An Artist's Journeys in Nature

‘Unfolding’ – Botanical Art

Fern Frond Unfolding - PencilStill working on items for Society6, so here’s another.

It’s based on the New Zealand ‘Kiokio’ fern – one of the Blechnums : Blechnum capense.  They often grow on  banks, and the fronds can reach quite a size – often 2 or 3 feet long.  They look like great green waterfalls.

Where there is plenty of sun falling on them, the tips of the fronds take on an orangey hue.

The interesting thing about this genus is that its fertile, spore-bearing fronds are a distinctly different shape from its normal fronds.

I’ve brought this out in the painting – the fertile frond is shown in white silhouette behind the normal frond unfurling.


Here in New Zealand, any kind of unfolding fern frond or ‘koru’ is regarded as a symbol of new beginnings, development and growth.  For me, it is also a symbol of enormous power.  A botanical magnifying glass reveals some mighty wonders!

Click on image for more details.



3 responses

  1. flyingwithkids

    Hi Patricia. I just came across one of your artworks when Googling unfolding fern images for a notice I want to place in a lounge at the Wellington Skyline building this summer. I’d like to ask your permission to use the image – but don’t know what it is called as I cant find it on your website or blog. Help!

    September 22, 2012 at 2:17 am

    • Hello – I’ve just sent you an email. Thanks for contacting me! Patricia

      June 9, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    • Hi – thank you for your comment and enquiry – I’ve just sent you an email reply. Illustration work for ‘Taketakerau The Millennium Tree’ has kept me busy – see

      June 9, 2013 at 10:13 pm

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