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Ann Phillips

Macaranga tanarius
bullock’s heart

2019, graphite on paper
31.5 x 25.5 cm

Collected 1770: Endeavour River

Collected 2018: Golden Beach, Chermside, Wurtulla

An attractive ornamental shrub or bushy tree with distinctive round veiny leaves, sensitively depicted in this graphite drawing.

The artist’s specimen also shows a prickly, three celled fruit capsule, with separate details revealing the black seed surrounded by a black aril. Trees are dioecious, bearing male or female flowers only, and the artist has provided a detail of each flower type. The artistic approach used is a typical botanical illustration format: the stem as the feature with plant details along the lower edge. This approach was first accepted in the 1700s.

On the east coast of Cape York, bark fibre is gathered by Indigenous peoples for washing, rinsing, and drying, before spinning it into twine and ultimately making string bags.

Macaranga tanarius is sometimes grown as a pioneer in reforestation projects.

© 2020 Botanical Artists’ Society Queensland