Flora Danica is the story of one of the world's most ambitious works about the plant kingdom. The work is a genuine information project from the 18th century, which was intended to spread knowledge of the Danish flora to the general population. It was created in collaboration between scientists, copper printers and draftsmen over no less than 123 years. After 260 years, this book project tells the whole story of Flora Danica's creation with a unique 250 plates - most reproduced in original size.
Flora Danica was created based on Enlightenment ideas about improving people's living conditions through knowledge of nature. It was the botanist GC Oeder who in 1753 proposed to Frederik V to publish a totally comprehensive Danish flora. Before Flora Danica, a series of smaller plant books commissioned by the king had been published. In 1648, the doctor and botanist Simon Paulli, at the behest of Christian IV, published a smaller work also entitled Flora Danica. This Flora Danica was a smaller herbal book which described those plants which had only medicinal interest.
In order to ensure wide spread of the work throughout the country, free copies were distributed to the bishops, who could then distribute them to priests, learned schools, etc. In return, the recipients were then to "supply the botanical institute and have information about the plants in their area."
However, Flora Danica was never published in a regular public edition – the printing costs were far too extensive for that. Today, the original Flora danica booklets are rarely traded at auctions – the price is from DKK 350,000 and up.
There are only a few minor publications about Flora Danica - and none that show the scope of the work, which is reproduced in this publication.
Dimensions: 32 x 24.8 cm
Pages: 608 hardcover
Author: Henning Knudsen
Publisher: Lindhardt and Ringhof