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Liz Showniruk

Homalanthus novoguineensis
bleeding heart

2019, watercolour on paper
57 x 38.5 cm

Collected 1770: Endeavour River

Collected 2018: Whyanbeel Valley

In this dreamy and luminous composition, the plant is bathed in a soft focus through sensuous passages of transparent watercolour. The glorious red and decaying leaf anchoring the portrait is, by contrast, in crisp and dramatic focus.

A dioecious rainforest species, so male and female plants need to be grown within pollinator distance if fruit and seeds are to form. The distinctive heart shaped leaves change colour to a deep red before falling – hence its common name, bleeding heart.

The tree is a favourite of the hercules moth (Coscinocera hercules), which has the largest wing area of any moth in the world. They lay their eggs on the tree and larvae feed on the leaves.

Manilkara kauki
wongi plum

2019, watercolour on paper
53 x 34 cm

Collected 1770: Thirsty Sound, Lizard Island

Collected 2019: Newell Beach

This rich, warm and vivid watercolour features the distinctive rigid leaves that are dark green on the upper face, and pale and silky below. The attractive smooth skinned fruits are displayed. As the fruits ripen, they change from hard and green to orange to red to soft and purple. Fruit can be picked at the hard red stage and left to ripen in a few days.

Wongi plum is a traditionally favourite tree of Indigenous peoples. According to a well known Torres Strait saying, if you taste the juicy fruit of this tree, you will always return.

The wood from a mature tree is very hard and dense. It is used for carving and for making small artefacts such as hair combs.

© 2020 Botanical Artists’ Society Queensland