Botanical Botticelli Quiz

Can you name the plant species found in 'Primavera'?

By Google Arts & Culture

La Primavera (Spring) (1481 - 1482) by Botticelli FilipepiUffizi Gallery

Botticelli's Primavera, painted between the late 1470s and early 1480s, can be found hanging in the Uffizi in Florence. It has been described as one of the 'most popular paintings in Western art' but it is also a work that has attracted some controversy over the centuries. 

The painting is known for the elegance of the figures and the air of mystery that surrounds the dancing characters in the painting. However, it is not just the people in the painting that draw the eye. There are thought to be more than 500 different plant species featured, with close to to 200 different varieties of flowers alone.

In fact, there are so many plant species in the painting that many of them remain unidentified. But thanks to the tireless work of the experts at the Erbario Centrale at the University of Florence, we can be certain of the identity of many of them. Let's take a closer look and see if you can spot some of the more well known plants Botticelli chose to feature.

Plant 1

Located at the top of the painting, these appear to be citrus trees bearing both fruit and flowers. But what could they be?

Oranges and orange blossom

Although there is some debate about whether they could also be pomegranates or golden apples.

Plant 2

Critics generally identify the third figure from the left as Flora, goddess of nature. Her robe is covered in various species of flowers but what are the small red flowers on her left sleeve?


Flora's presence in the painting is said to symbolise both the Medici family, who funded the artist, and the city of Florence itself.  

Plant 3

Just to the right of Flora and being grabbed by Zephyrus is Chloris, the nymph. This is one of the painting's more striking images, as it appears a branch or plant is growing from her mouth. But what is it?

Various species

It's actually a number of different plant species, including strawberry which also reappear in Flora's hair and on the lawn in front of Venus. 

Plant 4

The eye is drawn to the three figures dancing to the left of the painting. These are the Graces. They were commonly associated with one type of flower, and you can see it down by the feet of the Grace on the left. Can you name it?


It was thought that hyacinth was a plant brought to earth by the Graces. It also has a link to love and marriage, which may suggest the painting was commissioned to celebrate a union within the Medici family. 

Plant 5

Venus, the goddess of love, features at the very centre of the painting. In the meadow space at her feet are some flowers of a species often associated with love and romance to this day. What could it be?


The rose was a symbol of pride and triumphant love around the time of the painting's creation. It is perhaps not surprising that they should feature so prominently.

The birth of Venus (1483 - 1485) by Sandro BotticelliUffizi Gallery

Has Botticelli caught your eye?

You can take a closer look around another of Botticelli's well known masterpieces here

Credits: All media
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