Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Endeavour Botanical Illustrations

Melaleuca quinquenerva from the Myrtaceae family

For some reason that was one of the few botanical names to stick in my mind from undergraduate biology. It has five leaf veins.

Banksia serrata from the Proteaceae family

The voyage of HMS Endeavour took place between 1768 & 1771. It was arranged as a purely scientific undertaking. The Endeavour Botanical Illustrations is an exhibition at the British Natural History Museum and covers the South Pacific, New Zealand, Australia and parts of South America. The complete printing of the illustrations and engravings didn't finally occur until the 1980s - it took botanist Sir Joseph Banks 11 years of preparation in the 18th century and then another 10 years of modern processing to complete the task. They were ultimately published in a limited edition 3-volume set.

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