This post comes to us from our friends at The New York Academy of Medicine’s Center for History. They are located across Fifth Avenue from the Conservatory Garden, and find inspiration in our plantings for their Facebook and blog posts. Most recently they were inspired by our irises and wrote about the early American medical uses for this common native plant.
This week we’re enjoying irises in Central Park. Jacob Bigelow (1786-1879) included the native iris, Iris versicolor or Blue Flag, in his “American Medical Botany,” 1817-1820. Bigelow noted its use as a cathartic and diuretic. “American Medical Botany” was an early American botanical as well as an early instance of color printing in America. The plates were actually printed in color, rather than being colored by hand afterwards.
Thanks to NYAM for letting us republish these cool and informative posts! Be on the watch for more in the future!
Floral anatomy from artist Camila Carlow’s project Eye Heart Spleen
Carlow on her project:
The most fascinating and intricate of biological structures, yet we rarely pay heed to the organs inside our body. Regardless of whether we fill ourselves with toxins or nourishing food, whether we exercise or not - our organs sustain us, working away effortlessly and unnoticed.
In a similar way, plants flourishing in the urban environment are a testament to nature’s indifference to our goings on. They grow out of the sides of buildings, in brick walls and between the cracks in concrete, despite of the traffic and pollution.
Click on the images to see which organs are represented.
Evening Post: August 12, 1899.
"She immediately alighted, caught hold of the astonished youth, and gave him a sound thrashing, using her fists in a scientific fashion…”
I would love to know what this means.
I think that might be code for “punched him in the balls with devastating accuracy”.