For thousands of years Australia’s aborigines thrived on the country’s wide variety of flora and fauna. Their diet included lillipilli, kangaroo apples and bush tomatoes – foods which few of today’s Australians are likely to have heard of let alone tasted.
Australian honey producers are set for a liquid billion-dollar global gold rush with new research investigating healing and anti-inflammatory properties in the flowering nectar of trees across Australia.
....... Amongst all this enthusiasm for the international, however, there has been a home-grown cuisine and culture continually overlooked. Only recently has mainstream attention begun to focus on the fruits, nuts and vegetables of Australian ecosystems, growing out of a curiosity to explore yet more novel tastes and combinations. Of course, to First Australians, native foods aren’t novel at all.
Banksia plants are Australian emblems, famous for their colourful flowers and dark, knobbly seed pods — the inspiration of May Gibbs’ big bad banksia men. Just like those banksia men, unerringly creepy after all those decades, their real-life counterparts may be just as resilient to the impacts of climate change.
LOCAL researchers have unravelled the germination secrets of WA’s strangely-named snottygobble tree (Persoonia longifolia R.Br.), thereby opening the door for the species to help rehabilitate WA’s landscape.
The Florilegium Society at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney Inc was formed to create a florilegium, a collection of contemporary botanical paintings of some of the most significant plants in the living collections of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust.
For traditional medicinal purposes Aboriginal Australians have utilised numerous plant species, Eremophila alternifolia is among the most prominent. Traditionally, fresh leaves, leaf-infusions and handmade leaf-pastes have been used
Urban development often results in the ‘clean up’ of existing trees for construction access, neatness or reducing the risk of damage to surrounding property from falling branches or bushfire. Now researchers are warning that, as the world’s cities lose their large old trees, native wildlife that depend on those trees for food and shelter will also be in jeopardy.
In 1829, estranged from her family and living in an isolated Scottish village, Georgiana Kennedy makes a sudden decision to marry Captain John Molloy of the Rifle Brigade - a handsome hero with a mysterious past. Together, they emigrate to the remote southwest of Western Australia with the first small group of European settlers, experiencing great hardship in the fledgling colonies of Augusta and Busselton.
In times of personal tragedy and privation, botany is Georgiana Molloy's salvation. Entirely self-taught, she becomes the first internationally successful female botanist in Western Australia.
Today, her collections of indigenous flora of the southwest, including type specimens, are archived in the world's leading herbaria.
Drawing on primary sources and fresh evidence to explore previously undisclosed influences that shaped Georgiana's strong values and attitudes, Bernice Barry sheds new light on the pioneering botanist's writing, and answers questions asked for a hundred and fifty years about John Molloy's complete history and his influence on her life. This minutely researched biography covers some of the most dramatic scenery, geographical and historical, of two centuries in England, Scotland, Spain and Australia a tale of love, drama, adventure and resilience.
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