THE APPLE-GUM (’Angophora?’)
I have been at some pains to discover to what species this tree belongs, but further than that it is one of the almost universal family of the Eucalypti, have not been able to identify it. As mentioned in the text, it was found very valuable for forging purposes by the Brothers, who were able to bring their horse-shoes almost to a white heat by using it. It is like box in appearance, and very hard.
This formidable weapon can hardly receive too high a commendation, and to its telling efficiency is probably attributable the absence of any casualty to the party in their many encounters with the savages. Not only for its long range is it valuable, but for its superior certainty in damp or wet weather, its charge remaining uninjured after days and weeks of interval, and even after immersion in water, making it available when an ordinary piece would be useless. The effect of the conical bullet too is much more sure and complete, which, when arms ‘must’ be resorted to, is of great importance.
This shell-fish is to be found in almost all the Australian rivers and lagoons. It is in size and appearance very much like the little cray-fish or “Ecrevisses” which usually garnish the “Vol-au-vent” of Parisian cookery, and of very delicate flavor.
SPINIGEX, Spear Grass, Needle Grass, or “Saucy Jack” (’Triodia Irritans.’)
This grass, so well known to all Australian travellers, is a certain indication of a sandy sterile country. The spinifex found in the Mally scrubs of the south attains a great size, generally assuming the appearance of a large tuft or bush from one to two feet in diameter, and twelve to eighteen inches high. When old, its sharp points, like those of so many immense darning needles set on end at different angles, are especially annoying to horses, who never touch it as food, except when forced by starvation. In Northern Queensland the present species is found abundantly from Peak Downs to Cape York.
FIVE CORNERS (’Stypelia?’)
This fruit is well known and very common in the neighbourhood of Sydney, and was found in the scrubby region about the Richardson Range, which, as before mentioned, is of similar character to that description of country. It does not, so far as I am aware, exist in any other part of Queensland.