image catesbyrs vol299
Image number: RS.18843
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Autograph tree

Date

1731

Creator

Mark Catesby (1683-1749, British), Naturalist

Object type

Library reference

18894

Material

Technique

Subject

Content object

nature
   > plant
      > flower
nature
   > plant
      > fruit

Description

Botanical study of a section of an autograph tree, Clusia rosea, referred to here as Cenchramidea arbor saxis, showing its leaves, flowers and fruit.

Written in the associated description: 'These Trees grow on Rocks, and frequently on the Limbs, and Trunks of Trees; occasioned by Birds scattering or voiding the Seeds, which being glutinous like those of Misletto, take Root and grow.'

Plate 99 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