Botanical Marvels In The Bronx

Robin Lane Fox, the gardening columnist of The Financial Times, takes a look at a volume called “Flora Illustrata,” calling it ‘the superbly produced and color-illustrated book that accompanies a marvelous exhibition in the New York Botanical Garden’s library. It has three interrelated levels. Its main subject is this exceptional library, which is housed in a noble Beaux Arts building, framed by an avenue of soaring tulip trees. The book depicts them as newly planted saplings in 1903. The story of the library’s growth into what is now the LuEsther T. Mertz Library is fascinatingly presented by its current director, Susan M. Fraser. Too few New Yorkers realize that they live in a city with the world’s greatest botanical library, which contains about one million catalogued items and eleven million archival documents, all acquired within about a hundred years.’

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