An Artistic Voyage through Plant Exploration

Flora: The Art of Plant Exploration cover

Sandra Knapp

Flora is an enchanting voyage of discovery through the history of some of our key garden plants.

August 2014
249 x 235 mm
336 pp
Natural History Museum


Lavishly illustrated throughout with botanical art from the unique collections of the Natural History Museum, Flora tells a story not only of science but also of adventure and human achievement.

Throughout history plants have affected humanity in many ways and, on occasion, even helped shape societies. Using exquisite botanical paintings as its starting point, Flora examines the fascinating history of twenty plants including such favourites as cacti, daffodils, irises, magnolias, poppies, roses, tulips and waterlilies. 

Sandra Knapp’s text weaves scientific, historic, cultural and artistic threads into a rich fabric of plant lore and tells the remarkable stories of the adventurous botanist explorers who braved disease, slave traders, war, jungles and assorted dangers to collect plants now commonly grown in our gardens. 

With the aid of striking illustrations, Flora considers the compelling link between botanical art and the exploration of plant form and function, thus allowing us to appreciate and enjoy them all the more.

Coming to our online shop in August 2014.

See inside

Look inside this book to get an idea of its content.

Pages from Flora

Pages from Flora.

Pages from Flora

Pages from Flora.

Pages from Flora

Pages from Flora.

Pages from Flora

Pages from Flora.

About the author

Sandra Knapp is an internationally respected botanist and an expert in the taxonomy and phylogeny of the nightshade family. 

She is the author of several books on botany and natural history, including The Gilded Canopy and Alfred Russel Wallace in the Amazon, and is actively involved in improving the public’s engagement with science.


Find out what others think of this book.

"Potted Histories is a lovely book charting the histories of plants as recorded by botanical paintings and essays. A great winter read."

Garden Answers

"...An entrancing and informative book."