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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 6



All the following were gathered by A. Thozet, Esq., in the vicinity of Rockhampton:—

Bark (as well from the stem as root) of Alstonia constricta: F. M.—The Bitterbark of Queensland and the north of New South Wales.—This bark seems to have been advantageously drawn into use in cases of intermittent fever, but as yet no published pathologic records exist on the subject. The bark is yielded by a small or middle-sized tree, now and then to be met with in umbrageous forests, as well as in the Brigalow scrubs. It owes its bitterness not to an alkaloid, but, as shown by Mr. Zeyher in Professor Wittstein's laboratory in Munich, to other principles. It is unnecessary to refer further to the subject, since it has been carefully treated in a published memoir. Comparison with other apocynaceous trees throws no light on the specific nature of this bark. In many respects it resembles that of Quassia, .unless the resemblance is traced to Thevetia nereifolia, which is rather famed in tropical America as a febrifuge, or to Wrightia antidysenterica, equally renowned in Ceylon, or the Alstonia scholaris of Madagascar and various parts of India and North Queensland, never as yet admitted into general medicine.

Bark of Acacia harpophylla, F. M.; Croton insulare, Baill.; Sarcocephalus cordatus, Miquel; Xantlioxylon brachyacanthum, F. M.; Bobea putuminosa, F. M.; Melodorum Leichhardtii, Benth.; Rhammus Vitiensis, Benth.—It is expected that all these will serve either as dye stuffs, or for tanning, or for medicinal purposes. Their test will necessarily involve extended researches, which have only commenced. (Vide Appendix.)

The bark of Chionanthus (Linociera) picropldoia is intensely bitter, and it may be administered in intermittent fevers, like that of some other plants of the oleaceous order.

The barks of the following plants yield textile fabrics, but we have as yet no means of calculating whether the expense attending their gathering and preparation stands in proportion to their mercantile value:—Pipturus propinquus (Wedd.), a tree ranging from the north of New South Wales through the littoral mountains of Queensland. Brachychiton populneum (R. Brown), occurring from the eastern parts of Victoria to the southwestern parts of Queensland. Brachychiton Delabechei (F.M.), the true bottle tree of the Brigalow scrubs of New South Wales and Queensland. page 39 Abutilon oxycarpum (F. M.), a shrub of various parts of New South Wales and Queensland, and replaced in other parts of Australia by many different kinds of Sida, Abutilon, and other malvaceous plants, yielding likewise textile fabrics; as, for instance, that of Hibiscus tiliaceus, which is extensively used in tropical Australia as well as India, the Pacific groups, and elsewhere, by the natives for fishing nets, cordage, &c.