This vintage flower image dates all the way back to 1799. It is from a wonderful magazine by William Curtis – The Botanical Magazine, Vol. XIII by William Curtis. The Magazine contained lovely hand-colored plates of flowers and was designed to teach “ladies, gentlemen, and gardeners” about each plant and how to care for them.
The book plate and flower image is of the yellow azalea plant. The plant is among the smaller in the azalea family in that it only grows 2-3 feet in height and the main stem of this low-growing shrub generally does not get bigger than the size of the little finger.
The book in which this yellow azalea drawing was found mentioned that the plant was originally found around the Black Sea and Mount Caucasus. One anecdote in the book also mentioned that honey made from the yellow azalea flower has a narcotic affect and that the leaves can poison cows, goats and sheep. It was also said that the honey was used for medicinal purposes in Turkey.
Regardless of the uses for the honey, as this vintage flower image shows, the yellow azalea is a quite lovely looking plant.
This image is copyright free and in the public domain anywhere that extends copyrights 70 years after death or at least 120 years after publication when the original illustrator is unknown.