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Wonderful Antique Botanical Leaf Prints From The Forest

It is the beginning of September and fall is definitely in the air. The leaves are starting to drop, so I thought it would be fun to curate a collection of wonderful botanical leaf prints.

All the vintage botanical leaf prints are from the book “The North American Sylva“. The book was published in Paris in 1819 and is also known as “A description of the forest trees of the United States, Canada and Nova Scotia.

In the late 18th Century the French Government sent some botanists to North America to study their forests Andre Michaux and his son Francois-Andre.

The idea is that the botanist would find and identify tree species that could be introduced to France. Many of the French forests had been depleted by war and needed replacing.

One of the many books published on this research was the “The North American Sylva” and was believed to be the foundation of American forestry.

The book is full of gorgeous vintage botanical leaf prints by the French botany artists Pierre-Joseph Redouté and Pancrace Bessa.

Copyright Free Botanical Leaf Illustrations

Pierre-Joseph Redouté

Pierre-Joseph Redouté is often considered as one of the greatest botanical illustrators ever. He is famed for his beautiful floral illustrations in particular roses.

Redoute was born in 1759 and was the official court artist of Marie Antoinette. He continued painting throughout the French revolution and survived the upheaval to be supported by Napoleon’s wives.

Redouté was a prolific artist and had illustrations in over 50 books and had over 2,100 botanical illustrations published. He was nicknamed “the Raphael of flowers”.

The botanical leaf prints will be of a higher resolution. Just click on the title of the leaf illustration you would like and the jpeg will automatically download to your computer.

botanical leaf prints

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Oak Tree Botanical Leaf Prints

1. White Oak Leaf Print and Acorn

White Oak (Quercus alba) gets its name from the colour of the finished wood. The Oaks wood is used to make barrels for both the aging of wine and Bourbon whiskey.

The tree can reach heights of 30m with a magnificent broad canopy. It is native to eastern and central North America. Specimens are over 450 years old.

White Oak Print

2. Post Oak Leaf Illustration

Another oak that is native to eastern and central North America. However, the post oak (Quercus stellata) is much shorter than the white oak and only tends to grow to 15m.

This is a hardy slow-growing tree that can grow in dry poor soils. The tree is also resistant to rot, fire, and drought.

Post Oak Botanical leaf print

3. Chestnut White Oak Leaf

The chestnut oak (Quercus montana) is easily identified by its massively-ridged dark gray-brown bark, the thickest of any eastern North American oak. The wood from this oak tree is dense and therefore makes great firewood.

Chestnut white oak

4. Dwarf Chestnut Oak Leaves

The dwarf chestnut oak is a shrub or small tree that typically only grows to 13–20 feet. Due to the small size of the tree, it isn’t cultivated for its wood. However, the acorns are sweet and are liked by both humans and wildlife.

Dwarf Chestnut Oak illustrations

5. Black Oak Botanical Leaf Print

The inner bark of the black oak contains a yellow pigment called quercitron, which was sold commercially in Europe until the 1940s.

black oak leaf botanical illustration

Botanical Leaf Prints from Other Trees

6. Common Walnut Leaf Illustration

Common walnut (Juglans regia) mature trees may reach 50 feet in height and breadth, and live more than 200 years, developing massive trunks more than 8 feet thick.

Comnon walnut

7. Bitter Pecan Nut Tree Illustration

The Bitter Pecan (water hickory) is a dominant species in low floodplains the trees are being noted for their important contribution to that environment. Specifically their ability to cleanse drainage water and provide refuge for many threatened species of plants and animals.

water hickory bitter pecan tree

8. White Maple Tree Leaves

The white maple also called the silver maple (Acer saccharinum) is one of the most common trees in the United States of America.

Even though the sap of this maple is sweet it’s not used to make syrup as other maple species are sweeter. However, the wood pulp is used for making paper. The lumber is light and easily worked so it is used in furniture making, flooring, musical instruments, crates, and tool handles.

Because of the silver maple’s fast growth, it is being researched as a potential source of biofuels.

silver maple leaves

9. Cucumber Magnolia Leaf Botanical Print

The cucumber magnolia (Magnolia acuminata) is one of the largest and most hardy trees. However, the magnolia flowers are less impressive than other magnolia trees.

Leaf botanical of a cucumber magnolia tree

10. Cottonwood Poplar Leaf Botanical Print

The wood this poplar is typical of the Populus family in its softness, weighing just 28 pounds per foot. It is used for things like plywood and interior parts of furniture.

cottonwood poplar leaf botanical print

Other Botanical Prints

Many of these leaves look different in the fall when they change colour. Autumnal versions of many of these leaves can be found in this autumn leaf charts and prints.

For more tropical leaves check out these vintage fern prints and palm tree illustrations.

I have plenty more botanical prints available to download on Pictureboxblue, such as these house plant leaves and:

If you love to craft then perhaps you will enjoy these painted pine cone and painted acorn crafts.

If you fancy, you can Buy Me A Coffee Here.


Monday 4th of April 2022



Tuesday 5th of April 2022

Thank you so much.


Wednesday 2nd of December 2020

Thankyou Claire I believe those I have chosen are free how do I download from my phone to my computer xx thankyou so much love mushrooms will use these for journaling Sue


Wednesday 2nd of December 2020

Thank you. Just access the site on your computer and download them there.

Celebrate Your Story! #198 - Zucchini Sisters

Thursday 27th of February 2020

[…] you looking for some Fall artwork for your home?  Claire from Picture Box Blue has a set of these gorgeous vintage botanical leaf prints available for download (for free!) on her […]

Leanne Hardwick

Tuesday 7th of January 2020

what size photos are these?


Wednesday 8th of January 2020

If you click on the title above the image you want it will download to your desktop and you will then be able to see the size of the images. Each one varies I download the highest resolution image possible so you can then resize them to the size you want.

Julie Briones

Monday 16th of September 2019

These are lovely, Claire... I especially like the dwarf white oak, with some of the acorn caps attached by themselves! So glad to see you at TTA!


Monday 16th of September 2019

Thank you, they are lovely and have inspired me for a craft.