Botanical archive charts significance of plants

Botanical artPeople down the ages have always loved beautiful flowers, but the focus of plants’ importance has changed over the years, writes Ros Dodd. Once they were prized for their medicinal and culinary qualities rather than their looks; today we cultivate them more for decorative purposes, as well as to attract waning wildlife back into our gardens.

Art has charted our relationship with plants and flowers, and the Cadbury Research Library houses an impressive collection, showing the development and evolution of botanical illustration from its earliest days in the 15th-century to 20th-century interpretations.