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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 6

Barks from Various Parts of Australia

Barks from Various Parts of Australia.

Pimelea Clavata: (Lab.).—The bark of this shrub was sent by Pemberton Walcott, Esq., of Warren River, West Australia. The species is not unfrequent in that part of Australia. The bark is extremely tough, and largely employed by the natives for their nets, fishing lines, and kindred objects. The exhibitor is of opinion that the bark could be profitably collected for textile fabrics. If so, it is the only species of sufficiently large and gregarious growth to render the fibre commercially available. A beautiful fibre, of similar utility to the natives of Queensland and to the Yarra tribe, is gained from Pimelea hypericina (Cunn.), Pimelea pauciflora (R. Br.), and Pimelea axiflora (F. M.), all tall species of our forest gullies, the two former occurring likewise in Tasmania. The Murray River natives use the bark of Pimelea microcephala, a shrub of the desert.

The numerous Pimeleæ are, perhaps, of greater significance as medicinal plants. The acridity of their bark is more or less analogous to that of Daphne mezereum; the bark of Pimelea stricta (Meissn.), from St. Vincent's Gulf, being the most acrid of all. The proportion of acrid resin, on which the blistering properties depend, has as yet not been ascertained in any of our species.