Two Max Mueller’s burr daisies (Calotis pubescens)
fabric, wire, embroidery thread
Each daisy: 28 x 8 x 9 cm
Artist statement: Max Mueller’s Burr-daisy was discovered in Victoria in 1854 but then lost for 155 years. It is now a declining endangered plant, found in only four places in NSW. All are in Kosciuszko National Park in areas being damaged by feral horses. Horses feed on the plants, trample them and damage the areas where they grow. Where horses are active Max Mueller’s Burr-daisy is replaced by Ox-eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare), an aggressively invasive species from Europe. Ox-eye Daisy is a widespread agricultural weed. The NSW Government ended commercial livestock grazing in Kosciuszko 60 years ago because water pollution caused by rapid soil erosion was threatening irrigation and electricity generation. There has been slow recovery of alpine areas since then, but now grazing and trampling by horses and their spreading of invasive weeds appear to be turning the clock back for Max Mueller’s Burr-daisy. I am sad to think that the artificial daisies I have made might last longer than the entire species of this daisy in the wild.