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Commelinid Collection

Discover the fascinating world plants and creatures. From the elegant Livistona humilis, also known as the sand palm, to the versatile Elaeis guineensis Jacq

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Livistona humilis, sand palm

Livistona humilis, sand palm
Plate 225 from Botanical Drawings from Australia (1801) by Ferdinand L Bauer (1760-1826)

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Strelitzea sp. bird of paradise flower

Strelitzea sp. bird of paradise flower
Plate 911 from the John Reeves Collection of Botanical Drawings from Canton, China. Held in the Botany Library at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Emberiza calandra, corn bunting

Emberiza calandra, corn bunting
Plate 26 from John Goulds The Birds of Great Britain, Vol. 3 (1873). Hand coloured lithograph

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Elaeis guineensis Jacq. African oil palm

Elaeis guineensis Jacq. African oil palm
Illustration from the Botany Library Plate Collection held at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Ananas aculeatus, pineapple

Ananas aculeatus, pineapple
Illustration from the Botany Library Plate Collection held at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Heteropoda venatoria, huntsman spider

Heteropoda venatoria, huntsman spider
This a large brown spider with a flattened body structure and a leg span of between 7 and 12 cm. These spiders hunt at night, and mainly prey upon cockroaches

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Cycas revoluta, sago palm

Cycas revoluta, sago palm
A watercolour illustration of a sago palm (Cycas revoluta). Original artwork part of the James Yates (1789-1871) collection presented by the Linnean Society, 1914

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Macrozamia communis, burrawang palm

Macrozamia communis, burrawang palm
Drawing LS 16 from the Watling Collection by Port Jackson Painter, 1788-1797. Illustration entitled Buroowang

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Ananas comosus, pineapple

Ananas comosus, pineapple
A photograph of the detail from one of the decorative ceiling panels from the roof of the Natural History Museums Central Hall. Showing Ananas comosus, pineapple

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Urania speciosa; Palm

Urania speciosa; Palm
Watercolour from the John Reeves Collection; c.1820s Date: 1820

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Arundo donax, giant reed

Arundo donax, giant reed
Illustration from the Botany Library Plate Collection held at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Strelitzia sp

Strelitzia sp
Watercolour by Ralph Stennett, 1805. Held in the Botany Library at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Strelitzia reginae, golden bird of paradise

Strelitzia reginae, golden bird of paradise

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Saccharum officinarum, sugar cane

Saccharum officinarum, sugar cane
An iconographic image of a sugar cane plant, set enlarged within a landscape. Plate from the Botany Library Plate Collection held in the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Licuala sp

Licuala sp
Plate 981 from the John Reeves Collection of Botanical Drawings from Canton, China. Held in the Botany Library at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Friticum hordeiforme, wheat

Friticum hordeiforme, wheat
Illustration from the Botany Library Plate Collection held at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Cocos nucifera L. coconut tree

Cocos nucifera L. coconut tree
A drawing by Paul Hermann from the collection of five volumes of specimens and drawings from Sri Lanka (Ceylon) 1672-1677. (Vol. 5 Page 137)

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Phragmites australis (Cav. ), common reed

Phragmites australis (Cav. ), common reed
A herbarium sheet containing Phragmites australis (Cav.), a common reed which grows in wetlands throughout the America, Europe and parts of Asia. This specimen is from Panama

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Strelitzia alba, white bird of paradise

Strelitzia alba, white bird of paradise
Taken from Water-colour Drawings of Plants from South Africa, Canaries, Azores, West Indies and Two Views of Niagra, Francis Masson 1770-1798 Held in the Botany Library at the Natural History Museum

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Ananas comosus (pineapple) & Philaethria dido

Ananas comosus (pineapple) & Philaethria dido
Pineapple tree (Ananas comosus) with butterfly, caterpillar & crysalis (Philaethria dido). Plate 2 from Metamorphosis Insectorum (1705) by Maria Sybilla Merian (1647-1717)

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Plant Illustration

Plant Illustration
Plate 916 from the John Reeves Collection of Botanical Drawings from Canton, China. Held in the Botany Library at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Purple-throated hummingbirds, male

Purple-throated hummingbirds, male
In a fascinating example of sexual dimorphism and plant-animal relationships: the male hummingbird with a larger body and short

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Areca sp

Areca sp
Plate 987 from the John Reeves Collection of Botanical Drawings from Canton, China. Held in the Botany Library at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Strelitzia reginae, bird of paradise

Strelitzia reginae, bird of paradise
Engraving by Phelippeaux after a painting from Choix Des Plus Belles Fleurs by Pierre Joseph Redoute (1759-1840)

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Amomum, vochya, callisia, tapanhuacanga, portlandia, fransin

Amomum, vochya, callisia, tapanhuacanga, portlandia, fransin
Autograph letter to Sir J. Banks, consisting of descriptions, with water colour drawings of genera of Plants collected in Minas Geraes, Brazil Vandelli, Domenico, 1732-1816. Page one of sixteen pages

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Sabal palmetto, cabbage palmetto

Sabal palmetto, cabbage palmetto
Watercolour by William Young, 1767. Held in the Botany Library at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Megalomys desmarestii, antillean giant rice rat

Megalomys desmarestii, antillean giant rice rat. Catalogue number NHM 1850.11.30.6

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Oligoryzomys victus, St. Vincent pygmy rice rat

Oligoryzomys victus, St. Vincent pygmy rice rat (holotype). Catalogue reference NHM 1897.12.26.1)

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Sorghum bicolor, sorghum

Sorghum bicolor, sorghum
Illustration from the Botany Library Plate Collection held at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Phleum pratense, Timothy grass

Phleum pratense, Timothy grass
Illustration from the Botany Library Plate Collection held at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Cymbopogon citratus, lemon grass

Cymbopogon citratus, lemon grass
Plate 998 from the John Reeves Collection of Botanical Drawings from Canton, China. Held in the Botany Library at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Zingiber officinale, ginger

Zingiber officinale, ginger

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Megalomys luciae, saint lucia giant rice rat (holotype)

Megalomys luciae, saint lucia giant rice rat (holotype). Catalogue number NHM 1853.12.16.2

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Strelitzia regina, bird of paradise

Strelitzia regina, bird of paradise
Plate 2 from Original Drawings for Hortus Kewensis by William Aiton (1731-1793). Painting by James Sowerby 1787. Held in the Botany Library at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Areca catechu L. betel nut palm

Areca catechu L. betel nut palm
Illustration of the betel nut palm tree with a study of the betel nut. Artist unknown. Plate held in the Botany Library plate collection, the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Oryza sativa, rice

Oryza sativa, rice
Illustration from the Botany Library Plate Collection held at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Ananas sp

Ananas sp
Plate 929 from the John Reeves Collection of Botanical Drawings from Canton, China. Held in the Botany Library at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Acrocomia spinosa, macca fat palm

Acrocomia spinosa, macca fat palm
Illustration depicting the leaf of a macca fat palm from the verso on page 53, volume 7 of the Hans Sloane collection. Held at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Calamus rotang, rattan palm

Calamus rotang, rattan palm

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Zea mays L. corn

Zea mays L. corn
From Blancos Flora de Filipinas. A botanical illustration from the Botany Library at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Strelitzia reginae, bird of paradise flower

Strelitzia reginae, bird of paradise flower
Watercolour on card, 1880-1913 by Emily J. Balston (nee Whitehead) (1848-1914). Held in the Library and Archives

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Lantana camara by Adeline Frances Mary Duppa

Lantana camara by Adeline Frances Mary Duppa
Plate 33 from a bound volume drawings of flowers from Italy and Madeira, and of fungi from Ringwood, Hants. drawn between 1870-85

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Purple-throated hummingbirds, female

Purple-throated hummingbirds, female
In a fascinating example of sexual dimorphism and plant-animal relationships: the female hummingbird with a smaller body and long

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Crocodylus palnotis, Muggers

Crocodylus palnotis, Muggers
Watercolour by Olivia Tonge; c. 1912 Date: circa 1912

Background imageCommelinid Collection: A scene in a toddy palm plantation

A scene in a toddy palm plantation
A drawing by Paul Hermann from the collection of five volumes of specimens and drawings from Sri Lanka (Ceylon) 1672-1677. (Vol. 5 Page 307)

Background imageCommelinid Collection: ginger (Zingiber officinale), artwork C016 / 6130

ginger (Zingiber officinale), artwork C016 / 6130
Ginger (Zingiber officinale). Plate 909 from the John Reeves Collection of Botanical Drawings from Canton, China. Held in the Botany Library at the Natural History Museum, London, UK

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Eriophorum sp. and Drosera sp. artwork C016 / 5940

Eriophorum sp. and Drosera sp. artwork C016 / 5940
cotton grass (Eriophorum sp.) and sundew (Drosera sp.) plants. Drawing from Watercolour and pencil drawings of birds, mammals and boats of the Shetland Islands

Background imageCommelinid Collection: Seed specimens C016 / 5846

Seed specimens C016 / 5846
Seed specimens. A variety of seed specimens, including castor bean (Ricinus communis) and date palm (Phoenix dactylifera), held at the Natural History Museum, London, UK



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Discover the fascinating world plants and creatures. From the elegant Livistona humilis, also known as the sand palm, to the versatile Elaeis guineensis Jacq. African oil palm, these species showcase nature's diversity. Admire the vibrant Strelitzea sp. , a bird of paradise flower that adds a touch of exotic beauty to any landscape. Listen to the melodious songs of Emberiza calandra, or corn bunting, as it serenades its surroundings with joyous tunes. Marvel at Macrozamia communis, a unique burrawang palm that has stood tall for centuries. Indulge your taste buds with Ananas aculeatus and Ananas comosus - both varieties of pineapple that offer a burst of tropical sweetness. Encounter Heteropoda venatoria, an intriguing huntsman spider known for its agility and impressive hunting skills. Immerse yourself in Urania speciosa; Palm's enchanting presence as it sways gracefully in gentle breezes. Feel dwarfed by Arundo donax, also called giant reed - an imposing plant that commands attention wherever it grows. Find solace under the shade provided by Areca sp and Licuala sp palms while enjoying their lush green foliage. In this captivating realm of commelinids, every corner is filled with wonders waiting to be explored.