In the meantime, I’ve finished my identification chart on kitchen herbs that I started years ago (but never found time to edit), mainly because I wanted to know for myself what is what and because it’s so exciting to try and understand and draw the blueprint of plants! The chart is now available via Posterlounge [eBay], Redbubble and Søciety6.
With the help of this school poster, display board, identification chart or infographic you can identify leaves, branches and stems of 25 kitchen herbs or culinary herbs such as basil, wild garlic, ramson, savory, borage, watercress, cress, dill, tarragon, fennel, chervil, coriander, curled mint, spearmint, mint, lovage, laurel, marjoram, oregano, parsley, burnet, pimpinella, rocket, arugula, rosemary, sage, sorrel, chives, thyme, woodruff, lemon balm or balm.
Personally, I find this infographic extremely useful when the labels on the plants I have grown in my little herb garden have faded again (when you don’t check for a week, they like to do that…), and even if you like to buy herbal mixtures such as green sauce, Italian herbs or herbs from Provence, it’s always nice to know what actually is what!
How I work
What I’m illustrating here is actually the identification charts I always wanted to have myself! I’m super excited about plants, but at the same time, I’m so bad at remembering names and characteristics, so I tend to need cheat sheets. And if I draw them myself – and look at them often enough afterwards –, I sometimes actually notice what’s what… :)
It’s surprisingly time-consuming to not just copy a pretty photo, but instead to first understand and then draw some sort of generalized cross-section, i.e. the blueprint of the species, so to speak, from countless pictures that all depict the personal characteristics of the respective unique object, but that is exactly what helps so much with identification, and that is why I – in general – very much prefer to identify flora and fauna with simple drawings than with photos.
After I had seen black-and-white silhouettes of leaves a long time ago (unfortunately, I don’t remember where?) and found them to be significantly more different (and also more suitable for autumn!) than illustrations of green, special leaf personalities, which somehow look all the same at first sight (often, they’re not even shown from the same top perspective!), I have decided to create my own identification charts in a similarly simplified and black-and-white way, so that all characteristics can be recognized at first sight, without the need for a complicated identification key.
Through various commissions, my charts became a series – starting with leaf shapes, animal tracks and bird flight in Lily Lux Notizbuch, following tree shapes, tree fruits, tree shoots, forest animals and water animals for “Waldstück” by Niedersächsische Landesforsten as well as the cooperation with Hidden Tracks for detailed animal tracks.
If you think that I’ve made errors in my details, feel free to kindly let me know, and please link evidence. Thank you!
This print goes perfectly well with my – meanwhile quite extensive – series of Natural Science Identification Charts with various infographics from flora and fauna, which are also available from the Posterlounge (also via eBay!). ➔
In addition, most of my guides are also available as postcards, greeting cards or small-format art prints, as well as printed products such as shirts, mugs, cushions, carpets, mats, towels, blankets, curtains, notebooks, tablets, wrapping paper, stickers, magnets, sleeves, cases, skins, bags and much more, at Redbubble [EU/US] and Søciety6 [US]! ➔
Since I first started making those identification charts, I have acquired a little botanical library, which I mainly use to coordinate characteristics. For this project, however, I worked more with my own small, home-grown herb garden than with books, partly because many species were not shown. I did find some of them in the following books:
★ Otto Schmeil: “Pflanzenkunde: Biologisches Unterrichtswerk”, Manuscriptum 2009 nach Quelle & Mayer 1973
★ Margot Spohn, Marianne Golte-Bechtle, Roland Spohn: “Was blüht denn da?”, Kosmos 2015 (Danke, Mattheo!)
★ Felix / Tomann / Hisek: “Der große Naturführer; Unsere Tier- und Pflanzenwelt in Farbe”, Kosmos 1984
Of course, I also always find Wikipedia helpful, especially for details that are missing in books (e.g. size). When identification by poster reaches its limits, the Flora Incognita app can also help with herbs and all sorts of plants!
Great thanks to Matthias Klesse and Angelika Luckhaus for tirelessly watching, learning and guessing along! <3