Ouratea Guyannensis (Plate 152) in Histoire des plantes de la Guiane Francoise



Ouratea Guyannensis (Plate 152) in Histoire des plantes de la Guiane Francoise


The interest in botany and accurate renderings of plant life permeated all of Europe, not just in England. In France, Jean Fusée Aublet boasts a collection of almost 400 copperplate engravings showing the Histoire des Plantes de la Guiane françoise which systematically records the plants of the Amazon basin region. This particular plate displays ouratea guyannensis, or malmani in its common name. Indigenous people used their roots for digestive and stomach problems, and the leaf for antitussive decoction (Medicinal Plants 212). Aublet worked closely with indigenous individuals to record not only the body of the plant itself, but also the plant’s uses, names for species, and other information (Plotkin, Boom, and Allison 216). Medicinal plants take up the majority of Aublet’s engravings, and these engravings demonstrate the influx of Old World Species into the Guianas as well as an interest in the native botany.

Aublet engraved these plants during the Enlightenment which experienced an intense relationship with the continuation of the scientific revolution. Ideas about nature and its relationship with God reinforced the significance of the study of botany, which showed up in European gardens, collections, artwork (like Mary Delany’s prints), and more genuine scientific studies like this one.


Jean Baptiste Christophe Fusée




Rylyn Monahan


Jean Baptiste Christophe Fusée, “Ouratea Guyannensis (Plate 152) in Histoire des plantes de la Guiane Francoise,” HIST 139 - Early Modern Europe, accessed February 1, 2023, http://earlymoderneurope.hist.sites.carleton.edu/items/show/310.

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