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Monocotyledon Collection

Monocotyledons, also known as monocots, encompass a diverse group of plants that exhibit unique characteristics

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Narcissus tazetta, tazetta daffodil

Narcissus tazetta, tazetta daffodil
Painting by Pierre Joseph Redoute (1759-1840), from his publication Choix des plus belles fleurs (The Most Beautiful Flowers), c. 1827-33. Illustration entitled Narcisse a plusieurs fleurs

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Flame lily (Gloriosa sp. )

Flame lily (Gloriosa sp. )
Flame lily ( Gloriosa sp. ) flower with openpetals and stamens topped by anthers

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Livistona humilis, sand palm

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

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Northern pike (Esox lucius) amongst Shining pondweed (Potamogeton lucens)

Northern pike (Esox lucius) amongst Shining pondweed (Potamogeton lucens). Lake Neuchatel, Switzerland, September. Photographed for The Freshwater Project

Background imageMonocotyledon 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 imageMonocotyledon Collection: Snowdrop (Galanthus Sp. ) single flower in snow, Buckinghamshire, England, UK, February

Snowdrop (Galanthus Sp. ) single flower in snow, Buckinghamshire, England, UK, February
Snowdrop (Galanthus Sp.) single flower in snow, Buckinghamshire, England, UK, February

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) on Eype Down with Colmer's Hill in background, Bridport

Bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) on Eype Down with Colmer's Hill in background, Bridport, Dorset, England, UK. May 2014

Background imageMonocotyledon 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 imageMonocotyledon Collection: Ananas aculeatus, pineapple

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

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Ophrys apifera, bee orchid

Ophrys apifera, bee orchid
Watercolour by Arthur Harry Church, 17 June 1913

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Cypripedium reginae, ladys slipper orchid. Also known as pi

Cypripedium reginae, ladys slipper orchid. Also known as pi
Although the current name of this orchid is Cypripedium reginae, the name on the original plate reads Cypripedium spectabile, which may have been the name accepted at the time

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Vegetable roots

Vegetable roots
Plate 4 from Le Regne Vegetal, Vol 12, Hort. Atlas (1870). Held in the Botany Library at the Natural History Museum, London. Entitled Racines alimentaires

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Cypripedium calceolus, Ladys slipper orchid

Cypripedium calceolus, Ladys slipper orchid
Watercolour from British Orchids (1792-1817), by Franz Andreas Bauer (1758-1840). Held in the Botany Library at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Angraecum sesquipedale, Madagascan orchid

Angraecum sesquipedale, Madagascan orchid
This species of orchid was used by Darwin to prove his theories of evolution. Illustration from The British Museum (Natural History) by Peter Whitehead and Colin Keates, 1981

Background imageMonocotyledon 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 imageMonocotyledon Collection: Cypripedium candidum, small white lady s-slipper

Cypripedium candidum, small white lady s-slipper
Illustration from the Botany Library Plate Collection held at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Food plant bulbs

Food plant bulbs
Plate 8 from Le Regne Vegetal, Vol 12, Hort. Atlas (1870). Held in the Botany Library at the Natural History Museum, London. Illustration entitled Plantes bulbeuses alimentaires

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Arum dioscoridis

Arum dioscoridis
Engraving by George Sowerby from original watercolour by Ferdinand Bauer, published in Flora graeca 10 (1840) by James Edward Smith

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Cypripedium calceolus, Ladys Slipper Orchid

Cypripedium calceolus, Ladys Slipper Orchid
Originally published in: Paxtons magazine of botany, and register of flowering plants. Published in London. December 1836. Natural History Museums Botany Library. Plate Collection number 169

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Bluebells (Hyacinthoides sp. )

Bluebells (Hyacinthoides sp. )
Bluebell flowers (Hyacinthoides sp.) in woodland. Photographed in spring, in Dorset, UK

Background imageMonocotyledon 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 imageMonocotyledon Collection: Nymphaea sp. water lily

Nymphaea sp. water lily
Watercolour No. 15 by Walter Hood Fitch, c. mid-1800s. Held in the Botany Library at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Wild daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) Bay, Ullswater, Lake District, England, UK

Wild daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) Bay, Ullswater, Lake District, England, UK, March

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) in flower, Lenaderg House, Banbridge Co. Down, Northern Ireland

Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) in flower, Lenaderg House, Banbridge Co. Down, Northern Ireland

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Small pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly (Boloria selene), Marsland mouth, Cornwall, UK

Small pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly (Boloria selene), Marsland mouth, Cornwall, UK. JUne 2016

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) flowering in woodland

Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) flowering in woodland. Near village of Alport, Peak District National Park, Derbyshire, March

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Quiver tree (Aloe dichotoma) with the Milky Way at night, and light pollution

Quiver tree (Aloe dichotoma) with the Milky Way at night, and light pollution from town in the distance, Keetmanshoop, Namibia. Colours accentuated digitally

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Urania speciosa; Palm

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

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) feeding on on Turtlegrass (Thalassia testudinum

Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) feeding on on Turtlegrass (Thalassia testudinum) seagrass bed. The Bahamas

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: English bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) Lower Woods, Gloucestershire, England, UK

English bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) Lower Woods, Gloucestershire, England, UK, April

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Darwins Orchid (Angraecum sesquipedale) species which is pollinated by a long-tongued moth

Darwins Orchid (Angraecum sesquipedale) species which is pollinated by a long-tongued moth, from Ambila, Madagascar. Photograph taken on location for BBC Wild Madagascar Series, August 2009

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Arundo donax, giant reed

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

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Phormium tenax, New Zealand flax

Phormium tenax, New Zealand flax
A watercolour commissioned by Sir Joseph Banks and sketched by Sydney Parkinson during the Endeavour Voyage. Parkinson died at sea before he could complete it

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Amaryllis vittata, amaryllis

Amaryllis vittata, amaryllis
Illustration No.3 by Peter Brown, c. 1760s. Held in the Botany Library at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Cattleya skinneri, English orchid

Cattleya skinneri, English orchid
Plate 13 from Orchidaceae of Mexico and Guatemala (1837-1843) by James Bateman. Held in the Botany Library at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Maize root, light micrograph

Maize root, light micrograph
Maize root. Light micrograph of a section through the root of a maize plant (Zea mays) showing a vascular cylinder (centre)

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Coastal agave (Agave shawii) leaves. Near Bahia de Los Angeles, Baja California, Mexico

Coastal agave (Agave shawii) leaves. Near Bahia de Los Angeles, Baja California, Mexico

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Species rich alpine meadow with Orange lily (Lilium bulbiferum), Meadow clary (Salvia pratensis)

Species rich alpine meadow with Orange lily (Lilium bulbiferum), Meadow clary (Salvia pratensis) and Yellow rattle (Rhinathus sp)

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Palms growing in front of Rice (Oryza sativa) terrace. Jatiluwih Green Land, Bali, Indonesia

Palms growing in front of Rice (Oryza sativa) terrace. Jatiluwih Green Land, Bali, Indonesia. 2015

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: American lobster (Homarus americana) in eelgrass (Zostera marina). Nova Scotia, Canada

American lobster (Homarus americana) in eelgrass (Zostera marina). Nova Scotia, Canada. July

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Strelitzia sp

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

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Iris sp. blue iris

Iris sp. blue iris
Folio 67 from A Collection of Flowers (1795) by John Edwards. Held in the Botany Library at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Tulipa sp. various tulips

Tulipa sp. various tulips
Folio 44 from A Collection of Flowers (1795) by John Edwards. Held in the Botany Library at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Strelitzia reginae, golden bird of paradise

Strelitzia reginae, golden bird of paradise

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Coconut palms -Cocos nucifera- on the beach of Anse La Passe, Silhouette Island, Seychelles

Coconut palms -Cocos nucifera- on the beach of Anse La Passe, Silhouette Island, Seychelles, Africa, Indian Ocean

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Spiral ditchgrass (Ruppia cirrhosa) C016 / 3326

Spiral ditchgrass (Ruppia cirrhosa) C016 / 3326
Spiral ditchgrass (Ruppia cirrhosa) in flower, artwork

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Macrocystis pyrifera, giant kelp

Macrocystis pyrifera, giant kelp
Giant kelp, also known as kelp forest, seaweed and sea grass. Specimen annotated as Macrocystis pirifera from South Africa, held at the Natural History Museum, London

Background imageMonocotyledon Collection: Crocus sativus, saffron

Crocus sativus, saffron
Plate 25 from Le Regne Vegetal. Vol 10 Flore Medicale Atlas 3 (1870). Held in the Botany Library at the Natural History Museum, London



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Monocotyledons, also known as monocots, encompass a diverse group of plants that exhibit unique characteristics. One such example is Narcissus tazetta, commonly referred to as the tazetta daffodil. With its delicate white petals and vibrant yellow center, this flower adds a touch of elegance to any garden. Livistona humilis, or the sand palm, thrives in sandy coastal regions and showcases its resilience with its fan-shaped leaves. Its ability to withstand harsh conditions makes it a popular choice for landscaping projects near beaches. Elaeis guineensis Jacq. , better known as the African oil palm, holds great economic significance due to its fruit's high oil content. This versatile plant plays a vital role in various industries ranging from food production to cosmetics. Strelitzea sp. , commonly called the bird of paradise flower, captivates onlookers with its striking orange and blue petals resembling an exotic bird in flight. Native to South Africa, this tropical beauty brings a touch of paradise wherever it blooms. Snowdrop (Galanthus Sp. ) single flower emerges amidst snowy landscapes in Buckinghamshire, England during February. These delicate white blossoms symbolize hope and renewal as they brave the winter chill. Bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) create enchanting carpets on Eype Down while Colmers Hill stands majestically in the background. The sight of these vibrant blue flowers heralds springtime's arrival and fills the air with their sweet fragrance. Macrozamia communis or burrawang palm boasts robust fronds that add texture and depth to any landscape design. Indigenous to Australia, this ancient plant has survived for millions of years thanks to its adaptability. Flame lily (Gloriosa sp. ) dazzles with fiery red-orange petals delicately curled like flames dancing in the wind. This captivating vine represents passion and beauty, making it a popular choice for gardens and floral arrangements.