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Biographical entry Scarth-Johnson, Vera (1912 - 1999)


Morley, England
19 May 1999
Botanical collector and Botanical illustrator


Vera Scarth-Johnson was a botanical collector and illustrator who studied horticulture at Hertfordshire Institute of Agriculture and drawing at the Leeds College of Art in the United Kingdom. After World War II she immigrated to Australia and soon afterwards established a sugar cane farm in Queensland. Scarth-Johnson spent much of her spare time collecting and drawing plants. She travelled widely across Australia and even visited some Pacific nations. She sent her specimens to the herbariums in Kew, UK and in Queensland providing some 1700 to the latter. In 1972 Scarth-Johnson moved to Cooktown where she set about painting the 200 known plant species growing along the Endeavour River. This work earned her a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) and is housed at the Vera Scarth-Johnson Interpretive Centre and Art Gallery at the Cooktown Botanic Gardens.



Award - Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM)

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions

Edited Books

  • McKay, Judith (ed.), Brilliant Careers: Women Collectors and Illustrators in Queensland, Queensland Museum, Brisbane, 1997, 80 pp. Details

Online Resources

Annette Alafaci