Plant: Exploring the Botanical WorldPhaidon Editors, with an introduction by James Compton

Price AUD$79.95 | Phaidon 100 Price CAD$79.95 | Phaidon 100 Price £39.95 | Phaidon 100 Price €49.95 | Phaidon 100 Price USD$59.95 | Phaidon 100 Price T59.95 | Phaidon 100

The ultimate gift for gardeners and art-lovers, featuring 300 of the most beautiful and pioneering botanical images ever

Following in the footsteps of the international bestseller Map, Exploring the World, this fresh and visually stunning survey celebrates the extraordinary beauty and diversity of plants. It combines photographs and cutting-edge micrograph scans with watercolours, drawings, and prints to bring this universally popular and captivating subject vividly to life. Carefully selected by an international panel of experts and arranged in a uniquely structured sequence to highlight thought-provoking contrasts and similarities, this stunning compilation of botanically themed images includes iconic work by celebrated artists, photographers, scientists, and botanical illustrators, as well as rare and previously unpublished images.

Advisory panel: Rosie Atkins, Gillian Barlow, Brent Elliott, Celia Fisher, Patricia Jonas, Rob Kesseler, Hans Walter Laack, Gren Lucas, Henry Noltie, Mikinori Ogisu, Pia Östlund, Lynn Parker, Martyn Rix, Charlotte Tancin, Alice Tangerini and Anita Walsmit Sachs

Additional texts: Rosie Atkins, Helen Bynum, Ruth Chivers, James Compton, Tim Cooke, Brent Elliott, Celia Fisher, Carolyn Fry, Patricia Jonas, Rob Kesseler, Hans Walter Lack, Paula McWaters, Pia Östlund, Lynn Parker, Martyn Rix, Julian Shaw, Charlotte Tancin, Alice Tangerini, Guy Tindale, Jacek Wajer and Martin Walters


  • Format: Hardback
  • Size: 290 × 250 mm (11 3/8 × 9 7/8 in)
  • Pages: 352 pp
  • Illustrations: 300 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9780714871486

Phaidon Editors

Dr James Compton is a botanist and plant collector with a special interest in the history and classification of plants. He was a student at Kew, Head Gardener at Chelsea Physic Garden and he wrote his PhD at the University of Reading on the genus Actaea. He is the author, with Chris Lane, of Wisteria: The Complete Guide - The RHS Horticultural Monograph on all species and cultivars of wisteria.

Martyn Rix is a botanist and plant collector who has served as a botanist to The Royal Horticultural Society. He studied botany at Trinity College, Dublin, and did a PhD on Greek and Turkish Fritillaria at Cambridge. He is the editor of Curtis's Botanical Magazine and has authored and edited numerous botanical guides and books.

As featured in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Daily Telegraph, Garden & Gun, Gardens Illustrated, The Guardian, Martha Stewart Living, Natural History Magazine, New Scientist, Newsweek, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Seattle Times, Smithsonian, The Sunday Times, Tatler, The Wall Street Journal, and on Atlas Obscura, BBC Focus, Goop, and mental floss

'The ultimate gift for gardeners and art-lovers.' – Goop

'A breathtaking collection of botanical prints, photos, drawings, and even micrograph scans.' – Martha Stewart Living

'Plant may start on your coffee table, but it won't stay there for long.' – Flower Magazine

'An extraordinary collection.' –  Gardens Illustrated

'I am totally mesmerized by the extraordinary range of artists, scientists and technicians represented. Wonderful and absorbing and loving.' – Edwina von Gal, Landscape Designer

'From the winning cover to the beautiful images inside, Plant is a complete pleasure covering centuries of botanical art. Artist information and provenance is dutifully recorded. Inspiration and imagination is there for the taking. This new book is classic Phaidon and bound to be a bestseller.' – David Whitman, Pergola

'The timeless pleasure of looking at plants: a new illustrated book examines mankind's fascination with making images of plants through the ages... Compton's fascination with what different people have done within the remit of botanical art jumps out of every one of Plant's pages. The variety is astounding.' – The Daily Telegraph

'An inspiring delight and great resource for those who cherish all things botany.' – Emily Thompson, Emily Thompson Flowers

'The side by side juxtapositions of images here are brilliant. The clear pencil drawings of Van Gogh and Ellsworth Kelly my favorites, so delicate, just gorgeous.' – Perry Guillot, Landscape Architect

'My award for sumptuous volume of 2016 has to go to Plant: Exploring the Botanical World, 300 works of botanical art from ancient times to the present in every imaginable medium... The images are thought-provokingly juxtaposed.' – The Sunday Times, Move

'Botanical art of all kinds, from a Minoan fresco of swallows billing among ocher red Lilium chalecondicum, painted circa 1600 B.C., to a hand-colored image from a scanning electron microscope of the seed of an alpine pincushion flower, its plum-colored skirts floating like a ballerina mid-jeté. These are things of beauty, but they have a purpose beyond decoration. Plant's editors [...] don't confine themselves to the strictly scientific.' – Newsweek

'Celebrates the beauty and diversity of plants from around the world across all media - from murals in ancient Greece to a Napoleonic-era rose print and cutting-edge scans.' – The Guardian

'300 of the loveliest botanical images ever collated.' – Town and Country

'A glorious visual compendium of plants and flowers that spans thousands of years.' – Atlas Obscura

'This beautiful new book is like having a botanical art exhibition on your coffee table.' – Waitrose Weekend

'A glorious presentation of how we've represented flora and fauna in art and photography throughout history.' – Outdoor Photography

'Gorgeous... Fascinating... [An] unprecedented range of artists... A highly nuanced curation of imagery from across the ages. An indispensable coffee table book for the green-fingered and mere admirers alike.' – AnOther Magazine

'It might be a bit early, but this one's already on our Christmas list.' – BBC Focus

'A non-chronological approach illuminates intriguing contrasts and similarities in the artists' approach to capturing vegetation... Each page will surprise.' – Smithsonian

'A lavishly illustrated guide to the fascinating world of plants, this book is a feast for the eyes and will bring joy to anyone with green-fingered tendencies, or simply an appreciation for the diverse beauty of nature.' –

'More than 3,000 years of beautiful botanical art... The stories behind the pictures are just as eye-opening... A gorgeously illustrated survey that would make the perfect gift for a plant lover.' – Daily Mail, Weekend

'Here's one you'll have trouble deciding whether to keep or wrap, and as you mull over the decision, each flick to a new page will shift you ever closer to finding some other gift for that art-loving or plant-loving friend... The images and stories are a reminder of our complex love affair with plants, and make for an addictive, page-turning treat.' – The Sydney Morning Herald

'From ancient stone carvings and watercolour illustrations, to the first photography and cutting-edge scans, this history of botanical art explores our endless fascination with nature.' – SA Life

'Plant, Exploring the Botanical World is a seriously beautiful book... The design is beautiful, as expected of a Phaidon publication, and the stories behind each of the artworks are fascinating. What I enjoyed most about it was the range of imagery included - this is not your average botanical illustration book but more a book of art inspired by plants.' – The Planthunter

'What better way to spend a dreary winter afternoon than paging through gorgeous, full-color pictures of flowers? Not just flowers, but roots, stems, leaves, seeds and fruits, too, captured in 300 images of sketches, paintings, photographs, carvings, engravings and pressings that date from 1352 B.C. to the present... The greatest joy comes from stumbling upon the unexpected.' – Atlanta Journal Constitution

'Breathtaking... [This] hefty coffee table book features 300 remarkable pieces of plant-related art.' – mental_floss

'We love this survey of botanical art... Its pages teach you about plants, it reveals much about the time period and culture in which these images were created.' – Real Living

'What is rather lovely about this book, which unites 300 botanical images from ancient stone carvings to vivid micrograph scans, is its non-chronological arrangement. Instead, it mixes botanical art from different periods, charting the depiction of plants through interesting pairings.' – House & Garden

'Botanical beauty... Art and science were often close allies when images of flowers were created centuries ago, and that remains true with the latest photographic technology. ' – Independent

'The rich range of imagery is spectacular.' – Lugene Bruno, curator Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation