Lizabeth Leech Authors Botany Guide for Botanical Artists

Originally appeared in The Botanical Artist - Volume 18, Issue 2


Brought up in Hong Kong and Singapore among many exotic plants, at an early age Lizabeth knew that plants delighted and fascinated her. Whatever she did in the future, she knew plants would be involved. She trained as a botanist and ecologist, and taught biology for 20 years, then moving into research, in soft fruit breeding, and improving frost hardiness in fast growing tree species. 

In 2002, after turning to her love of art, she enrolled in the English Gardening School’s Diploma Course in Botanical Art, under Anne-Marie Evans, gaining her diploma in 2002.

Liz has long noted that botanical artists struggle with aspects of plant identification. A founding member of the Hampton Court Palace Florilegium Society, she credits her colleagues’ many questions about botany as the final spur to create this book.

Botany for Artists, published by The Crowood Press, England (, is organized into 13 sections, and provides diagnostic details of many common plant features, groups and families, to provide a starting point for the botanical artist. 

A unique aspect of the book is Liz’s “help sheets” – forms that guide one to observe and record salient, essential details for flowering plants, while sketching flowering plants, or observing and sketching other selected specimens. You see her completed sheets, with blank help sheets to copy and use in the field in the appendix.  Available in the US from Trafalgar Square Publishing, Chicago, IL. Email orders should be addressed to (Editor’s note: also available at