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Unturned Leaves Early Women in Botanical Illustration

Elsie Katherine Dykes

Elsie Katherine Dykes was a grower and hybridiser of irises and tulips, esteemed in that role by her peers in London's horticultural circles in the first quarter of the 20th century. It is her paintings for Notes on Tulip Species, however, that set her apart. When her husband - William Rickatson Dykes, secretary of the Royal Horticultural Society and known for his work with irises - met his untimely death by accident, Katherine edited his notes for posthumous publication and added 54 stunning paintings of the tulips he had been working with.

Sadly, Katherine Dykes herself was killed in a train accident in 1933, a little more than 2 years after publishing Notes on Tulip Species.