Senecio Chirorum, circa 1937
Mounted (ref: 6588)
Inscribed with title in pencil
This drawing is a preparatory sketch for Gardener's Choice, a collaboration between Charles Mahoney and Evelyn Dunbar published by Routledge at the end of 1937. The full page illustrations were mostly produced by Mahoney, the vignettes and much of the text by Dunbar, though as a genuine collaboration it is today difficult to be sure who did what. As Elizabeth Bulkeley notes in her biographical essay, “They presented the plants that they liked to draw, paint and grow. The were sculptural and bold, yet subtle, and unusual for their time. Each was described lovingly, as if in sharing their favourite plants they were sharing their mutual happiness”.
Senecio Chirorum is a robust herbaceous perennial growing to 1–1.5 m tall. The dark green leaves are large, long-stalked, leathery, cordate-based, and very rounded, with serrated edges. Orange-yellow daisy-like composite flowers bloom on thick red, mostly leafless stalks, rising above the foliage in early summer.