Strange Plants

We were intrigued by the idea of cryptobotany, the study of plants that exist in imaginative landscapes and myths. Anyone can be a cryptobotanist, but before you start creating your own greenhouse, take a look what’s already been found in the world of strange plants.

• The Codex Seraphinianus is a book documenting an imaginary universe in a coded language that appears to make sense but doesn’t. Written and illustrated by Italian designer Luigi Serafini in the ‘70s, the book is similar to the 16th century Voynich Manuscript, an odd encyclopedia that no one has decoded yet. You can read more on the Codex here.

• Keita Akiyama’s Acoustic Botany is a series of illustrations that imagine plants as miniature amphitheaters ideal for conducting sound.

• Odilon Redon’s Cul-de-lamp is an illustration for Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal. The title is an 18th century typographic term for an inverted triangle at the end of a chapter. Redon’s version is a flower with a slight indication of a face.

• Zadok Ben David’s Blackfield is a field of tiny flowers and plants cut from steel. From one side they appear black, but from the other they burst into color.

• William White’s Crassula Ovata is an etching with aquatint that details light and shadow hitting a money plant.

• Laima’s Fern recreates the shape of the plant in different kinds of dried petals.

• Helen Gotlib’s Winter depicts drying grass swept up in a gust of wind and snow.

• Nicole Margaretten’s Flowers in a Dustbowl is a graphite drawing of petals disintegrating into grey clouds.

• Shanon’s Print Set is a set of twelve botanical specimens rendered in simple black outlines.

• Z. E Pangborn’s Cellular Plant is an ink drawing of plant cells that resembles rivers and pebbles.

• Kristy Modarelli’s Boxwood is an ink drawing, and, as part of The Aldas Project, part of the proceeds will go to support one of three non-profits.

• Oona Leganovic’s Dried Tulip captures the textured petals with an interplay between watercolor and pencil lines.