The word florilegium is a modern Latin word, now widely used to denote a gathering of flowers or, as William Stearn spoke of the florilegium - “a book consisting largely or entirely of pictures of flowers” For some 2,000 years man has been illustrating plants to aid the identification of medically useful plants.
Some of the most highly regarded books have been florilegia and a golden age, between 1750-1850, resulted in the great publications illustrated by Ferdinand Bauer, Georg Dionysius Ehret and Joseph Pierre Redouté
In the Twenty First Century the illustrated and handsomely produced Highgrove Florilegium was published by Addison in 2008. Six years ago work commenced on another florilegium. Using the talents of some of the finest contemporary artists, the process of recording the flora of Transylvania, the area of Romania that is famous for the richness and diversity of its plant life, began with the visit of the first group of eight botanical artists.
Each volume of The Transylvanian Florilegium measures 19½ x 14 x 2 inches. (495 x 355 x 50mm) The proportions are the same as for The Highgrove Florilegium but the Transylvania books are smaller.
In addition to the prints of the watercolours there are introductions to The Transylvania Florilegium by Christopher Mills, formerly Librarian at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Dr John Akeroyd FLS. Dr Akeroyd has also written an informative text for each plant including scientific botanical details as well as recording where and when the illustrated material was found.
The watercolours for Volume I have been received and will be printed this year. The last paintings for Volume II are in progress and will be printed next year.
Each book is individually made up so a special dedication page can be added.
Specially commissioned drawings by Richard Shirley Smith decorate the text and the end papers. The decorative motifs include plants, animals, insects and buildings found in Transylvania
The Transylvania Florilegium images: Copyright A. G. Garrick Ltd.