Franz Eugen Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen or Medicinal Plants was published in 1887 in Germany. It comes in four volumes and includes over 300 detailed, beautiful, botanical illustrations of plants. Below we supply 88 from Volume 1. The book was written by Kohler but the pictures were drawn by artists L. Müeller and C.F. Schmidt. They were then rendered in chromolithography by a certain K. Gunther. Chromolithography was the number one technique for printing in colour for around a decade between the mid-18th and 19th Centuries. This process required a skilled lithographer to draw the original painting, by hand, in reverse, onto limestone slabs and later zinc plates. They would then somehow ink this with a colour and use that to print onto paper. They then repeated this for all the other colours they needed, using a different stone for each one. The colours would overprint each other until the original image was recreated. What a faff. Printing methods started to get a little easier after this one. Wikipedia has a great timeline of the History of Printing.
It is 75 years since the death of the author which in most of Europe denotes it is the Public Domain. That means all images are copyright free.
The original species title is written below exactly as it is printed on the picture. Where we think the currently accepted name differs significantly for the plant we have checked it against The Catalogue of Life or The Plant List and have written it in brackets. The common or vernacular name or names comes after that.
Click on the image below to download a higher resolution PDF.