Institute for Analytical Plant Illustration

The main aim of IAPI is to promote the scientific illustration of flowering and non-flowering plants.  Analytical illustrations can clarify identification features, relate structure and function in plants, and record sequences of growth and development.  The Institute encourages collaboration between botanists and illustrators and provides opportunities for members to develop their skills in scientific illustration and to increase their botanical knowledge.


Membership of IAPI is open to illustrators and botanists, both professional and amateur, who share the aim of the Institute for Analytical Plant Illustration. 


The Institute holds six meetings a year, usually on the third Saturday of the month, in January, March, May, July, September and November.  There is a charge of £5 for members and £10 for guests to cover the cost of the speaker, venue and refreshments (usually tea, coffee and homemade cake).

Most meetings take the form of workshops on a topic with an invited speaker.  One or two meetings a year are held in the field.  The AGM is held in January each year.

Meetings are held at a variety of locations.  Many meetings are around the Midlands, where most members reside, with occasional meetings further afield to reduce travel distances for far-flung members.  During Covid times, meetings have been held successfully on Zoom and this will no doubt continue in conjunction with physical meetings.

Other Activities

Projects – The aim of IAPI is to bring together botanists and illustrators to use their combined skills for illustrating the diversity of plant structure and function.  Projects are one way to do this by encouraging members to work on a chosen topic, to build up a body of work from which items can be selected for exhibition and publication.  Previous projects have been on climbing plants (published as a supplement to Eryngium 2014), nuts, and the potato and tomato family Solanaceae.

Exhibitions – On occasion, such as at the autumn meeting of the Botanical Society of the British Isles, members have exhibited work to promote IAPI to a wider botanical audience.


In December 2004, Michael Hickey convened a meeting of botanical illustrators and botanists to propose the formation of a new organization to promote analytical illustration of plants.  The outcome was the Institute for Analytical Plant Illustration, a name chosen with care by Michael, with an initial committee to complete the foundation.  Sadly, Michael died the next year but the founding members were able to continue his vision, and IAPI soon reached around 50 members.