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John Henry Elwes (1846-1922)

A Monograph of the Genus Lilium. 
London: Taylor & Francis, [1877]-1880

Lithographs with original hand-coloring

Elwes, a traveller, collector, and particularly as a plantsman. "He knew what to collect, was determined in his travels to find it, was highly observant in describing the geographical distribution of what he found, and was particularly skilled in propagating specimens he brought back" (Balfour and Baigent). "He devoted his life to natural history and travel. His original interest was in ornithology and it was in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society (1873) that his paper on 'The geographical distribution of Asiatic birds' was published. This was the result of a visit in 1871 to Sikkim and, illegally, to Tibet, and was important in establishing that the Himalayan region was part of the same biogeographical region as China. Elwes attributed his election in 1897 to the Royal Society to this paper. In 1880 he produced his folio "Monograph of the Genus Lilium", which remains an authoritative work on that subject; although the work was issued under Elwes's name, the strictly botanical parts of the work were done by J. G. Baker" (F. R. S. Balfour, rev. Elizabeth Baigent for DNB). His work includes nearly all of the lilies then known in cultivation. 


Nissen BBI 594; Great Flower Books p.56; Stafleu & Cowan 1664.