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  • Title: sand palm, dodder laurel, flat-leaf plant
  • Artist: Judy Watson
  • Region: Queensland
  • Art Centre: Independent artist
  • Medium: Etching
  • Collection: Replant Folio
  • Dimensions: 33 x 25 cm
  • Edition Size: 40
  • Price ($AUD): $ 550

Artwork Story

This print is also available as part of the Replant Folio of 12 etchings. The price of the Replant Folio is $5,500.

More info:


Three plants are presented in this print.


The dark grey, curved infructescence of the Fan Palm, (Livistona humilis). The Fan Palm is called merrepen by several Aboriginal language groups; it is an incredibly important plant in the Daly River area, as indicated by the naming of the Merrepen Art Centre at Nauiyu and the Merrepen outstation between Nauiyu and Wadeye. The new leaves of the Fan Palm are extensively used by fibre craft artists to make dillybags, fish nets and other products; the cabbage can also be eaten and is used as medicine as well as a dye, and the spiked leaf petioles can be used as a bush knife. The fruit can be eaten but they are not very tasty.


The red, wispy stems of the Dodder Laurel (Cassytha filiformis). Dodder Laurel is a parasitic plant from the laurel family; it has small opaque, globular fruit that are sweet and tasty. Some Aboriginal groups use the twining stems with water as a hair darkener and restorer, while some people believe that spirits live in the dark area underneath the canopy of this plant that sometimes forms over trees and shrubs.


The light grey, flattened stem of the Flat-leaf Plant (Pachynema dilatata). Pachynema dilatatum has no proper leaves however the flattened green stems carry out the photosynthetic activities of leaves. This is an adaptation to the annual period of aridity characteristic of the wet-dry tropics as it reduces water loss. Ngan’gikurunggurr speakers call this plant yelmelpemadi in reference to these flattened stems; the plant has no particular use. The visual appearance of the stem in this print is highly evocative of the flooding Daly River that was uppermost in our minds as we undertook the Replant fieldwork. The intertwining stems of the Dodder Laurel are symbolic of the vastly different cultures of the six Replant artists as they became artistically intertwined over the duration of the project.

Glenn Wightman

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