Kowhai Botanical Print by Emily Harris

Kowhai Botanical Print by Emily Harris

Print Code: 9846

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NZ Botanical Print

Image size in millimetres: 210 x 300

Sophora Tetrapera or Kowhai, the national flower of NZ. In Maori legend the Kowahi sprang from the shreds of the cloak of Ngatoro i rangi of the Arawa waka on its arrival in Aotearoa. The first European to identify the kowhai was Sir Joseph Banks on Captain Cook’s first voyage of discovery to New Zealand in 1769-1770. The seeds (which, incidentally, are poisonous) taht Cook’s naturalists gathered survived the return voyage to Britain and the plants that were raised became wildly popular.

This image is from the trilogy of books, New Zealand Flowers, New Zealand Ferns and New Zealand Berries published in 1890 by Emily Harris. These books were among the earliest both published and printed in New Zealand. They were printed in black and white and handcoloured by Emily Harris who during her lifetime painte a great many flower studies and botanical plates. In spring the Kowhai tree in flower is a site to behold, particularly when the native wood pigeons (Kereru), tui and bellbirds flock to the tree to devour the nectar. These notes are from the publisher of this re-print, Thorndon Fine Prints. The prints are in the same size as the original prints, printed on good quality paper with lightfast inks.

Like this botanical print by NZ artist Emily Harris? “Kowhai” features in these collections of prints on a similar topic here at NZ's specialist art print store:

Emily Harris Prints
NZ Plants/Botanical Art
Flower Paintings