Botanical art worldwide

Making your plant choice

It can be a daunting prospect deciding on which native plant species to depict for the exhibition.  After all there are over 1500 truly native and archaeophyte vascular plant species in the UK.

To date there have been 70 plant species chosen by botanical artists to initially submit for this exhibition.  These may include several choices (up to 3) for individual artists, but it is expected that not all of these will be painted, as we know that availability and accessibility to subject matter can be a challenge at times.

Myself and Martin Allen have been advising artists on plant species choice and we have also created a UK Native Plants page  for the ABBA website.  Combined with the Online Atlas for British and Irish Flora , this has proved to be a valuable resource for botanical artists in the initial lead-up to preparing for the exhibition.

Due to the exhaustive list of plant species available to artists, it has not been practical to issue this as a whole and that is why we have recommended artists use the online flora as a guide for checking the native status of their chosen plant species.

There have been a wide range of choices made, from woody species, through to common, popular and iconic plants and also some rarer plant species.

If you are thinking of making an initial submission for the exhibition and are concerned that ‘all of the plant species have gone’, rest assured, there are still many to illustrate.

To offer some suggestions and to spur on your enthusiasm, we have listed some plant species from three different habitat categories below. The plant species listed are also those that have not already been chosen by other artists.

Have fun making your choices, if you haven’t already.  If you would like more information about the call for entries for the exhibition, do have a look on the Call for Entries page on the website.

A selection of plants from a heathland habitatHeathland plants

A selection of plants from an arable habitatarable plants

A selection of plants from a freshwater habitatFreshwater plants

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