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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 6



1. Hibiscus heterophyllus, Vent. Native Sorrel. Batham,—Banks of rivers and creeks, occasionally on plains. A rather tall shrub, part of the stem and young branches covered with small prickles. Leaves entire or lobate. Flower white and pink or yellow, with purple centre. (Roots of young plants, young shoots, and leaves eatable.)

2. Brachychiton platanoides, R. Br. Platan-leaved Bottle-tree. Ketey.—In scrub land. A tree of a beautiful pyramidal growth when young, becoming enlarged in the centre with old age. (Roots of young plants eatable.)

3. Brachychiton Delabechei, F. Muell. Bottle-tree. Binkey.— Generally in stony scrub land. Remarkable by its enlarged trunk, similar in shape to a lemonade bottle; some measure six to eight feet in diameter. (Roots of the young plants eatable.) The natives refresh themselves with the mucilaginous sweet substance afforded by this tree, as well as make nets of its fibre. They cut holes in its soft trunk, where the water lodges and rots them to the centre, thus forming so many artificial reservoirs. On their hunting excursions afterwards, when thirsty, they tap them one or two feet below the old cuts, and procure an abundant supply.

4. Vitis opaca, F. Muell. Round Yam. Yaloone (large); Wappoo Wappoo (small).—In clayey soil. Small creepers; leaflets usually three, four, or five, dark green and smooth. Berries black and globular. Tubers very numerous, some weighing five to ten pounds. Eaten in hot weather like water-melons (the small and young are the best); they are, however, difficult to digest. Probably the yam alluded to by Leichhardt; in his "Journal of an Overland Expedition," page 150, he says—"Both tubers and berries had the same pungent taste, but the former contained a watery juice, which was most welcome to our parched mouths."

5. Dioscorea punctata, R. Br. Long Yam. Kowar.—In scrubs and creeks. A small rough, twining creeper. Leaves heart-shaped and smooth. Flowers terminal The clusters of the winged capsule look, to an unacquainted observer, like the flowers of the common hop. (Small young tubers eatable.)

6. Heleociiaris sphacelata, R. Br. Rush. Kaya.—Lagoons, creeks, and ponds. Small, almost spherical tubers, six to twelve on each plant.