The objective of a botanical scientific illustration, referred to as a botanical plate, is to provide a clear and realistic picture of a plant and its construction. While the final result might be a beautiful drawing, its purpose is ultimately educational.
Botanical plates are usually produced for scientific publications and are the result of a collaboration between an illustrator and a scientist. The illustrator’s task is to provide an easily understood visual description of what the scientist has written in the text. Botanical plates can be prepared in a color medium, but for ultimate clarity, the plate is more often drawn with pen and ink, a medium that reproduces well in print.
Examples of botanical plates
Clockwise from top left: