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Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717)

Branch of Banana with Bullseye Moth 1702-03

RCIN 921166

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The banana (Musa paradisiaca) had been introduced to Suriname from south-east Asia. Merian noted that the fruit had a ‘pleasant’ flavour, and that the leaves were used as platters on which bread was baked. She showed the plant alongside the life cycle of the Bullseye Moth (Automeris liberia), named for the circular markings on its hindwings.