This article on Nature journals or “florilegia” is worth reading. Check out Ivy’s blog. An excellent author and editor, her posts are always enlightening.
Florilegium is a modern Latin term for a type of book composed of a collection of flowers, either literal drawings and descriptions of real flowers, or, metaphorically, a collection of the flowers of literature. We’ll explore the second type of book in another post, but for now let’s think about the florilegia created as botanical records.
Florilegia as literal collections of flowers emerged as a genre in the 1400s, with a few earlier works of a similar nature. Herbals were books devoted to the description of plants used for cooking or healing, and florilegia were devoted to ornamental plants and flowers. Botanical illustration as an art form rose in popularity as the interest in documenting plants increased, along with the ability to collect and distribute information.
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