Exotic Flora, containing figures and descriptions of new, rare, or otherwise interesting exotic plants, especially of such as are deserving of being cultivated in our gardens; together with remarks upon their generic and specific characters, natural orders, history, culture, time of flowering, &c. William Jackson HOOKER.
Exotic Flora, containing figures and descriptions of new, rare, or otherwise interesting exotic plants, especially of such as are deserving of being cultivated in our gardens; together with remarks upon their generic and specific characters, natural orders, history, culture, time of flowering, &c.
Exotic Flora, containing figures and descriptions of new, rare, or otherwise interesting exotic plants, especially of such as are deserving of being cultivated in our gardens; together with remarks upon their generic and specific characters, natural orders, history, culture, time of flowering, &c.
Exotic Flora, containing figures and descriptions of new, rare, or otherwise interesting exotic plants, especially of such as are deserving of being cultivated in our gardens; together with remarks upon their generic and specific characters, natural orders, history, culture, time of flowering, &c.
Exotic Flora, containing figures and descriptions of new, rare, or otherwise interesting exotic plants, especially of such as are deserving of being cultivated in our gardens; together with remarks upon their generic and specific characters, natural orders, history, culture, time of flowering, &c.
Exotic Flora, containing figures and descriptions of new, rare, or otherwise interesting exotic plants, especially of such as are deserving of being cultivated in our gardens; together with remarks upon their generic and specific characters, natural orders, history, culture, time of flowering, &c.
Exotic Flora, containing figures and descriptions of new, rare, or otherwise interesting exotic plants, especially of such as are deserving of being cultivated in our gardens; together with remarks upon their generic and specific characters, natural orders, history, culture, time of flowering, &c.

Exotic Flora, containing figures and descriptions of new, rare, or otherwise interesting exotic plants…
Exotic Flora, containing figures and descriptions of new, rare, or otherwise interesting exotic plants, especially of such as are deserving of being cultivated in our gardens; together with remarks upon their generic and specific characters, natural orders, history, culture, time of flowering, &c.

Edinburgh & London: Blackwood and Cadell, 1823-1827.

Three volumes, tall octavo, in total 233 hand-coloured engraved plates, many double-page or folding; a lovely set in full straight-grain dark red morocco, spines panelled in gilt, sides ornately bordered in gilt and blind, all edges gilt.

With 233 beautifully coloured plates: many Australian species

A very fine and attractively bound copy of the first and only edition of one of Hooker's rarest and most beautifully illustrated works; an important work, it includes specimens from Australia described by Robert Brown, colonial botanist Charles Fraser, and Allan Cunningham. A particularly notable inclusion is the Banksia verticillata (no. 96) from western Australia, first noticed at King George Sound by Archibald Menzies on the Vancouver voyage "and brought by him to our gardens in 1794"; this banksia, now considered vulnerable, was later codified by Robert Brown when he returned to the region. The very last plant noticed in this work is the Fieldia australis, named by Cunningham for Barron Field, but first detected by George Caley. Quite apart from the specimens collected by official botanists, there is also the very curious entry for Galega tricolor, sent to Hooker from the Liverpool Botanic Garden in July 1825, "as a supposed Galega from the north-west coast of New Holland, whence the seeds were introduced by Thomas Balls, Esq. of Liverpool."

A very fine and attractively bound copy of the first and only edition of one of Hooker's rarest and most beautifully illustrated works; an important work, it includes specimens from Australia described by Robert Brown, colonial botanist Charles Fraser, and Allan Cunningham. A particularly notable inclusion is the Banksia verticillata (no. 96) from western Australia, first noticed at King George Sound by Archibald Menzies on the Vancouver voyage "and brought by him to our gardens in 1794"; this banksia, now considered vulnerable, was later codified by Robert Brown when he returned to the region. The very last plant noticed in this work is the Fieldia australis, named by Cunningham for Barron Field, but first detected by George Caley. Quite apart from the specimens collected by official botanists, there is also the very curious entry for Galega tricolor, sent to Hooker from the Liverpool Botanic Garden in July 1825, "as a supposed Galega from the north-west coast of New Holland, whence the seeds were introduced by Thomas Balls, Esq. of Liverpool."

"This important work reflects the extent of active plant introduction into Great Britain, and Hooker's part in it. Many of the plates represent new species, the notes give interesting details, often including the history of the introduction of the plants" (Margadant. Hooker, 6)

Sir William Jackson Hooker (1785-1865) was one of the great botanists, professor at Glasgow University and later appointed director of Kew in 1841. This beautifully illustrated work is certainly his most important, a detailed botanical study in the tradition of similar works by Sir James Edward Smith, notably the Exotic Botany of 1804-5. A significant number of the plants noticed here are Australian, with eleven species given detailed notice, several illustrated for the first time. 'By the early 1820s plants collected by Charles Fraser and Allan Cunningham in Australia were becoming established for horticulture and coming to Hooker's attention. Hooker treated some of these in his Exotic Flora' (Hewson, Australia. 300 Years of Botanical Illustration, p. 91).

Hooker's magnum opus is also an interesting example of the close community of botanical scholars in Europe, and is replete with continuous reference to the work of, to cite only a few of the better known names, Humboldt, Bonpland, Sir James Edward Smith, Labillardière and of course Sir Joseph Banks. Indeed, it is particularly interesting to note Hooker's detailed observations on the relationship between Australian plants, by this time becoming better known, and the newer species from Asia and the Indian Ocean: regarding the native of Zanzibar Aneilema longifolia (204), for example, Hooker discusses this as the first specimen of the species not recorded as native to New Holland.

The work is also particularly good on the flowers of the Americas and the West Indies, including at least one specimen known to have been collected by William Bligh in the West Indies (33). In this context, two of the most interesting inclusions are the Californian specimens Abronia arenaria (193) and Abronia umbellata (194), grown in Paris from seeds collected by Colignon, gardener on the La Pérouse voyage. The latter, notes Hooker, has been described by Sir James Edward Smith as "perhaps the only fruit of La Peyrouse's unfortunate expedition…".

The fine hand coloured engravings were drawn by Greville, Guilding, Lindley and Menzies, and engraved by J. Swann.

Provenance: John Amory Lowell (armorial bookplate of the Boston Brahmin businessman, fellow of Harvard College, and founder of the philanthropic Lowell Institute).

Nissen BBI, 920; Sitwell and Blunt, 'Great Flower Books', p. 60.

Condition Report: A few age spots throughout otherwise very good.

Price (AUD): $32,000.00

US$23,198.76   Other currencies

Ref: #4505238

Condition Report