Did you know that Mizzou is a botanic garden? Our campus is gorgeous all year round, but it's particularly outstanding in the spring and summer. We're celebrating the natural beauty around us with a new series that links Mizzou's campus gardens with the herbals, botanical books, and gardening manuals in Special Collections.
We didn't have to go far to find inspiration this week. These magnolia trees on the Ninth Street side of Ellis Library are show-stoppers every spring. Daffodils of several varieties provide a cheerful shot of yellow underneath.
We found images and descriptions of these plants in Curtis' Botanical Magazine, a publication that started in the late 1700s with the aim "to unite systematic knowledge with the pleasures of the flower-garden." William Curtis includes several types of narcissus throughout the publication; the ones illustrated here are only a few. About the magnolia, Curtis writes,"There is a magnificence about the plants of this genus which renders them unsuitable subjects of representation in a work the size of ours." We have to agree; in person they're really amazing.
Apologies for my fingers; these volumes of Curtis are really tightly bound! Special thanks to Arthur Mehrhoff at the Museum of Art and Archaeology. Be sure to check out his Pride of Place website, which provided an inspiration for this series.