About Anna Laurent

Anna Laurent is a Los Angeles-based designer, writer, and documentary producer. Her current projects are a series of educational plant-oriented media to advance botanic literacy. She studied evolutionary theory at Harvard University and graphic design at Massachusetts College of Art. annalaurent.com

Botany Blueprint: The Matilija Poppy

Specimen #16: Matilija Poppy (Romneya coulteri) city known for its dusty winds and beautiful people, Los Angeles sometimes seems like a place where the stars are not in the sky, but on the ground. Botanists would be happy to agree, …

Botany Blueprint: The Bladderpod

Specimen #15: Bladderpod (Isomeris arborea) true California native, the bladderpod (Isomeris arborea) lives comfortably in the desert and by the sea. It inhabits the sort of world traveled by the itinerants in Steinbeck’s books: the parched highways and less-traveled coastal …

Botany Blueprint: The Southern Magnolia

Specimen #14: Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) he seeds were the first thing I noticed. I was collecting specimens in my Hollywood neighborhood when I came upon the crimson drops, scattered across the grey concrete like so many precious stones. Truly, …

Botany Blueprint: The Mountain Mahogany

Specimen #12: Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius) he mountain mahogany’s spiraling seeds are designed for flight. Affixed with a silver-haired coiled plume, they remain nested in their dried tubular calyx until the suggestion of wind exhorts an inclination to disperse. While …

Botany Blueprint: The Golden Rain Tree

Specimen #11: Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculata) asy on the eyes and light in the wind, the golden rain tree’s seed cases are a perfect example of well-designed vessels. The inflated papery capsules balloon like iridescent bubbles, but do not …

Botany Blueprint: The Castor Bean

Specimen #10: Castor bean, Ricinus communis eaders of a certain generation might be all too familiar with Ricinus communis. The formidable shrub is more commonly known as the castor bean, a plant whose list of economic derivatives includes, most notably, …

Botany Blueprint: The Agapanthus

Specimen #9: Agapanthus (Agapanthus africanus) espite its ambitions of accuracy, plant taxonomy is a discipline with shifty, sometimes bewildering results. It applies the methodologies of an empirical science, but, in reality, precision is often elusive. It endeavors to classify plants …

Botany Blueprint: The California Flannel Bush

Specimen #8: California flannel bush Fremontodendron californicum classic native species, the California flannel bush (Fremontodendron californicum) has perfected an environmentally-specific survival strategy. The bush is a long-time denizen of the chaparral; it knows the neighbors, the weather, and how to …

Botany Blueprint: The Sweetshade

Specimen #7: Sweetshade or Native Frangipani Hymenosporum flavum a> he native frangipani, or sweetshade tree (Hymenosporum flavum) arrived in the United States via Australia, a continent with many exotic botanic emigrés. In its native soil, it grows in rainforests and …