“Erce, Erce, Erce, Mother of Earth!
May the All-Wielder, Ever Lord grant thee
Acres a-waxing, upwards a-growing
Pregnant [with corn] and plenteous in strength;
Hosts of [grain] shafts and of glittering plants!Of broad barley the blossoms
And of white wheat ears waxing,
Of the whole earth the harvest!
Let be guarded the grain against all the ills
That are sown o’er the land by the sorcery men,
Nor let cunning women change it nor a crafty man.”
The Old English Herbals by Eleanour Sinclair Rohde
THE Botanical Magazine; OR, Flower-Garden Displayed by William Curtis describes itself as presenting “The most Ornamental Foreign Plants, cultivated in the Open Ground, the Green-House, and the Stove, are accurately represented in their natural Colours.” [another Project Gutenberg find]
The Complete Herbal by Nicholas Culpeper has an occult approach to herbalism and discusses cures at length. However one might feel about the possibility of such things, anyone can probably enjoy the beginning, which contains 10 botanical plates like the below.
Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure by William Thomas Fernie doesn’t have any pretty pictures, but it does have some awesome poetry about herbs.
“She wrapped it up, and for its tomb did choose
A garden pot, wherein she laid it by,
And covered it with mould, and o’er it set
Sweet Basil, which her tears kept ever wet.”
Herbals, Their Origin and Evolution: A Chapter in the History of Botany by Agnes Arber teaches known botany “until the time of the printed press”, an old book, still kinda neat, and has many botanical illustrations including the below.