THE NATIVE PLUM (’Owenia.’)
This tree, of which there are several species, (’Owenia Cerasifera’ and ‘Owenia Vanessa’ being most common in Queensland), is found along the whole of the east coast, as far south as the Burnett, and is one of the handsomest of Australian forest trees. Its purple fruit has a pleasant acid flavor, and is probably a good anti-scorbutic. It is best eaten after having been buried in the ground for a few days, as is the custom of the natives. The stone is peculiar, having much the shape of a fluted pudding basin. The timber is handsomely grained and is of durable quality.
On the subjects of the fruits, edible plants, and roots of Queensland, Mr. Anthelme Thozet, of Rockhampton, whose name is well and deservedly known to Botanists, has been at great pains to prepare for the approaching Exhibition at Paris, a classified table of all that are known as consumed by the natives raw and prepared, and to his enthusiastic attention to the subject, we are indebted for the possession of a large and important list, a knowledge of which would enable travellers in the wilds of the colony to support themselves from their natural productions alone, in cases where their provision was exhausted.
THE CALAMUS (’Calamus Australis.)
This plant belongs to a genuis of palms, the different species of which yield the rattan canes of commerce. Its form in the scrubs of the Cape York Peninsula is long and creeping, forming a net work of vines very formidable to progress.
THE PITCHER PLANT (’Nepenthes Kennedyana.’)
This interesting plant was first noticed to the north of the Batavia River, and is common to the swamps of the peninsula. It has been described and named in honor of the unfortunate Kennedy, who first noticed it.
THE FERGUSON OR STAATEN.
This stream, whose arid banks Mr. Jardine was forced to trace to the sea, in consequence of the sterility and waterless character of the levels to the northward, is neverthless of some importance. Like most of the northern rivers, it is a torrent stream, whose bed is insufficient to carry off its waters during the flooded season, causing the formation of lagoons, back-waters, and ana-branches, and yet in the dry months, containing only a thread of water trickling along a waste of sand, sometimes three or four hundred yards wide, and at intervals loosing itself and running under the surface. Should the northern branch which was seen to join amongst the ana-branches near its debouchure prove to be the larger stream, that followed by the party might still retain the name of “the Ferguson,” given to it by the Brothers, in honor of the governor of Queensland. It receives Cockburn Creek, one of importance, which, just before