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Book/Printed Material Cao mu pu. 草木譜.

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About this Item


  • Cao mu pu.

Other Title

  • 草木譜.


  • Cao mu pu (Album of plants) consists entirely of images of small plants, with inscriptions that give the names of the plants. The publication date is not given, although the work probably dates from the 17th or 18th centuries, and it lacks a title page. The images begin right on the first page. The central columns of the folded leaves are also blank, thus the book's provenance and publication data cannot be determined. However, the engraving of the illustrations is of high quality, representative of the finest Chinese woodblock printing, and the illustrations are precisely detailed. The title is taken from the spine of the album case. Each leaf provides one illustration, with the name of the plant printed above. Most of these plants have applications in traditional Chinese medicine, such as li dou (Chinese mucuna, probably Mucuna pruriens), ye jiu (wild leek), wan dou (snow peas) and cang zhu (Swordlike Atractylodes). The first 11 leaves have frames, 20.3 centimeters high and 13.1 centimeters wide; the rest have none. The title was not recorded in any catalogs, and the Library of Congress copy presented here is the only one known. World Digital Library.
  • Incomplete; date of woodblock unknown; title page blank; text not divided into chapters; compiler anonymous; date of print unknown; regarded as a plant taxonomy, with vivid illustrations and scientific names of plants on each page; some pages believed to be missing.


  • Chinese Rare Book Collection (Library of Congress).

Created / Published

  • [China : s.n., between 1600 and 1799?]


  • -  Title from label on spine of case.
  • -  Also available in digital form.
  • -  January 6, 1941 600021.
  • -  此書全為圖畫,除植物名稱外隻字俱無,無從考訂版本。孤本。全書布滿蛀孔,然經襯補完竣。各圖繪刻俱極精致,為版畫上乘. 刻印年代不詳,不分卷。佚名繪編。植物圖譜,每葉一圖,僅標題文字上標品名。卷内無書名,版心空白,開卷即圖,疑前有闕葉,無從考訂版本.
  • -  線裝.


  • 1 v. : all ill.

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2012402255

Online Format

  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Chinese Rare Book Collection. Cao Mu Pu. [China: s.n., between 1600 and 1799?, 1600] Image.

APA citation style:

Chinese Rare Book Collection. (1600) Cao Mu Pu. [China: s.n., between 1600 and 1799?] [Image] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Chinese Rare Book Collection. Cao Mu Pu. [China: s.n., between 1600 and 1799?, 1600] Image. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.