The Jill Smythies Award

A prize of £1000 to a botanical artist for outstanding illustrations.

Established in 1986 by the late Mr B E Smythies FLS, in honour of his wife, the late Florence Mary Smythies ("Jill"), whose career as a botanical artist was cut short by an accident to her right hand. Awarded to a botanical artist in recognition of excellence in published illustrations, such as drawings or paintings, in aid of plant identification, with the emphasis on botanical accuracy and the accurate portrayal of diagnostic characteristics.

The silver medal and prize of £1000 is usually awarded annually by Council to anyone not at the time a member of Council. Nominations for the prize are scrutinized by a Committee appointed by Council and chaired by a Secretary of the Society.

Each year the closing date for nominations is the 30th November.

Recipients of the Jill Smythies Award

  • Karin Douthit and David Williamson (2017)
  • Anita Barley (2016)
  • Claire Banks (2015)
  • Esmee Somers Winkel (2014)
  • not awarded (2013)
  • not awarded (2012)
  • Margaret Tebbs (2011)
  • Susan Sex (2010)
  • Halina Bednarek-Ochyra (2009)
  • Patricia Eckel (2008)
  • Jan van Os (2007)
  • Bobbi Angell (2006)
  • Lesley Elkan (2005)
  • Lucy Theres Smith (2004)
  • Maya Koistinen (2003)
  • Jenny Brasier (2002)
  • Juan Luis Castillo (2001)
  • Bo Mossberg and Jean Annette Paton (2000)
  • Pandora Sellars (1999)
  • Rodella Anne Purves (1998)
  • Celia Elizabeth Rosser (1997)
  • Bent Jonsen (1996)
  • Rosemary Wise (1995)
  • Joy Claire Allison Dalby (1994)
  • Caroline Mary Bates (1993)
  • John Mark Fothergill (1992)
  • Dale Edna Evans (1991)
  • Gillian Condy (1990)
  • Christabel King (1989)
  • Ann Farrer (1988)

Entry criteria

  • Excellent botanical art (drawing or painting) that is 'an aid to identification and a portrayal of diagnostic characteristics'. It should include two or more items of the same taxonomic group for comparison.
  • It should exclude flower paintings that are merely artistic, and paintings en masse of seeds or fruit, which do not portray diagnostic features. 
  •  Illustrations of cultivars of garden origin are not eligible.
  • Examples to be provided either as an off print, at the candidate's (or the nominator's) expense. 
  • Access to electronic examples of the nominees published work e.g. in electronic journals, or on their own websites, should be considered if available. 
  • Artists may be invited to resubmit in successive years if unsuccessful initially (but not otherwise, unless they consider that they fully meet the entry criteria).
  • The winner will be asked (when notified of their win) to provide high quality copies or the originals of publications not already in possession of the Society, to enable the Librarian to mount a suitable exhibition at the Anniversary Meeting in May.
  • In addition, an electronic montage of the winners' entries will be posted on the Society's website, and a half tone/colour plate (as appropriate) in The Linnean as a supporting image.
  • And there will be a revolving PPT presentation during the reading of the citation at the Anniversary Meeting.

The Jill Smythies Award Nomination Form

Address of nominee
10 maximum
e.g. editorship, committee membership