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beech twig

Comparing Goldenrod Species

Comparing Goldenrod species was one of my tasks in a recent commission  for a Horticultural company in Sweden.  All the illustrations were sketchbook studies.  Every plant was an invasive. Overview of Canadian Goldenrod Solidago canadensis and Early Goldenrod Solidago gigantea The focus of the illustration is the Canadian goldenrod. Most Goldenrods are native to the […] Read more
Lupin

Garden Lupin Sketchbook study

The Garden Lupin, Lupinus polyphyllus, is one of the invasive plants I was recently asked to illustrate for FOR Sweden.  This blog talks you through the steps involved in creating a finished botanical illustration of this flower.  There seems to be an enormous amount of confusion over the English name of this plant: Blue bonnet […] Read more

Invasive & Japanese Knotweeds: Telling species apart

Invasive and Japanese knotweeds are incredibly successful plants.  Originally from Japan, China and Taiwan, they escaped from ornamental gardens, and have become established across the UK.  They’re especially common in urban and brown-field habitats, and love railway embankments and the damp soils of water ways.  One of the most difficult aspects of controlling them is […] Read more

What’s the difference between Virginia creeper and False Virginia creeper?

Virginia creeper Parthenocissus quinquefolia and False Virginia creeper Parthenocissus inserta are common and decorative.  They are favourites with gardeners, who train them to grow up walls of houses and pubs where they give cover and autumn colour.  They’re vigorous climbers, deciduous, perennial, and develop woody stems. They are also classed as an invasive plant species […] Read more

Telling Cotoneasters apart

My recent botanical illustration work for a Field Studies Chart (as yet unpublished) on Invasive species included 5 species of Cotoneaster. Telling these plants apart can be a real headache, but I’m going to give it a go, and share my thoughts.  I’m more than happy to be corrected in the comments section below! Cotoneasters are really […] Read more
Buttercup

Botanical Illustration: Buttercup Species

Looking through my botanical illustrations recently, I realised I’d completed quite a few watercolors of flowers in the Buttercup genus (family Ranunculaceae).  Like the botany ingénue I am, I assumed I’d covered most of the British buttercups, and decided to write this blog.  Little did I know, I wasn’t even half-way through them! Ranunculus family […] Read more

Lizzie Harper