Edward Lear drew several illustrations of imaginary plants, which he termed Nonsense Botany. Here is Lear’s complete collection of botanical drawings of silly plants and flowers.
Lear’s Nonsense Plants and Flowers
Brief History of Nonsense Botany By Edward Lear
Edward Lear’s drawings of nonsense plants are similar to Lewis Carroll’s use of portmanteau words, combining unlike items or into a singular unity, such as the using a common item like a hair comb, into the nonsensical plant-like form of Smalltoothcombia Domestica.
The use of fake Latin, and following the standard genus species nomenclature of plants, like rosa canina — which is the REAL name for dog rose — provides enough real-grounding to make Lear’s botany nonsense, utterly charming.
Lear’s Nonsense Botany was published in three parts in the following publications:
- 1871, from Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany and Alphabets
- 1872, from More Nonsense Pictures, Rhymes Botany…
- 1877, from Laughable Lyrics. A Fourth Book of Nonsense Poems, Songs, Botany…
Please note that all of Edward Lear’s original publications are freely available in the public domain.