The Flower Hunter: The Remarkable life of Ellis Rowan

Ellis Rowan was one of Australia’s most accomplished artists and an incredible—if somewhat unexpected—adventurer. During World War I Rowan ventured alone into the tropical jungles of New Guinea in search of all 72 known species of the Bird of Paradise. Not only was she the first white woman to do such a thing, she was also 70 years old.
The Flower Hunter, by Christine and Michael Morton-Evans, is the incredible story of a woman who went to extraordinary lengths to paint her beloved subject matter, journeying to some of the most wild and inhospitable areas of Australia and beyond. On her death in 1922 there was hardly a household in Australia that didn’t know her name. Sadly today she is all but forgotten, yet her work lives on in the 970 paintings carefully preserved in the National Library of Australia and in this, the definitive story of Ellis Rowan’s remarkable life.
Shortlisted for the National Biography Award.

Book Cover

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Sample images

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Memorial Portrait of Ellis
Rowan by Sir John Longstaff
(1926)

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Bird of paradise

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Pink lotus lily

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