Florilegium literally means "flower book". A florilegium can be a collection of writings or a portfolio of flower pictures. Of course my interest is in the floral aspects but there are certainly times when I have seen both combined very well. Florilegium also crosses over into the world of music with this British ensemble.
The earliest florilegia—anthologies of illustrations describing living collections of flowering plants—first appeared 400 years ago. Europe's royalty was avidly assembling collections of new and rare plants from all corners of the world and had begun to commission artists to record the marvels growing in their gardens. The illustrated herbals of previous centuries were often of considerable beauty, but they were, above all, medical books. Florilegia were drawn from life and botanically accurate, but they also placed new and exuberant emphasis on the beauty of plants. ... Brooklyn Botanic Gardens
The Brooklyn Botanic Gardens also has a Florilegium Society with many artists who have added their botanical renderings to the collection.
Sometimes Florilegia also focused on other aspects beyond personal summary of exotic or precious blooms. This Florilegium is both a Book of Flowers and a Herbal describing the characteristics and medicinal effects of plants. The text is in rhymes and the illustrations also show animals and humans.
Sweerts Florilegium was used to advertise his flower trading business.
It seems that modern day Florilegia are also popular. An Irish Florilegium II
Artist Elisabeth Ochsenfeld created a body of work titled Florilegium. This collection of plants are more interpretative and lyrical than those found in scientific florilegia.
And finally two Florilegia presented on Woolgathersome blog. This collection contains some very big names in the world of art and all have focused on the lowly flower at different times in their career. Part I is here and then Part 2. Tucked among all the images are literary selections.
Coming up in the next post Jacques Nimki the master of Florilegium.