Friday, September 19, 2008

Urban Ride

It rained today
and a ride through the urban sidewalks was sweetened by the fragrance of many flowering trees.

This is a variety of Syzygium which produces editable fruit. I was told it's common name is white bush apple.

According to Tantalite [] the fruit is ripe in December if the tree is growing in the bush. Native trees flowering out of sync with their native counterparts. How confusing!
Link: []

Another strange flowering plant was the freshwater mangrove Barringtonia acutangula.

The caterpillar, known as the Itchy Grub lives on the tree and can cause a nasty rash IF YOU BRUSH AGAINST IT so one common name is the itichy tree.

As well as the unusual flowers, the bark is ground up and has been used by the Indigenous Australians to de-oxygenate the river streams to harvest the stunned fish.

In the story "YathalamarraLand of the waterlily" this tree plays a significant role. According to Margie West:

"The Mundukul ‘rainbow’ site at Wulŋir that Malangi did paint is a restricted site because the Snake himself is considered to be malagatj (extremely dangerous). At this site there is a lone nithuk, freshwater mangrove tree (Barringtonia acutangula), which is regarded as poisonous and people in the region pound the bark to stun fish. If anyone goes too close to this site unannounced, or breaks a branch from this tree, Mundukul will spit lightning, unleash destructive storms, and may swallow people whole. Malangi was concerned about the possible interference with this dangerous place and recounted how the desecration of ancestrally significant trees in his Glyde River country once made him and his younger brother Charlie Boyun extremely ill, leading to his brother’s death a short time afterwards.


No comments: