image ms_109_34
Image number: RS.17982
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Lion's tail specimen




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

Object type

Archive reference number



height (page): 375mm
width (page): 270mm


Content object

   > plant
      > flower


Botanical study of Leonotis leonurus, common name lion’s tail. This plant is native to southern Africa. Painting shows shrub plant with tubular orange flowers and green leaves.

Painting 34 from MS/109, a collection of botanical paintings by Jacob van Huysum and William Sartorius.

Inscribed in ink 'Leonurus perennis Africanus, sideritidis folio, flore phoenicio majore Breyn.' Not signed.

This plant is described by Jakob Breyn in his work Gedanensis, Prodromi fasciculi rariorum plantarum (1739). A specimen of this plant was noted in 'A catalogue of the fifty plants sent from Chelsea Garden, presented to the Royal Society... 1741' by Joseph Miller, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society volume 43 issue 472 (1744). 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, an index of trees, shrubs, plants and flowers.

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