Ever since man went exploring, they have brought back specimens of plants to their home countries. But before photography or air travel, plant specimens did not do well on long expeditions, let alone the long journey home in sailing ships. In the 19th Century, botanical drawings showed best what the plants looked like in the wild.
Marianne North (1830 to 1890) was a wealthy English artist. She travelled the world and painted plants in their natural settings, which was not conventional but more informative. Kew Gardens have a gallery of Marianne’s paintings. Kew Gardens website has a short video about Marianne.