Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Plant Anatomy Charts

The vast majority of these illustration plates are
from a plant systematics wall chart series - the 
Dodel-Port Atlas - released between 1878 & 1883
"Living nature is the best teacher and pedagogue; an artistic medium of representation tries to replace nature and this can be possible in practice only if the images are true to natural objects. [..]

We had in mind not only the needs of Hochschule, but also those of the Mittelschule. Pupils of different age mainly have been served badly in regard to schematic representations of all kinds, so that it is actually difficult for them to gain a correct underestanding of natural living things... Accordingly, the 'Anatomisch physiologische Atlas der Botanik' will be designed to be used at every level of botanical teaching and in every branch of botanical knowledge. [..]

Natural, scientifically reliable wall charts can replace a natural object in classroom teaching and in lectures; they are more enlightening than the spoken word." [Arnold and Carolina Dodel-Port, 1883]

Stigma and Pollen Tubes of Lilium martagon
Stigma and pollen Tubes of Lilium martagon
Martagon or Turk's cap lily


microscopic views of volvox algae species in educational poster
Volvox minor

Volvox globator
Volvox globator
"This shows the freshwater green alga Volvox globator. Many individual cells live together forming a beautiful spherical colony. Some of them are specialized for reproduction."^


The flask-shaped female organ in lower order plants (mosses for instance)^ containing the ovum or female gamete at its base. I presume this illustration series shows fertilisation occurring.

scientific educational chart of fungi (via
Endocarpon pusillum
(Hedwig lichen^)

Cosmarium botrytis (Menegh)
Cosmarium botrytis
(see: Algaebase)

Polysiphonia subulata
Polysiphonia subulata
(red algae genus^; species name is likely deprecated)

illustrated views of microscopic filamentous algae
Oedogonium diplandrum
(near-microscopic filamentous algae [Algalweb])

Selaginella helvetica (after Pteridophyta before Gymnosperms)
Selaginella helvetica 
(after Pteridophyta before Gymnosperms
- spikemosses^)

Prothallus (Gametophyte)
Prothallus (Gametophyte)
Aspidium species
(wood fern)

Aspidium - prothallium
Prothallus (Gametophyte)
Aspidium species
(wood fern)
The Dodel-Ports' schematics were far superior as teaching aids versus a contemporary wall chart of the same species, immediately above. {The Dodel-Ports Atlas is noted as a very influential contemporary model for educational chart design}

Aspidium filix Sporangia
Aspidium filix Sporangia
(Wood fern^)

Taxus species anatomy illustration (via europeana)
Taxus baccata
(common Yew tree^)

Stem Tillia sp.
Stem Tillia sp.
(Probably Tilia cordata^ cross section)

Root Transverse Section
Root, transverse Section

Monocot root
Monocot^ root

Iris sibirica II
Iris sibirica

Iris sibirica IV
Iris sibirica

Iris sibirica VI
Iris sibirica^

Flower – Violaceae (Viola tricolor)
Flower – Violaceae (Viola tricolor^)

Elodea canadensis, Gaspary
Elodea canadensis, Gaspary
(Canadian waterweed^)

educational schematic chart of queen sago & Japanese sago palm trees
Cycas circinalis = Queen palm
Cycas revoluta = Japanese sago palm
Cycads are seed plants typically characterized by a stout and woody (ligneous) trunk with a crown of large, hard and stiff, evergreen leaves.

Arnold Dodel (1843-1908) was a Swiss-German botanist who held professorships at Swiss universities where he studied plant reproduction and algal species and he founded a botanical microscopy laboratory at the University of Zurich.

Dodel was a prolific author of popular educational works on plants and an enthusiastic supporter of socialism. He was a regular correspondent with the eminent German biologist-artist, Ernst Haeckel, as well as Charles Darwin. Dodel was an early and vocal advocate for the Theory of Evolution (see).

Dodel married Carolina Port in 1875 and she contributed a large number of the illustrations to the series displayed above. He was subsequently known as Arnold Dodel-Port.

The Dodel-Port Atlas consists of 42 botanical teaching charts published from 1878 to 1893. Two sources were used for the images seen above. Complete sets of the lithographic plates appear to be rare.


Anonymous said...

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
― Lao Tzu

Oh thank you, BibliOdyssey! I am in awe of these magnificent prints. I am so happy the artists did not hurry, and created such beautiful, wonderful works.

arabellaesmerelda said...

Great quote, bowsprite. The colors in some of these charts glow contrasted with the attending black lines. Visually, an enticing mix of biomorphic patterns and a vintage botanical look.

Dea said...

I know these were supposed to be teaching material - but I think they're just beautiful!

DPLblog said...

Awesome. Wow. Thanks for posting these. It makes me ache to split myself and be half outdoors in a wood, and half in my studio, drawing.

Unknown said...

thanks info

lotusgreen said...

Cork is so beautiful!

And the Tillia looks like a Native American weaving.

(and I *love* DPL's comment)

Sun Ira said...

These just slay me, thanks. It reveals a whole world that we are almost entirely unaware of.

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