This profusely illustrated archive of more than 200 flowers, plants and trees was compiled by two of the world's foremost collectors of pictorial symbols — who also happen to be devoted flower enthusiasts. Their comprehensive collection, rendered from rare illustrations, extends from ancient Chinese lotus buds to a basket of flowers in a 19th-century Valentine silhouette. Bouquets, wreaths, flowers of the months, and other floral designs are also included. In addition to providing a table summarizing the symbolic meanings of every known species — from absinth to zinnia — the authors explain the religious, magical and legendary significance of such flora as the mandrake, resurrection flower and mistletoe, and trace the development of many horticultural images in heraldic devices, emblems, and symbols. A visual treat for flower lovers, this essential sourcebook for artists, designers, and folklore enthusiasts will also be of value to botanical and gardening specialists.