Walter Hood Fitch was a botanical artist born in Glasgow, Scotland. His first lithograph of Mimulus roseus, appeared in the Botanical Magazine in 1834, and he soon became the sole artist for the magazine. In 1841, W.J. Hooker became director of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Fitch moved to London. After 1841 Fitch was the sole artist for all official and unofficial publications issued by Kew.
Fitch's important works are his illustrations for W. J. Hooker's A Century of Orchidaceous Plants (1851), and for James Bateman's A Monograph of Odontoglossum (1864-74). He also created around 500 plates for Hooker's Icones Plantarum (1836-76). Some of his most notable work was for George Bentham and W.J. Hooker's Handbook of the British Flora (1865). When Joseph Dalton Hooker returned from his travels in India, Fitch prepared lithographs from Hooker's sketches for his Rhododendrons of Sikkim Himalaya (1849-51) and, from the drawings of Indian artists, for his Illustrations of Himalayan Plants (1855).
A dispute over pay with Joseph Dalton Hooker ended Fitch's service to both the Botanical Magazine and Kew although he was much sought after and remained active as a botanical artist until 1888. Works during this period included Henry John Elwes's Monograph of the Genus Lilium (1877-80).