The Jill Smythies Award

A medal and £1000 to a botanical artist for outstanding, diagnostically relevant, published 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 in aid of plant identification, with the emphasis on botanical accuracy and the accurate portrayal of diagnostic characteristics.

Eligibility Criteria:


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  • Open to any botanical artist of any nationality or age
  • For their outstanding botanical art that is 'an accurate portrayal of diagnostic characteristics and an aid to identification'
  • [At least some] drawings and/or paintings must be published
  • Digital work is eligible
  • Subject matter may include algae, fungi or plants but illustrations of cultivars of garden origin are not eligible
  • Work should include two or more items of the same taxonomic group for comparison
  • Flower paintings that are merely artistic, and which do not portray diagnostic features will not be assessed
  • Nominee cannot, at the time of nomination, be a member of Council
  • Nominee does not need to be a Fellow of the Society
  • We do not accept self-nominations

Nominations should be submitted by completing the downloadable form and sending to by 30 November.

Recipients of the Jill Smythies Award
  • Deborah Lambkin (2019)
  • Niki Simpson and Juliet Williamson (2018)
  • 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)
Deborah Lambkin, Medal winner 2019
Deborah Lambkin, Medal winner 2019
Niki Simpson, Medal winner 2018
Niki Simpson, Medal winner 2018
Juliet Williamson, Medal winner 2018
Juliet Williamson, Medal winner 2018