The Reverend William Keble Martin spent many years of his life collecting, studying and drawing plants. This drawing of plants in the orchid family is a preliminary plate for inclusion in his book The Concise British Flora in Colour published in 1965. It corresponds to plate 81 in the final work.

Keble Martin found a comfortable balance between his scientific and religious beliefs. His time at theological college (1901-2) ‘dissolved any doubts that had arisen through natural science studies and Darwin’s ideas of evolution’. ‘Nature to me was beautiful. And beauty of anything seems to come only from personality […] the method by which God continuously wills the universe should be sustained and developed.’

The following species are depicted: Orchis purpurea, Orchis laxiflora, Anacamptis pyramidalis, Dactylorhiza incarnata drawn from a specimen sent by GC Druce 12 July 1919, Dactylorhiza praetermissa, Epipactis palustris drawn from a specimen on 13 August 1928 found at Braunton Burrows on 10 August 1928, Orchis militaris, Orchis simia, Orchis morio, Orchis mascula, Himantoglossum hircinum, Dactylorhiza purpurella, Dactylorhiza ericetorum and Dactylorhiza fuchsii. RAMM also has his herbarium collection (pressed plants).

Object Summary

Accession Loan No.
Collection Class
watercolour, ink and pencil on
Common Name
Simple Name
Inscription Transcription
80; Sp. Purpurata: O purpurea: O laxiflora: O pyramidalis: O incarnata: O praetermissa: Ep [can’t deciper]: militaris: O fuchsiii: ustulata: Ep palustris: O ostulata: O simia: O morio: O mascula: H hircinum: O elodes: O purpurella
Production Person Initials
William Keble
Production Person Surname
Production Year Low
Production Year High

View Full Details

untitled: Orchidaceae: orchids