Treasure's description

Prickly plants

Prickly plants

To mark St. Andrew's Day we present two splendid thistles, painted by Sydenham Edwards (1768-1819) for his 1812 work 'The new botanic garden'. The engravings were executed by F. Sansom, and published by G. Kearsley of Fleet Street, in 1806. The thistle on the left is the Great Globe Thistle or Echinops sphaerocephalus. It is prized by gardeners as a great architectural plant at the back of a summer border, and provides interest from spring until late summer. The Great Globe Thistle originated in Southern and Central Europe, the Caucasus, and Southern Siberia, but is now much wider spread. The plant on the right is the Alpine eryngo or Eryngium alpinum, which is misleadingly known as Sea Holly. It is part of the parsley or carrot family (Apiaceae). The University of Bristol Libraries hold a fine collection of botanical works, covering both manuscript and printed sources.