Patchouli  Pogostemon cablin
             

Paul Plant

   
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Related to basil, mint and lavender, this fragrant herb has been long cultivated by gardeners due to its fragrant leaves and popularity amongst aromatherapists. Its historical use includes being an insect repellent for stored fabrics, a food flavouring, and an essential oil for the cosmetic industry and used in traditional medicine. It is also synonymous with the hippy era of the 60s and 70s.

A native to the lowlands of the Philippines, this soft stemmed perennial herb looks a lot like a basil bush and grows 50-80cm tall by 30-80cm wide. The strongly scented leaves are produced in an opposite arrangement along the ‘square’ stems and generally have a pink-red tinge to their undersides.

Topics covered are:

  • Culture
  • Uses
  • Propagation
 
From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Thirty Five
 
 
Patchouli and Goat Milk soap.
 
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Radishes  Raphanus sativus
             

Claire Bickle

 

   

The Radish is an annual root vegetable that is grown all over the world. Eaten by the Egyptian pharaohs, the Romans and during the Middles Ages in Europe, there is evidence to suggest that the radish originated in northern China.

The radish is often overlooked but it is a rewarding crop to grow, especially for beginners, due to its ease of germination and rapid growth – equalling instant satisfaction within a limited amount of time.

It is also an excellent choice for children to start off with and also a fabulous seed addition to the sprouting jar. For sprouting, a personal favourite of mine is the ‘Ruby Red’ radish for it not only super tasty but also has very attractive foliage.

Topics explored briefly are:

  • Culture
  • Cultivars
  • Pests and Diseases
 
From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Thirty Five
 
 
Radish seedlings planted in situ.
 
Freshly picked radish.
 
Radish flower.
 
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Blueberry  Muntingia calabura
             

Paul Plant

   
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Blueberries are often regarded as the ‘holy grail’ of nutritious fruiting plants and most gardeners would love to grow them well. Many gardeners have lost their plants, whilst others have had stunning successes. In some cases it’s all about selecting the correct cultivar for your local climate, and in other cases it’s about the cultural practices. For warm climate gardeners appropriate cultivar selection is vitally important.

Blueberries are native to the moist forests of temperate and subtropical United States of America. Understandably it is important to select cultivars which originate from the warmer southern areas of the USA, or have parentage from these regions.

The article looks at:

  • Blueberry Types
  • General Cultural Tips
  • Fertilising
  • Watering
  • Pests and Diseases
  • Pruning
 
From a 4 page Feature Article in Issue Thirty Five
 
 
Image  Dean Bryant
 
Image  Dean Bryant
 
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The Lolly Tree  Muntingia calabura
             

Barbara Beerling

 

   

Few fruit trees have as many enticing common names as this plant and yet few people have reaped the rewards of this adaptable small tree which grows so well in warm climate gardens.

A member of the family Muntingiaceae (also placed in Elaeocarpaceae family), the Panama Berry is indigenous to southern Mexico, The Bahamas, Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Trinidad, Tobago, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru.

It is now widely cultivated in most tropical and subtropical countries, where it is a typical pioneer species, colonizing disturbed sites in tropical lowland areas. In South East Asia it is one of the most common roadside trees, especially in the drier areas such as in eastern Java and eastern Thailand. It establishes itself in compacted areas and alongside shop fronts where no other tree will survive.

This article also touches on:

  • Cultivation
  • Uses
 
From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Thirty Five
 
 
The Lolly Tree  Muntingia calabura
 
The Lolly Tree  Muntingia calabura
 
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Zig Zag Vine
             

By the Queensland Bushfood Association (QBA)
Images
Frank Jordan, John King and Glenn Leiper

 

   

Vines form a vital element of our rainforest ecology. Their unique habit allows them to occupy a specialised niche which contributes to the biodiversity of a forest and provides additional food sources for native fauna. Many hundreds of native plants have adopted the climbing habit and it’s not surprising that a great many bear fruit or seed that is tasty, not only to the native fauna but also to us. The Zig Zag Vine is one such example.

Common names can be very confusing and may lead to the wrong identification of a plant. This plant is also known as Acid Drop Vine, Wild Banana and Merangara. That’s why the botanical name should always be noted. However, this plant has had five botanical names over the last 150 years – from Unona leichhardtii to Fissistigma leichhardtii to Rauwenhoffia leichhardtii to Melodorum leichhardtii and more recently to Uvaria leichhardtii.

A recipe for Merangara fruit custard with water chestnut snow is also available.

 
From a 2 page Feature Article in Issue Thirty Five
 
 
 Zig Zag Vine flowers. Image Glenn Leiper.
 
Zig Zag Vine leaves. Image John King.
 
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