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Robyn Douglas

Ajuga australis
Australian bugle

2019, coloured pencil on paper
28 x 20 cm

Collected 1770: Bustard Bay

Collected 2019: Eurombah Creek

The artist has captured the velvety texture of these softly scalloped leaves. Equal attention is given to the delightful clusters of tubular purple flowers with their long lower lips.

Indigenous peoples use an infusion of the bruised plant in hot water to treat sores and boils. The leaves are used as a salve for wounds.

Erythrina vespertilio
batwing coral tree

2019, coloured pencil on paper
28 x 20 cm

Collected 1770: Bay of Inlets, Endeavour River

Observed 2012, 2019: Injune, Roma

The artist features the splendid show of the drooping orange red flowers that characterise Erythrina vespertilio. This small tree is deciduous and often leafless when flowering, so the leaves are depicted separately. The leaflets resemble a bat’s open wings, as per the common name, and are an equally distinguishing feature. The brown woody pods contain shiny beanlike seeds. The composition dances with life in rhythmic flows of curving lines and gentle tonal variations.

The batwing coral tree has many uses for Indigenous peoples. The lightweight timber is soft and easily carved into shields, woomeras and coolamons. The seeds are used as ornaments for weaving and body decorations. The inner bark has medicinal uses in treating headache and sore eyes, while the leaves are a sedative. The tree’s roots are also eaten raw.

Passiflora aurantia var. aurantia
passion flower

2019, coloured pencil on paper
37 x 21.5 cm

Collected 1770: Bay of Inlets, Thirsty Sound, Endeavour River

Collected 2012, 2019: Dawson River catchment

This lyrical, colour pencil drawing expresses the luxuriant energy of this fast growing tendril climber. The swirling composition displays a profusion of flowers at various stages of formation, through a colour sequence from creamy white to pink to orange red. These flowers last one day and, if pollinated, are followed by ovoid, green fruits.

The spotted bowerbird (Chlamydera maculata) collects these fruits as a decoration for the bower.

Passiflora aurantia is a food plant for glasswing (Acraea andromacha) and cruiser (Vindula arsinoe) butterflies.

© 2020 Botanical Artists’ Society Queensland