Celia Rosser

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Celia Rosser
Melbourne, Australia
Known forBotanical Illustration
AwardsMedal of the Order of Australia (1995)

Celia Elizabeth Rosser (born 1930) is an Australian botanical illustrator, best known for having published The Banksias, a three-volume series of monographs containing watercolour paintings of every Banksia species.

Born Celia Elizabeth Prince,[1][2] she began painting Australian wildflowers early in her artistic career. She first began painting Banksias after seeing a Banksia serrata near her home in Orbost, Victoria. Her first exhibition was at Leveson Gallery in Melbourne in 1965, and included three watercolours of Banksia species. Two years later she published Wildflowers of Victoria.[3]

In 1970, Rosser was appointed Science Faculty Artist at Monash University. She illustrated Peter Bridgewater's The Saltmarsh Plants of Southern Australia and The Mosses of Southern Australia by George Scott and Ilma Grace Stone. In 1974 she was appointed University Botanical Artist, and began the project of painting every Banksia species. The project took over 25 years to complete, and resulted in the publication of a three volume monograph entitled The Banksias, with accompanying text by Alex George. Publication of the final volume in 2000 represented the first time that such a large genus has been entirely painted.[3]

In 1977 she was awarded the Linnaean Society of London's Jill Smythies Award for botanical illustration, and in 1995 was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia. Monash University awarded her an honorary Master of Science degree in 1981, and an honorary PhD in 1999.[3]


In March 1978 a chance seeding of Banksia canei with deeply lobed leaves and a prostrate habit was registered as a cultivar by Alf Salkin under the names Banksia 'Celia Rosser' and Banksia canei 'Celia Rosser'.[4]

In 2001, Peter Olde and Neil Marriott published a description of a new Banksia species from the arid shrubland of Western Australia, naming it Banksia rosserae in Rosser's honour.[2]

Since 2002, the Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne have awarded the "Celia Rosser Medal for Botanical Art" to outstanding exhibitors at their "The Art of Botanical Illustration" exhibition.


  1. ^ "Rosser, Celia Elizabeth (1930-)". Australian National Botanic Gardens. Retrieved 2006-06-29.
  2. ^ a b Olde, Peter M.; Marriott, Neil R. (2002). "One new Banksia and two new Grevillea species (Proteaceae: Grevilleoideae) from Western Australia" (PDF). Nuytsia. 15 (1): 85–99. Archived from the original (pdf) on 2006-09-23. Retrieved 2007-01-10.
  3. ^ a b c "Celia Rosser". Archived from the original on 2006-06-25. Retrieved 2006-06-29.
  4. ^ "Banksia 'Celia Rosser'". Australian Cultivar Registration Authority (ACRA) Descriptions of Registered Cultivars. Australian National Botanic Gardens. Retrieved 2006-06-29.

5. "Banksia Lady Celia Rosser, Botanical Artist" by Carolyn Landon, Monash University Press 2015, ISBN 9781922235800 DEWEY NUMBER 759.994

See also[edit]