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Cassandra Hodgins

Hardenbergia violacea
false sarsaparilla

2019, watercolour, coloured pencil on paper
24.5 x 37.2 cm

Collected 1770: Botany Bay

Observed 2014/2015: Kerry Valley, Kyogle

Observed 2018: Springfield Lakes

The artist has expressed the vigorous climbing habit and strong ornamental qualities, where long, arrow shaped, deep green leaves with prominent veins complement an abundance of violet pea flowers.

A widespread species found in many habitats. It is also a popular garden plant, with many cultivars now available.

Hardenbergia violacea regrows from its roots after fire. The roots were experimented with by early European settlers as a substitute for sarsaparilla. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, which live in nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. The nitrogen is used by the growing plant as well as other plants growing nearby. A grey blue dye is obtained from the flowers.

Viola hederacea
native violet

2019, watercolour, coloured pencil on paper
19 x 20 cm

Collected 1770: Botany Bay

Collected 2019: Springfield Lakes

This exquisitely detailed work captures the plant’s ornamental and almost magical character. The composition tells a story of this small creeping plant. Interestingly, the leaf shape can vary from location to location.

The flowers are edible and can be used as garnish and in salads.

© 2020 Botanical Artists’ Society Queensland