Featuring a striking arrangement of Sturt Pea, Mottlecah and Scarlet Banksia and a story of the of the origin of the Sturt Pea inside. The legend of the Sturt’s Desert Pea
The packaging describes the story of the Sturt Desert Pea as follows:
“The Sturt’s Desert Pea Swainsona Formosa, is the floral emblem of South Australia and can be found in all mainland states except Victoria, growing in a range of habitts from sandy dunes to rocky plains.
The plant gets its common name from the explorer Charles Sturt who saw vast drifts of them when he was exploring the central regions of South Australia.
The plant was first collected by William Dampier, off the coast of Western Australian in 1699.
In some areas it is referred to as the ‘flower of blood’ by Aboriginal Koori groups.
This title comes from a legend which tells of a young woman who escaped marriage to an older tribe member by eloping with her younger lover. After some years, the shunned man and his friends tracked the couple down, murdering them both and their relatives who had lived.
Sometime later, the old man returned to the place where he had slain the lovers and found the ground covered with the beautiful scarlet flowers that we know today as the Sturt’s Desert Pea.
About the Artist – Meryl Bell
Meryl Bell was born in Bridgetown, in southern Western Australia.
She began painting Australian native flora in 1974, using oils and techniques similar to those of the great 17th century Dutch floral artists.
Meryl created all of her work from real life, growing or collecting fresh flowers throughout her travels. She worked closely with botanical experts to gather references and gain greater insight into the unique attributes of species.
Each of Meryl’s major paintings would take many months, or even years, to complete. At times, she would use a single-hair paintbrush to enable her to capture the exquisitely fine detail of her subjects.
As one of Australia’s foremost still life floral artists, Meryl’s paintings are featured in notable private collections around the world. Her superbly realistic images express their brilliant colour and forms with exceptional clarity and botanical accuracy.
Meryl passed away in 2009 after a brave fight with leukemia.
Bell Art aims to honour Meryl’s memory through these beautiful products that celebrate her work.