Tring museum’s botanic art exhibition is drawing to a close

The Natural History Museum, Tring
The Natural History Museum, Tring

An exhibition at the Natural History Museum in Tring which examines the intricate botanical art created during as explorers mapped the world and its wonders is now in its final few weeks.

The summer-long Blooming Marvellous display opened in May but will shut up shop on Saturday, August 18, so don’t miss out on the chance to have your eyes opened .

From ferns to mosses, pollen to seeds, the Natural History Museum looks after six million plant specimens from all around the world.

But the collections also include an extensive holding of botanical art – watercolours, pen sketches and drawings dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries, when they were created for scientific study rather than for decoration.

Botanical artists were often recruited to accompany early scientific expeditions, recording species never before seen in Europe.

Some worked as merchants, teachers or doctors throughout the British Empire, recording, drawing and painting specimens in their spare time.

Others worked closer to home recording the botanical riches of Britain.

Now you can find out about some of the most eminent and prolific botanical illustrators and see their stunning works of art up close.

They include Sydney Parkinson, who accompanied Captain Cook to the South Pacific and produced 1,000 drawings of plants on the voyage, sadly dying before he could return home.

The museum’s Anna Griffiths said: “Blooming Marvellous reveals how scientists have interpreted, understood and explained the natural world through art and images across nearly 400 years.”

The exhbition at the Akeman Street museum is free and opening hours are 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and 2pm to 5pm on Sunday. Visit