James Robertson

Ruppia spiralis [Ruppia cirrhosa]

Looking to assemble Scottish flora with the help of his students, Hope sent his student gardener James Robertson on five journeys to the Highlands between 1767 and 1771. One of few surviving studies by Robertson, this drawing depicts the spiral tassleweed (a scarce sea grass) he discovered in the northern isles and Hebrides. While hunting for undiscovered species, naturalists were also charting the uses of local flora, wooing landlords with a variety of new commercial prospects.