Succulents, especially cacti, are the current focus of serious ecological studies but also the darlings of designers and style influencers. Their endearing, characterful looks have given them the status of trendy ‘plant pets’.
But succulentomania is not new. While these plants have always been part of the landscape in the dry vastnesses of the Americas, Australia and Africa, curiosities such as furry-flowered stapeliads and serpentine euphorbias were a source of fascination for early European plant collectors – and in eighteenth-century Bavaria a prosperous apothecary grew an ‘American aloe’ that astounded all who saw it.
This apothecary, Johann Wilhelm Weinmann, was the mastermind behind a groundbreaking book in which he aimed to include thousands of plants from all over the world, describing their individual characteristics and commissioning magnificent colour illustrations of each specimen. The succulents he featured are reproduced here in all their splendour. We may no longer look to them to treat gangrene, manufacture glass or disperse kidney stones, but succulents are proving of great interest to modern medicine and agriculture, and we can marvel at them afresh not only as wonders of nature but also as works of art.
A stunning gift book of magnificent, eighteenth century illustrations of succulents and cacti, viewed not just as wonders of nature but as works of art.
Includes curiosities such as the furry-flowered stapeliads and serpentine euphorbias – a source of fascination for early European plant collectors and modern style influencers alike.
CAROLINE BALL is an editor, copywriter and occasional translator who has written on many subjects, but has a particular interest in horticulture, garden history and plant-hunters. She is a keen gardener and her Heritage Apples won GWG Practical Garden Book of the Year 2020.
- ISBN: 9781851245970
- 144 pages 190 x 150 mm
- 80 colour illustrations
- Published March 2023