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Gwenda White

Hibbertia scandens
snake vine

2002–2005, watercolour on paper
46 x 33 cm

Collected 1770: Botany Bay

Observed 2002–2005: Durack

A perennial woody creeper that forms a low, dense cover with long scrambling stems. The artist has expressed the vigorous twining habit, depicting glossy green leaves crowding along the stems with buds and blooms of intense golden flowers. Succulent, orange red fruit anchor this delightful composition.

Sinuous tendrils of new growth resemble hovering snakes with flickering tongues, alluding to the plant’s common name.

Hibbertia scandens is cultivated as a popular garden ornamental.

Planchonia careya
cocky apple

2002–2005, watercolour on paper
27.5 x 23.5 cm

Collected 1770: Cape Grafton

Observed 2002–2005: Durack

The artist has captured the profusely flowering and leafy form, also including the smooth egg shaped fruit, and bathing all in a warm golden glow that lends the work a magical quality. The artist has fond childhood memories of turning the flowers into ‘fairy skirts’ for her dolls.

The tree flowers quite prolifically, but nocturnally. The flowers open in the early evening, and by morning many of them have fallen to form a colourful carpet. The leaves develop autumn colours before they fall.

The fruit has a fibrous, cheesy flesh, and is an important Indigenous food. Many of the plant parts are used in traditional medicine due to antibacterial properties. It is also the source of an effective fish poison. The inner portion of the trunk bark is used to make a strong twine and boomerangs are made from the wood. As the common name cocky apple suggests, the fruit is eaten by cockatoos.

© 2020 Botanical Artists’ Society Queensland