Saturday, January 22, 2011

new botanicals

Botanical artworks- Featuring Fennel and Peppercorn.

Wild Fennel Foeniculum vulgare

Southern European native from the Apiaceae family, introduced to Australia. An invasive, perennial herb that can grow up to two metres high. Fennel is considered to be a serious environmental weed in Australia and is commonly found along railway tracks, industrial wastelands and unkempt coastal sites.The example used to create this design was found in autumn in an overgrown site at the edge of port Philllip Bay, in the Melbourne suburb of Williamstown.

The Peppercorn Tree : Schinus molle

According to my arborist friend Andrew, and I believe him, Scottish Presbyterian ministers introduced this tree to Australia. As missionaries in Peru the Scots learnt the peppercorn tree was useful as it omitted a pheromone, which repelled flies. The branches hung low to the ground creating a protective curtain against insects. So the Scots, maddened by flies in the Australian outback, planted the Peruvian trees to create a sanctuary to read and relax. Architects and planners obviously used to know about this, as witnessed by mature peppercorn trees planted where people are forced to stay put, along railway platforms, in school playgrounds etc.

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