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Sandra Ford

Persoonia falcata 
wild pear

2019, watercolour, gouache on paper
47 x 31 cm

Collected 1770: Endeavour River

Observed 2019: Mt Molloy

Persoonia falcata grows as a woody shrub or small tree. The artist has depicted the long slender curving leaves with accompanying flowers and fruit in a warm, vibrant and open composition. Intense textural details draw the viewer’s eye inwards for sustained appreciation.

The pale green, round fruits have a sweet tasting, fibrous pulp, which is a bit like eating sweet cotton wool, and is a popular Indigenous food. The tree’s papery grey to plum coloured bark is much sought after by Indigenous bark painters.

Indigenous peoples use a solution infused with wood and bark as an eye wash, and drink an infusion from the leaves to treat chest colds and diarrhoea. Leaves could also be applied to circumcision wounds; and the wood used for making woomeras and boomerangs.

Santalum lanceolatum
blue bush

2019, watercolour, gouache on paper
44 x 29 cm

Collected 1770: Endeavour River

Observed 2019: Mt Molloy

A slender, evergreen tree growing up to six metres. Rich and subtle variations in colour and tone lead the viewer’s eye gently through this attractive composition.

This species is unusual in that it is a root hemiparasite, obtaining most of its nutrients and water from a host, but does photosynthesise. Once mature, the individual plants can grow successfully without the host. This species is usually observed in clumps within the landscape.

Indigenous peoples create a decoction from the leaves and bark for drinking as a purgative and a decoction of the scraped outer wood is taken for ‘sickness of the chest’. An infusion of the roots is applied topically to relieve rheumatism and itching. Leaves are burnt to drive away mosquitoes.

© 2020 Botanical Artists’ Society Queensland