Butterfly Rainforest Research is Solid

The area in the Cairns Botanic Gardens where I am working is a multi-use space and I found myself attending the latest “Walk & Talk” event hosted by Friends of the Botanic Gardens: Watching Out for Wicked Weeds. 



Many native butterflies here in Far North Queensland enjoy plants and flowers from non-native species. Some are also killed by them.  It took me a long time to wade through information to ensure each plant and   flower I created was, in fact, a native species. Common names and Latin names were often haphazardly applied leaving this non-botanist a bit perplexed. 

Today’s informative session by members of Australia’s Dept of Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry solidified for me that the initial research I did was worth the effort! 

Having access to Botanists has helped also. I did stump them with my question about the fruit on the Walking Stick Palm tree:



Each Walking Stick Palm I have seen in photos or here in real life has either orange fruit or red fruit. Do the orange ones become red or does each plant have its own specific colored fruit and they don’t change color?

The Botonists didn’t have an answer for me as it takes 10 years for the Palm to come to fruit and an experiment started by one could not completed with a reliable answer. But he did tell me they are edible and the red ones taste better :)

As a painter will paint what they see, I will stitch what I see!

For more of my day to day Artist-in-Residence adventures, follow me on Instagram: Studio Deanna

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