Beatrix Potter’s first existing studies of fungi were painted in 1888, while she was on holiday at Lingholm in the Lake District. Over the next ten years she devoted many hours to her work. She presented a scientific paper on the germination of spores to the Linnean Society in April 1897, and although her findings were rejected at the time, experts now consider that her thesis was correct.

Helped by the Perthshire Naturalist, Charles McIntosh, whom she met in 1892, she painted hundreds of watercolours of all varieties of fungi. Indeed, McIntosh praised her for the botanical accuracy of her work. Sixty of her paintings were used in 1967 to illustrate Dr. W P K Findlay’s Wayside and Woodland Fungi, and collections of her work are cared for by the Armitt Library in Ambleside and by Perth Museum. To this day, her works are still referenced to distinguish different types of growth. You can read more about her incredibly valuable historical works here.


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