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Colin Price

Dendrocnide moroides
stinging brush

2019, watercolour on paper
30 x 43 cm

Collected 1770: Endeavour River

Observed 2019: Mossman Gorge

The artist has expressed the soft, lush quality of the plant, including the raspberry-like fruits in this evocative, highly three dimensional portrait. The composition of radiating leaves, with painterly ‘quilted’ surfaces, reach their tips outwards as if inviting touch.

Dendrocnide moroides is a rainforest shrub with heart shaped, serrated, dark green leaves that can grow from the size of a thumbnail to more than 50 cm wide. Dense hairs on the leaves, stems and fruit look like a soft downy fur. Even the slightest touch can cause excruciating pain. The tip of the hair is a small bulb that breaks off on contact, then the hair penetrates the skin, injecting a neurotoxin.

Interestingly, many leaf chewing insects and sap suckers are able to eat the plant, as can the red-legged pademelon that has been known to strip entire plants of their leaves overnight.

Dischidia nummularia
string of nickels

Dendrobium canaliculatum 
tea tree orchid

Lumnitzera racemosa
white flowered black mangrove

2019, watercolour on paper
33 x 23 cm

Collected 1770: Endeavour River

Observed 2019: Port Douglas

A creeping epiphyte, depicted here in the branch fork of a host tree and in the company of a native orchid. The artist has vividly and cleverly captured the plant’s hanging garland form and creeping habit.

Entwined with its environment, the stems, carrying smooth, opposite, thick and succulent leaves, can be seen rooting superficially on the supporting tree. The artist has also captured the inconspicuous, yellowish white flowers and the tiny, spindle shaped and paired capsules of fruit that follow.

© 2020 Botanical Artists’ Society Queensland