image ms_109_32
Image number: RS.17980
Credit: ©The Royal Society

'Cerassus racemosa sylvestris'




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

Object type

Archive reference number



height: 375mm
width: 265mm


Content object

   > plant
      > flower


Botanical study of prunus padus, common name bird cherry. This plant is native to northern Europe and northern Asia. Painting shows plant with green leaves, and small bunches of open white flowers. Although described as having 'red inedible fruit', no fruit is pictured.

Painting 32 from MS/109, a collection of botanical paintings by Jacob van Huysum and William Sartorius.

Inscribed in ink 'Cerassus racemosa sylvestris fructu non eduli rubro, H. R. Par.' Not signed.

This plant is described by John Martyn FRS in the Historia Plantarum Rariorum (1728-1737). A specimen of this plant was also noted in 'A catalogue of the fifty plants sent from Chelsea Garden, presented to the Royal Society... 1756' by John Wilmer, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society volume 50 (1757). 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 Martyn’s Historia Plantarum Rariorum, and all the drawings for the Catalogus Plantarum (1730) by Philip Miller FRS, an index of trees, shrubs, plants and flowers.

Object history

Repeated in the British Museum collection, SL,5285.33. Slight variations to the Royal Society copy. Digital image available on online catalogue.

Associated place

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