Magnolia [Virginiana a.] glauca, original drawing by Charles Edward Faxon
Magnolia [Virginiana a.] glauca, original drawing by Charles Edward Faxon Charles Edward Faxon

Illustration by Charles Edward Faxon (1846-1918)
Original drawing for Silva of North America by Charles Sprague Sargent
[Volume 1, plate 3]
ca. 1890

A larger version of this image is available in Harvard Mirador Viewer.

Charles Edward Faxon, in addition to acting as Assistant Director to Charles Sprague Sargent, also ran the library and herbarium. He was also an accomplished botanical artist, providing over 700 illustrations for Sargent’s Silva of North America, in addition to hundreds more for other horticultural reference works.

In addition to illustrating the Silva, Faxon prepared drawings for Sargent’s other publications: 644 for the Manual of the Trees of North America (exclusive of Mexico) (1905); 200 for the two volumes of Trees and Shrubs (1902-1913); 17 for the Forest Flora of Japan and 285 for the journal Garden and Forest (1888-1898). Between 1879 and 1913, 1,825 of Faxon’s drawings were published.

The Sweet bay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) is the Arnold Arboretum Tree of the Month for June 2016.

The Arnold Arboretum also hosts a reception for the New England Society of Botanical Artists on Saturday, July 9, 1:00-3:00pm at The Hunnewell Building.

In addition to tens of thousands of photographs, The Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library holds many books and journals focused solely on the art of botanical illustration. Please free to contact us or visit the library [also in The Hunnewell Building] on Weekdays (excluding Holidays) from 10am-4pm for assistance.

Copyright ©2016, President and Fellows of Harvard College; all rights reserved.

From “free” to “friend”…

Established in 1911 as the Bulletin of Popular Information, Arnoldia has long been a definitive forum for conversations about temperate woody plants and their landscapes. In 2022, we rolled out a new vision for the magazine as a vigorous forum for tales of plant exploration, behind-the-scenes glimpses of botanical research, and deep dives into the history of gardens, landscapes, and science. The new Arnoldia includes poetry, visual art, and literary essays, following the human imagination wherever it entangles with trees.

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