The following Public Domain artworks are from the book Familiar Indian Flowers by Lena Lowis published by Thacker and Co., Bombay, 1878. While they may have been familiar flowers in India at this time to British colonialists, not all are natives e.g Poinsettia. Those with ‘indica‘ as the species epithet (the second part of the latin name) give an indication of plants that might be ‘of india’. Yet Opuntia ficus-indica, a.k.a Indian fig or Prickly pear, is from Mexico, proving that plant names don’t always lead you in the right direction.
At the start of the book is part of a poem by Tennyson. While also not native to India (rather Baghdad), it offers a dreamy vision of an exotic garden, one that we can imagine existing somewhere in the East.
On either side,
All round about the fragrant marge,
* * * * * Eastern flowers large,
Some dropping low their crimson bells,
Half closed, and others studded wide
With disks and tears.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Thence thro’ the garden I was drawn—
A realm of pleasance, many a mound
And many a shadow-chequered lawn
Full of the city’s stilly sound,
And deep myrrh-thickets blowing round
The stately cedar, tamarisks,
Thick rosaries of scented thorn,
Tall Orient shrubs.
Recollections of the Arabian Nights, 1830.
The original plant name is written below the image as it is printed on the picture. Where the currently accepted name differs significantly for the plant when checked against The Catalogue of Life it is written in italics. The common name or names, if known, comes after that care of Wikipedia.
Click to enlarge image.