image catesbyrs vol298
Image number: RS.18842
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Mountain laurel




Mark Catesby (1683-1749, British), Naturalist

Object type

Library reference





Content object

   > plant
      > flower


Botanical study of a specimen of mountain laurel, Kalmia latifolia, referred to here as Chamaedaphne foliis tini, showing leaves, flowers and seed cases.

Written in the associated description: 'The Flowers grow in Bunches on the Tops of the Branches, to Footstalks of three Inches long; they are white, stain'd with purplish red; consisting of one Leaf in Form of a Cup, divided at the Verge into five Sections; in the Middle is a Stilus, and ten Stamina'.

Plate 98 from volume II of Mark Catesby’s The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands (London, 1731).

Mark Catesby (1683-1749), British naturalist was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1733. Travelling under the auspices of the Royal Society, Catesby recorded the earliest western scientific descriptions of the flora and fauna of the ‘New World’. He was the first naturalist to use folio-sized colour plates in a natural history book, and etched the copper plates himself before hand-colouring each individual print with watercolours.

Associated place

<The World>
   > North America
      > United States
<The World>
   > North America
      > Bahamas