attracting buyers from around Australia and overseas. Artisans in the Gardens is the Foundation & Friends' annual exhibition of superbly crafted work in a variety of media, on themes of plants and nature. Works include collectables such as textiles, glass, ceramics, and jewellery; sculptures, mosaics and more for the garden. For information on these annual exhibitions go to Foundation & Friends' Special Events




Prostanthera-stenophylla-by-Catherine Wardrop




Barbara Duckworth
Barbara Duckworth, course tutor (left)

Tulip by Annie Hughes
Botanica 2013: Tulip by Annie Hughes

Acacia pubifolia

Sloanea australis


Charlotte Thodey Persimmon