Fugitive Beauties

These lovely illustrations are from a folio entitled "A Selection of Hexandrian Plants" by Priscilla Susan Faulkner (1793-1869), a self-taught watercolour artist who painted exotic plants from her family's estate near Liverpool, England. The folio was published from 1831-1834, and in the preface, she wrote that it was "an endeavor to preserve some memorial of the brilliant and fugitive beauties of a particularly splendid and elegant tribe of plants." (Hexandrian plants are a Linnean class of plants having six stamens, including lilies, crinums, pancratiums, and my favorites, hippeastrums, commonly misnamed as amaryllis, which refers to a South African genus. Hippeastrums looks slightly like them, but they come from subtropical regions of the Americas. I have grown them almost every year to brighten up the dark winter days.

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