image ms_109_29
Image number: RS.17977
Credit: ©The Royal Society

'Tithymalus Creticus characias'




Jacob van Huysum (1682-1745, Dutch), Painter

Object type

Archive reference number



height: 370mm
width: 270mm


Content object

   > plant


Botanical study of a specimen of Euphorbia characias, common name spurge. This plant is native to the Mediterranean region. Painting shows a plant with a tall stem covered in upward-facing green leaves, with clusters of darker green 'eyes' at the top.

Painting 29 from MS/109, a collection of botanical paintings by Jacob van Huysum and William Sartorius.

Inscribed in ink 'Tithymalus Creticus characias angustifolius villosis & incanus, T. Cor.' Not signed.

Described in Corollarium Institutionum rei herbariae (1703) by Josephi Pitton Tournefort. A specimen of this plant was also noted in 'A catalogue of the fifty plants from Chelsea-Garden, presented to the Royal Society ... 1731', by Isaac Rand FRS, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, vol. 38, issue 427. It was cultivated at Chelsea Physic Garden in London, and was one of the specimens from the yearly collection sent by the Society of Apothecaries to the Royal Society.

Jacob van Huysum (1682-1745), Dutch botanical painter, was not a Fellow of the Royal Society. He produced most of the 50 illustrations for the Historia Plantarum Rariorum (London: 1728-38) written by John Martyn FRS, and all the drawings for Philip Miller’s Catalogus Plantarum (1730), an index of trees, shrubs, plants and flowers.

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