Free Scientific Plant Printables…and an awesome new source

I bookmarked an amazing site a few years ago though only got around to checking it out properly just recently.

It’s called Plant Illustrations and, as the name suggests, is an extensive online catalogue of public domain scientific plant illustrations scanned from old books.

One of the great things about this site is its search function which allows you to find a specific plant with ease. The greatest thing about this site however is the fact that only illustrations are returned. So there’s no clicking and hoping or wading through page after page of book text to find the good stuff!

And the selection is HUGE! Most illustrations are offered in large format and whilst the scan quality does vary there are so many to choose from you’re bound to find what you’re after.



1 Enter a vernacular or scientific plant name in the corresponding search box on the top right of the site (or browse by one of the categories listed below the search boxes).

2 A list of relevant plants will be returned (a handy feature is the “Number of Illustrations” category on the far right which tells you how many images there are for each plant).

3 Select a plant to browse all illustrations.

4 Once you find an image you like, click it to be taken to its source page.

5 Click the “Full Size” link in the left sidebar to open the large scale version of the illustration.

6 Once open, click the illustration to enlarge it to its maximum size then right click and save it to your computer.

Note: The source page also includes a publication title (second from the top in the left sidebar). This link opens a new page containing all illustrations from that associated book. This can be helpful if you find an illustration you’re particularly fond of as the book may contain similar ones.

Tip: You can also search by artist (click the “Artists” tab in the header). So, once you find a particular illustration you adore, take note of the artist’s name to discover works of similar style.


Once you download your images, you may need or want to customise them a little. If you’re unsure how to go about this be sure to check out my Free Printables series which covers everything you need to know.

I’ve just finished editing a series of simple greenery to fill frames for a gallery wall we’ve decided to install above the couch in my parent’s living room (yep, we’re not going with one big piece of art there anymore). I thought it would be nice to share them with all of you  :)

Ten Free Printable Scientific Plant Illustrations | The Painted Hive

Download Free Printables


Although we are creating a slightly eclectic gallery using a selection of frames in different sizes, for consistency I have scaled these ten images to fit standard A4/Letter sized paper (with a slight border).

Of course, you can always re-size the images to fit smaller or larger frames. Just be aware that over-enlarging can cause blurriness or pixelation – a great alternative is to use big mattes.

Although I did digitally enhanced and tidy-up the images a little, I have kept most of the imperfections. I also deliberately left the background colours slightly different and chose illustrations which varied in scale and design.

Free Printable Wall Art Plant Illustrations | The Painted Hive

I think these slight inconsistencies give them an interesting edge, yet the overall feel is still quite cohesive.

I printed my images at home using my Canon printer however you could opt to have yours professionally printed.

I hope you enjoy them!


  1. Dianne says:

    Thanks so much!! They are lovely! I would like to do a gallery wall of plants in my dining room, now I have no excuse!

  2. Deb from Maryland says:

    I have just added this site to all the other “free printables” I’ve bookmarked from your suggestion. Thanks for eliminating a lot of browsing on our part! ;)

    • Great Deb, you’re welcome :)
      I still need to add it to my own Free Printables page.

  3. This is a wonderful site…thanks for sharing, and for the printables, too!

  4. chris aka monkey says:

    wow awesome and thank you so much xx

  5. This is such a great site! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Jolene says:

    Great find! Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to go home and nerd out on this tonight!!! Haha, and the bonus is that it’s way cheaper than ordering seeds too. Double thank-you.

    • Ha, ha. Have fun Jolene. I can get lost for hours on sites like this.

  7. OH my goodness! What a gold mine, my mind is racing just thinking of all the wonderful ways I can use this resource. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • You’re right…it’s a gold mine Sarah. Most of the images are over 6 feet on their long side. Just think of the large scale art you could produce (okay, I do have a slight thing for large scale art).

  8. Donna says:

    I think I love you!!! Lol! What a great source of information!

  9. Pia says:

    I just love these images. They remind me so much of my childhood.
    Brass jugs, crystal decanters, after dinner mints and abundant indoor plants.
    The 70’s are still alive in my head ;)

    • Ha, ha. Yes, after dinner mints! I remember having those on special occasions when we had guests. I’m a child of the 80’s though – which is perhaps the 70’s slighter less cool younger cousin.

    • Carol Riley says:

      Keep good things alive, even if they are “old fashioned.”

  10. Beth Light says:

    These are amazing! I can’t thank you enough for linking these – I printed them out today and used frames I already owned to create a vignette in our dining room – the perfect addition as I recently purchased a fiddle leaf fig and the prints look awesome near it – would you mind if I linked your blog when I post about it – want to credit you and also show how easy it was to do :)
    Thanks again! Beth

    • Thanks for asking Beth. I’d be more than happy for you to share and link back to my post :)
      And if you share socially, be sure to tag me – I’d love to see. So glad you found them useful.

      • Beth says:

        Thank you! I will definitely tag you on my IG account :) Also what’s the best way to correspond – via email? Have a quick question about linking your post – want to make sure I do it correctly! :) B

        • Great! No probs, email is best Beth (

  11. This is such a great find! I was browsing pinterest for printouts for my bedroom and stumbled across this article. I even made mention of it in my weekly wellness finds column, here:! I hope that’s ok!

    Best, Nathalie

    • Hi Nathalie. Glad you found it helpful and I’m more than happy for you to share :)

  12. Holy sweet gracious!! That website is unbelievable! Thank you endlessly for the tip :)

  13. caroline mayhew says:

    I had a question – I wanted to use these images to make a t-shirt – is that okay?

    • Hi Caroline
      Thanks for asking. If you’re referring to making your own t-shirt, that’s fine. If you plan to use the images for profit or on-sale in any form, I’m afraid that’s disallowed.
      Feel free to contact me privately if you need to discuss further (

  14. Katie says:

    Hi Kristine! Would you be able to tell me or link me to the names of these plants? Specifically the one big, pointy leaf! Thanks!

    • Hi Katie
      I’m really sorry though I never bookmarked the individual images so I’m really not sure what they all are.
      Wish I could have helped.

  15. Cam Tu says:

    Thank you so much! That’s wonderful!

  16. Carol Riley says:

    Wonderful images. Thanks so much!

  17. Ooh!! Amazing!! Loved the photos in this post.

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