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The Corroboree


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About vapour

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  1. vapour

    Emu Plum pics

    there are 2 podocarpus trees fruiting right now at the japanese garden of murdoch uni campus. But I don't think they are p. drouynianus. They look a bit out of place and I think they are p. elatus. I like them, the sweetness is subtle
  2. wow, thank you greendreams, everything you have shared is amazing - and much respect for the gracious way you have dealt with the negative and suspicious posts. a lot of the descendants of colonists are only just waking up to what has happened (myself included) and we are expressing our grief (or denial) in different ways - some less eloquently than others - but this is really difficult territory and black or white or whatever we're in this together and have to work out a way forward... When I first became interested in southwest ethnobotany I was just greedy for some bush tucker, some noongar plant medicine or cool dreamtime stories. Typical wadjala, trying to grab some indig treasures to serve myself and run back to my own people. But of course the more you get into this stuff the less you're able to tell - and the less you want to tell. And I haven't gone very deep. So far I've only met a few local elders and was amazed at what they were willing to share. I know it's only the tip of the iceberg. in some families the knowledge is alive and well, especially among women. In some ways the generosity and almost incomprehensible forgiveness of some aboriginal people just knocks me down. I've noticed that there is a tendency for west australians not to publish stuff about our most interesting psychoactive plants - and I'm sure it is because they are still used in noongar ceremonies. I won't mention species but a potent tryptamine plant is central to creation stories and is regarded as the most sacred plant in the region. My advice for anybody interested in aboriginal plant medicines is to seek out your local elders, swallow your pride, forget your prejudices, be patient and miracles will happen...
  3. vapour

    ants and plants

    "What would the ants do if I started cruising around their home?" We are cruising around their homes! Ants were here long before us and they also have a greater moral justification in that they perform a more valuable service to the biosphere than humans. Maybe the reason why urban "developed" people refuse to share their space with "pests", "weeds" and other "invaders" is because we identify with them and feel uneasy. They provide a mirror for us - and we don't like what we see! Love the ant! In indigenous cultures the ant is often considered sacred. For noongars in the southwest, minga the ant spirit is entrusted with looking after the dead and traditionally they are left to do their work unmolested. Interestingly noongars regard european settlers as "janga", which loosely translated means "the restless undead". Maybe that's why ants are so attracted to our houses? That and the fact that we have excess food which we leave lying around as an open invitation... Sorry to go about it Onz, I know this isn't really helping you with your problem. But as you say, the lycium is looking happy. I just thought it raised some interesting issues - the kind of stuff I get when communing with entheogenic plants. Acacia in particular has a deep and ancient partnership with ants. Or maybe this post belongs in the 'spirituality and philosophy' section...
  4. vapour

    ants and plants

    Why do you have to kill the ants? I used to live in an apartment with a balcony garden and after a while I noticed all kinds of other life being attracted to my plants, especially insects and fungi. I soon learned that it was pointless trying to fight them. Probably the most useful verse in the bible is proverbs 6:6 which says "go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise". there might be a reason why the ants are attracted to your lycium. Often ants are busy farming other insects like sap suckers - aphids or mealy bugs. Have a close look at your plant or the plants around it to see what the ants are interested in. If you remove the things the ants are interested in then the ants will go elsewhere for food. Maybe the last plant that the pot contained was stressed by a detrimental fungus and was therefore attractive to earwigs. if the pot wasn't properly sterilised the lycium might now be suffering from the same fungal problem, particularly if it is overwatered, and could be vulnerable to other insect attack. My experience with ants is that they have lots of time and a collective sentience with immense processing power and inventiveness. They will always win. They won't harm your plants - but their forms of agriculture might. Maybe you could water the plants less or give them some sulphur and seasol to help fight the fungus. If you find the sap suckers you could manually remove them. pesticides should never be used if you plan to eat the fruits from the plant! No disrespect intended, and good luck
  5. vapour


    I love thomasia - it's a beautiful genus and an important part of the jarrah and karri understory in southwest wa. Some have a similar appearance to solanaceae but they don't contain any of the alkaloids associated with that family. It comes from the Sterculiaceae family, which is famous for alkaloids, such as theobromine (from the chocolate plant) and caffeine from kola nuts and also native kurrajongs. But according to the academic surveys (like aplin and cannon 1971) this genus is devoid of alkaloids. I'm sure it does have ethnobotanical importance but unfortunately (or fortunately!) that knowledge is safe with noongar people for the time being. according to CALM the conservation status of this species is priority 3: "poorly known taxa". I think it's one of those plants that will take time in divulging it's secrets to white folk - if it survives long enough... Definitely worth looking after!
  6. vapour

    smokable lsa's from common house plant!!!

    This may be irrelevant but in some Perth wetlands this summer I've noticed a fungus growing on the flowers of Carex appressa - the spores are a purplish brown colour. Could it be possible that the psychoactivity of Carex has something to do with a fungal relationship, ie, ergot?
  7. vapour

    HBWR and shellite

    Shellite extractions of hbwr can be wasteful because the alkaloids are unstable and much is lost in the process. Also, the nauseating principle is still present after the extraction anyway. If your motivation for doing the extraction is reducing nausea then a good method is to fast beforehand and chew each seed at 15 minute intervals - and follow each seed with a ginger tablet. stretching exercises and something to help you burp - like sips of beer - is also good. smoking small amounts of brug helps greatly, but this is only recommended if you have a good existing relationship with an individual plant. Another alternative is to just get into the spirit of plant magic and have a good cathartic chuck If reducing nausea isn't the motivation, please disregard and good luck with the extractions
  8. Centella asiatica is described as a narcotic in lassak & mccarthy's 'Australian Medicinal Plants' (p 185). This in turn is probably a reference to Mrs Grieve's 'A Modern Herbal' which says "In small doses it acts as a stimulant, in large doses as a narcotic, causing stupor and headache and with some people vertigo and coma" (p 425). The chemical constituents of Centella growing in temperate zones may differ from the kind growing in northern Australia.
  9. vapour

    ID'd - Anthocercis illicifolia

    hi creach the genus is definitely anthocercis. there are 2 main possibilities growing in the area you described - littorea and ilicifolia. ilicifolia has broader corollas and relatively short lobes compared to littorea. there are a few variations, subspecies and tweaks in the design. this species is ilicifolia - possibly the caldariola subspecies (see http://florabase.calm.wa.gov.au/browse/flo...s&id=11537). it depends on whether the habit of the plant was a shrub or a central stalk (ilicifolias often have a weedy annual appearance, even though they aren't annuals or weeds - they are an endemic perennial with a tendency to quickly colonise disturbed, limey and burnt land). Anthocercis are known to test strongly for tropane alkaloids (see Aplin and Canon, Economic Botany 1971 vol 25), mainly hyoscyamine at around .15% in flowers and leaves (phytochemistry 1973 vol 12 pp 2505-7). There is a tasmanian species that contains nicotine, and since they are closely related to duboisia the alkaloid content may vary with temperature (apparently both tropane and pyridine alkaloid biosynthetic pathways share a common polyamine metabolism - which is interesting in that they work in opposite directions on acetylcholine).
  10. vapour

    I.D. needed on a few poss edibles

    the yellow boletes that don't stain are supposed to be delicious. i came across a polish family last weekend collecting them in a pine plantation near perth - they wash off all the portugese milipedes, boil them, bake them and then string them up to dry and use them as stock and flavouring.
  11. vapour

    Henbane Pilsener

    i brewed some brugmansia mead a while ago - it also had a mixture of european herbs like mugwort and dandelion root, sarsparilla and burdock, calamus, licorice and juniper berries. It was an interesting flavour but I kept forgetting about the brugmansia. There's a week or two where I can't remember very much at all. i think you need to have a lot of discipline when you decide to combine tropanes with alcohol - or devise some system to keep reminding you of what's going on (like the movie 'memento'). beer on it's own kills acetylcholine and therefore the ability to make new memories - tropanes compound this and weed multiplies it. also, you get very thirsty. it seems to have some kind of cumulative effect over time, so you end up in a kind of walking dream that can last for weeks and leave you with nothing to show for it... not necessarily a bad thing, but you ought to be prepared. next time i make herbal beer i might leave out the tropanes. also maybe ditch the european herbs. there are so many bitter flavours and interesting medicines in native plants - things like saffrole and indoles and god knows what else lurking in the bush.
  12. vapour


    i hope it's ok if i drop in on this conversation... my experience with heimia involved a 10g infusion of dried leaf from a trusted source. the effect was strongly purgative. could it have something to do with acetylcholine? could people who are naturally deficient in this kind of neurotransmitter (mainly forgetful self-medicating tobacco smokers) have a strong almost nicotinic reaction to this plant? i wish i'd paid more attention to my pulse and salivation and mood. all i can remember is feeling very sick.
  13. vapour

    blue staining bolete?

    i found something called the 'bolete rule' (http://www.mushroomexpert.com/rules_for_boletes.html) which states that "you can safely eat any bolete EXCEPT ones that turn blue when bruised and/or have a red or orange pore surface." but there are exceptions to the rule - see tom volk's fungus of the month website (http://botit.botany.wisc.edu/toms_fungi/jul2003.html) where he talks about eating a delicious blue staining bolete and says "Remember the Bolete Rule, but also remember the limitations of the rule". I can see why ur advising to leave this one alone... tom volk also had some stuff about blueing: "A compound called variegatic acid remains colorless unless it is exposed to oxygen. The cell walls of Gyroporus cyanescens are easily broken, exposing the variegatic acid to the air. The oxygenase enzyme converts the variegatic acid to its quinone methide, which is blue. The possible functions of the variegatic acid and its color shifts are unknown." is the blueing in boletes more vivid and rapid than psilos? is it a totally unrelated chemical reaction that just looks a bit similar?
  14. vapour

    blue staining bolete?

    i thought there was no harm taste-testing - if you chew a little bit and spit it out it can give you useful information. the bluing is such a mysterious thing - there's very little consensus about these boletes on discussion boards and websites. people are claiming everything from edible and inactive to deadly poisonous. it would be weird if it was active, but due to something other than psilocin. alternately, could the staining reaction in psilos be due to some unknown compound shared with some boletes? i thought it tasted quite nice - although the maggots weren't too appetising.
  15. vapour


    stupidly I didn't think to take any of the vomit home with me. I'll have to make my own ...from cribb and cribb (wild medicine in australia): "this plant has been well known in western australia as a bush cure for dysentery, and has been investigated for other medicinal uses. In the latter part of the nineteenth century it was patented in nsw as a source of austral marine bitters". The annoying thing with this book is there's no footnotes. the impression i get is that the word "bitters" indicated a medicinal tonic rather than a recreational drink? - although colonial medicines were often highly alcoholic (I read about a popular remedy for alcoholism that had alcohol as the main ingredient :saufen2:). another name for buxifolia was hop bush, so maybe the marine bitters was a kind of remote coastal beer? judging by the character of the plant it would have proabably made a sweet smelling but bitter tasting brew. with all the diarrhea and parasites that plagued europeans in those days it may have seemed like a good idea... but how common is it for plants to have simultaneously emetic and astringent actions? wouldn't australia's pharmacopia be more about astringents than emetics - given the need to conserve water?