November – scorched leaves and new vine shoot 1, [Cocky apple – Planchonia careya , and Wild Grape – Ampelocissus acetosa ], 50x70cm, oil on linen

Ampelocissus acetosa
Common name: Wild Grape. Family: Vitaceae. Semi-prostrate shrub or scrambling climber, with perennial tuber. Edible fleshy purple-black fruit in dense grape-like clusters. Common in coastal forest. One of the first plants to appear after fire. Fruit and roots are eaten by Aboriginal people, leaves are used to wrap meat for cooking, and juice may be an antidote for snakebite.

Planchonia careya
Common name: Cocky Apple. Family: Lecythidaceae. Straggly small tree 4-10 metres high. Large fleshy pink and white flowers with numerous stamens, 5-6 cm long. Fleshy edible fruit to 9cmx3.5cm, pale greenish when ripe. Corky, fissured bark. Juvenile leaves are substantially different from mature leaves. Common understorey tree in open forest and woodland. An Aboriginal ‘calendar plant’. Bark, leaves, roots and stems have medicinal uses. Root bark used to make string for ceremonial belts and string bags. Bark, leaves and branches used as a fish poison. Occurs across the north of Australia, also Papua New Guinea.

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