Bosschaert spent much of his working life in the town of Middelburg, which was famed for its botanical gardens. Nearly 200 new species of flowers were introduced to the Netherlands during the 17th century, providing constant inspiration for intricate flower paintings by Bosschaert and his contemporaries.
On this small copper panel Bosschaert has painted with great delicacy and precision a bouquet of relatively common flowers – among them tulips, roses, wallflowers, daffodils, and a carnation. He has described them with the precision of a botanical illustrator and yet carefully balanced the composition in terms of form and colour.
In order both to enliven the painting and display his own virtuosity he has added a butterfly, a caterpillar, and a fly. The bouquet is placed in a wine glass or 'roemer' (with its characteristic tear-shaped blobs of glass on the stem) which serves as a vase.