The Second Project
The Florilegium Society celebrates the Banks and Solander collection
The second project linked the historic Banks and Solander specimens held in the National Herbarium of NSW with the Living Collection of the three Gardens to mark the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s voyage in HMB Endeavour.
This project culminated in an exhibition curated by Colleen Morris, of over 50 recent botanical paintings from the 7th-22nd May 2022, at the Lion Gate Lodge, the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.
The focus was on these historic specimens; drawing attention to the time and place of their collection, their history and inviting reflection on their significance to science, to the Indigenous peoples, to those collecting them and to the Gardens now.
Some of the newly digitised Banks’ and Solander collection images were displayed along with more treasures from the Daniel Solander Library including some of the Banks’ Florilegium plates and his specimen cabinet.
In addition to the exhibition, a beautiful limited edition publication was published by the Florilegium Society with support from the Australian Garden History Society. The 50+ recently gifted paintings were reproduced in full colour and paired with the newly digitised Banks and Solander specimen images. Written by Colleen Morris, each species had its indigenous names and uses where known, a description and quotes from the journals of Joseph Banks, Daniel Solander and artist Sydney Parkinson. It included a preface by Denise Ora, Executive Director, Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands, a foreword by Dr Shirley Sherwood OBE, an introduction to the Florilegium by Beverly Allen and an essay on the Banks collection by Dr Brett Summerell, Director, Research & Chief Botanist, Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands.
Only a small number of the 75 artists who have contributed to the Florilegium since inception are able to visit the three Gardens, but they have given so much of their time and energy and skill to create these important paintings. Their generosity is the foundation of the projects.
Like the scientific accuracy that botanical art adheres to, the richness of the horticultural displays in the Royal Botanic Gardens is underpinned by the tradition of a scientific garden, plant collecting and the educational role that the Gardens encompass as part of our heritage.
For queries regarding the Florilegium please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
On Botanical Illustration page - Image representing 'Florilegium': Kalopanax septemlobus - Artist: Noriko Watanabe
Slider images above - Lambertia formosa - Elaine Musgrave; Banksia marginata - Margaret Pieroni; Isopogon anemonifolius - Mary Anne Mein; Erythina vespertilio - Dianne Sutherland; Hakea gibbosa - Linda Catchlove; Platycerium bifurcatum - Fiona McKinnon; Epacris microphylla - Lesley Elkan; Callistemon viminalis - Leigh Ann Gale; Actinotus helianthi - Beverly Allen and Telmatoblechnum indicum - Halina Steele. All images copyright RBG&DT