Thursday, January 27, 2011

A botanical study...


The cycle of a flowering gum

As you might have noticed, I've recently developed quite an interest in flowering gum trees. There are sooooo many varieties of Eucalypt and right now is the perfect time of year to study them :)

I went back to the local reserve where I originally gathered the branches for my flowering gum print, and managed to find examples of every single stage in the flowering process. I found it interesting that one single branch can exhibit many of the different growth stages at the same time. So it was easy to gather examples of each for a shoot!


The cycle of a flowering gum - from operculum to bud of stamen to gumnuts
(view the full sized version here!)

So here's how it works! In this variety, the flowering cycle starts with a cluster of "opercula" that begin quite small and grow to approx 2-3cm in length. Each operculum is essentially a little cap, and inside are clusters of stamen (This is where the Eucalypt gets its name - Eucalypt translates to "well covered").

Over time the stamen expand and force the caps off.* Some flowering gums just feature a single bud, whereas this species features a cluster of buds so the end result looks like a whole sphere of pretty stamen.

Once the flower begins to die, the stamen drop off, leaving beind just the cup shaped base - which lo and behold - become gumnuts!

*I remember when we were little we'd find those really long pointy ones on the ground that we'd put on the ends of our fingers and pretend to be witches with long fingernails ;)

So yeah, isn't that interesting??

And of course I couldn't leave you withour a sneak peak of the new Flowering Gum print finally on fabric :) It'll be in the shop soon!


Flowering Gum in Red Orange and Stone

14 comments:

khristian a. howell said...

Beautiful design! The fabric looks so light and serene. Gorgeous!

Renae said...

Hehe we pretnded we were witches too!

Very interesting. I really like the fabric- different style to your other designs. It looks great!

sarah said...

Those photos are so, so beautiful.
We have lots of different flowering gums near us at the moment too- I just have to remember not to park my car under them because the stamen covers the roof in no time! Your fabric design is also gorgeous!

Jesse said...

Gumnuts! Never heard that word before - I like it. The design looks lovely!

Amy said...

So it wasn't just me with the witches fingers!?

Love the design - looking forward to it in the shop.

Juicy Roo said...

Awesome stuff Larz. Also love the pic on your previous post of your sketchbook where you can see your feet in the background! xo

Kita said...

You don't happen to do paper printing do you?

This design is almost exactly the sort of thing I'm after for a wedding invitation.. but noone seems to do anything in this sort of clean line drawing style with gum leaves!

/sigh

Beginner said...

Beautiful work, you have an artistic ability to express in the field of textile designing....
Do you work on CAD CAM also?

me said...

wow! I'd forgotten all about those witch fingers! I love flowering gums :)

Margit Rosenaa said...

wow - I found a lot of great things on your blog. It's my first time here.
Stop by any time :)

Li said...

i absolutely enjoyed this post. the process of studying the live cycle of plant, to the final product of fragile leaf ... you captured the sentiments well!!!

glad to come across your blog,

xx

PartyBabble.com said...

I collect seeds, pods and seed balls, and bring them out at Christmas as a special treat. Now I know what I've got. I have flowering gum tree seeds, pods and 2 different seed balls, made from them. And I love them. Thanks.

payment protection insurance said...

Those pictures are so, so beautiful.You have a lot of different tires flowers around us at this time also. Fabrics looks wonderful.

nat fowler said...

just having a look through your blog and i love the way you work and write about your work, its all very honest. i tend to overcomplicate things when i'm working and its nice to see your research and your story leading to your final designs, which are beautiful.