From The Ferns of Great Britain and Ireland, by Thomas More, John Lindley, editor, Henry Bradbury, illustrator, 1855
Nature printing involves impressing the actual plant specimen on a soft lead plate. The plates are electroplated to become the printing plate. The details of the fronds and stem are then hand-colored. The resulting image is in two colors and provides a highly detailed and realistic depiction of the plant. Ferns are ideally suited for this process, being largely flat.
These exquisite images show the structural symmetry and delicacy of these ancient organisms, which reproduce via spores, having no seeds or flowers.