These gorgeous cactus paintings and illustrations were all painted in the 18th and 19th Century. They were painted by various botanical artists.
Botanical art is designed so that the paintings are scientifically and botanically accurate but also artistically pleasing to the eye. I’ve selected only a fraction of the many 100’s vintage cactus paintings produced by the botanists of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Hopefully, you will agree that I have picked some of the best and most aesthetically appealing vintage cacti artwork. Many of the cacti have been painted whilst in flower. This only adds to their aesthetic appeal.
Christmas cacti can be found in this collection of vintage Christmas flower prints.
Cacti are a very popular houseplant at the moment. Part of the appeal is their low maintenance. However, their maintenance is still not low enough for my black thumbs. I’ve decided that I’m better off with a gallery wall display of vintage cacti paintings rather than the real thing!
If you are looking for interesting ways to hang your gallery walls check out this article on house&garden.
Fun Facts About Cacti
- Cacti or cactuses are both acceptable to use as the plural of cactus.
- The name is Greek in origin and was originally used to describe a spiny plant.
- There are over 1750 known species of cacti.
- Cacti come in all sorts of sizes, shapes and even colours.
- The tallest saguaro cactus ever recorded was over 78 feet tall.
- Cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. They are succulent plants as they store water in their stems, roots, and spines.
- Even though a few species live in humid environments, the majority of cacti live in very dry conditions. They are even found in the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth.
- The plants can hold a lot of water in the stem. They have shallow roots spread over a wide area to quickly absorb any rainwater.
- The waxy skin of the plant also helps it retain water.
- Cactus have spines instead of leaves. Not only do the spines protect the plants from being eaten, but they also reduce water loss from the plant by inhibiting airflow.
- Cactus can live from 10 to over 200 years.
- Cactus are grown as ornamental plants and as security fences. The spines act as a great defence.
- Some species of cacti are grown for their edible fruit, such as the prickly pear.
The Vintage Botanical Cactus Paintings & Illustrations
To download the cactus botanical illustration that you want click on the title above that image. A higher resolution picture will open in a new browser window. If you click on that image you will be able to save and print it.
This cacti identification poster is from the German encyclopaedia Brockhaus’ Konversations-Lexikon.
The cacti illustrations on the poster are numbered and their corresponding scientific names are listed below:
- Napalea coccinellifera
- Cephalocereus senilis
- Cereus giganteus
- Mammillaria longimamma
- Rhipsalis paradoxa
- Echinocactus longihamatus
- Echinopsis oxygona
- Cereus grandiflorus
- Echinocereus pectinatus
- Leuchtenbergia principis
- Phyllocactus ackermanni
- Melocactus communis
The next six cacti paintings are from the book, “The Cactaceae : descriptions and illustrations of plants of the cactus family“, by N.L. Britton and J.N. Rose (1919).
This is a lovely illustration by the English botanical artist Mary Emily Eaton of a flowering prickly pear cactus. (Opuntia fuscoatra). Painted for the above book.
Another lovely illustration by the English botanical artist Mary Emily Eaton this time of ribbed (Echinocereus) cacti.
This cactus plant is native to Central America.
Cephalocereus is a genus of slow-growing, columnar-shaped, blue-green cacti. The genus is native to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America.
This yellow flowering round cactus (Echinocacti Sallowianus) was painted by the French botanist Charles Lemaire.
There is a wonderful collection of Charles Lemaire’s famous orchid prints on the blog.
This is a great collection of assorted cacti, including:
- 1. Leaf-cactus (Phyllocactus anguliger).
- 2. Stapelia (simulating a cactus).
- 3. A Cereus (Cereus dasycanthus).
- 4. Globe-cactus (Echinocactus horizonthalonius).
- 5. Wart-cactus (Mammilaria pectinata).
- 6. Hair Opuntia (Opuntia filipendtila)—a. theblossom, enlarged.
- 7. Melon-cactus (Melocactus communis).
- 8. Giant Cactus (Cereus giganteus)
- 9. Mexican Opuntia (Opuntia coccinellifera), the fruit (prickly pear), enlarged. CACTUS.
This lovely flowering Peanut Cactus botanical illustration was from the Curtis Botanical Magazine, 1912.
This pink flowering cacti was featured in Dictionnaire Universel D’histoire Naturelle.
You will find some gorgeous vintage animal prints from the same book here.
This is a lovely cactus watercolor painting by the German botanist David Nathaniel Friedrich Dietrich. (Euphorbia officinarum)
Another lovely vintage cactus print from the magazine Curtis Botanical 1852. (Echinopsis obrepanda)
Another vintage cactus painting by Charles Lemaire, (1841).
Another botanical illustration from Curtis’s Botanical Magazine.
There is a miniature cultivated variety of this cactus, known as the fairy castle cactus. This cactus print is from the book “Flore pittoresque et médicale des Antilles“, (1829).
Cactus Art Paintings
A still life painting of potted cacti on a table by the German realist painter Georg Scholz.
20. Cactus Garden
A postcard of a cactus garden in California.
George Elbert Burr’s 1930’s etching, titled as Desert Sentinels, Apache Trail, Arizona.
This flowering cactus, succulent hybrid is from the collection of Flower Garden prints by Joseph Paxton.
There is a lovely cactus print in the Temple of Flora.
You might want to check out these other free printable botanical images on Pictureboxblue.com
Beautiful Vintage Flowers
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