Ruskin's Botanical Drawings

John Ruskin, Ajuga (sic.) 1882 © Ruskin Foundation

Ruskin, John (1819-1900)

Ajuga (sic.) 1882
Pencil, watercolour and bodycolour
11.5 x 16.5 cm
Inscribed in pencil: Ajuga repens / (Sub invocatione Sancti Cergui !) / 5th Sept. 1882. JR.(RF 1107)

RF1107

 

The inscription shows that this was drawn on the day after the study of Gentians at Les Rousses in Switzerland; the diary notebook for 1882 (RF MS 23, cat. no. 28) includes a list containing the entry: "24. Ajuga, a mountain form of my strange white one, drawn in small book Q. ajuga repens." St. Cergues is an Alpine village often visited by Ruskin.
Ruskin clearly mis-identified this plant for the delicate watercolour depicts Mountain Germander (Teucrium montanum L.; Deadnettle family – Lamiaceae), that occurs on dry screes and dry, calcarious pastures in the Alps.

This entry was researched and written by Professor David Ingram.