Herbs & Plants

Acacia melanoxylon

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Botanical Name : Acacia melanoxylon
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Acacia
Species: A. melanoxylon
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Common Names : Australian Blackwood (The species is also known as Sally Wattle, Lightwood, Hickory, Mudgerabah, Tasmanian Blackwood or Black Wattle)

Habitat :Acacia melanoxylon is  native in eastern AustraliaNew South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria. Locally naturalized in S.W. Europe. It grows in wet forests on good soils up to the montane zone. Usually an under-storey tree in Eucalyptus forests.

Acacia melanoxylon is an evergreen .Trees often 10–20 m tall and 0.5 m dbh, but varies from small shrubs to one of the largest acacias in Australia, attaining heights up to 40 m and diameters of 1–1.5 m on lowlands in northwestern Tasmania, and in southern Victoria. In open situations the smaller and medium-sized  Blackwood trees are freely branched from near ground level, but the largest plants have  welldeveloped  trunk which is usually fairly cylindrical but may be shortly buttressed or flanged at the base…....CLICK   &   SEE

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Crowns dense. May spread by root suckers. Juvenile bipinnate leaves often persist on young plants. Bark hard, rough, longitudinally furrowed and scaly, brownish grey to very dark grey. This description is adapted from Doran & Turnbull (1997).

It is hardy to zone 8. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower in April. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)It can fix Nitrogen.

The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid and neutral soils..It cannot grow in the shade.It requires dry or moist soil.

Prefers a sandy loam and a very sunny position. Prefers a deep moist soil. Succeeds in a hot dry position. Succeeds in any good garden soil that is not excessively limey. Most members of this genus become chlorotic on limey soils. This is one of the hardier members of the genus, tolerating temperatures down to about -10°c. It succeeds outdoors in Britain from Dorset westwards, also in south-western Scotland and in Ireland. However, even in the mildest areas of the country it is liable to be cut back to the ground in excessively cold winters though it can resprout from the base. It is planted for timber in south-west Europe. This species produces both phyllodes (basically a flattened stem that looks and acts like a leaf) and true leaves. The roots are very vigorous and extensive – they often produce suckers and can damage the foundations of buildings. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a sunny position in a warm greenhouse. Stored seed should be scarified, pre-soaked for 12 hours in warm water and then sown in a warm greenhouse in March. The seed germinates in 3 – 4 weeks at 25°c. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in a sunny position in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and consider giving them some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood with a heel, July/August in individual pots in a frame. Overwinter in a greenhouse for the first winter and plant out in their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Fair percentage.

Edible Uses: Flowers – cooked. Rich in pollen, they are often used in fritters. The flowers have a penetrating scent.

Medicinal Uses:

Antirheumatic. :Bathe in a bark infusion for rheumatism.

Other Uses :
A yellow dye is obtained from the flowers. A green dye is obtained from the seed pods. The extensive root system of this plant helps to prevent soil erosion. The bark is rich in tannin.

Acacia melanoxylon wood is valued for its highly decorative timber which may be used as a cabinet timber, for musical instruments or in boatbuilding.(Wood is hard, dark, close grained, high quality, takes a high polish.)

The tree’s twigs and its bark are used to poison fish as a way of fishing.

Plain and Figured Australian Blackwood is used in musical instrument making (in particular guitars, drums, Hawaiian ukuleles, violin bows and organ pipes), and in recent years has become increasingly valued as a substitute for koa wood.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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Herbs & Plants

Mentha diemenica

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Botanical Name : Mentha diemenica
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Mentha
Species: M. diemenica
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms : M. gracilis.

Common Name :Maori Mint or Slender Mint.

Habitat :Mentha diemenica occurs in grassland and forest habitats from the Mt Lofty Ranges in South Australia, throughout Victoria and Tasmania, and north to the Blue Mountains of New South Wales.
It grows on moist, usually sunny situations up to the montane zone. Open forests and grasslands, usually on sandy soils.

Mentha diemenica is a perennial plant growing to 0.1 m (0ft 4in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
It is not frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.It is noted for attracting wildlife.  It is a strongly suckering plant which in cold, dry conditions may become dormant, but when growing vigorously forms a dense ground cover 10-15 cm high.
The dull green, opposite leaves are ovate to lanceolate and 4-12 cm long. They are usually entire, but occasionally obscure teeth are noticed on the leaf margins. Leaves may be sessile or have a short petiole.

Flowers are borne in the upper leaf axils from late spring to summer. Each axil bears one to four flowers, giving two to eight flowers at each node. They are usually mauve or lilac with four small petals each extending 2-3 mm beyond the tubular calyx.

M. diemenica grows well in a slightly damp site in either reasonably heavy shade or full sun. In good conditions in a rockery it may become invasive and thus should be contained in a rock pocket or regularly controlled by removing suckers. It is a desirable plant between drive strips or near stepping stones where its fragrant aroma is noticed when it is trodden on.

Propagation is done from cuttings taken at any time when the plant is growing vigorously, or by division when rooted pieces may be removed and re-established in a new situation. These new plants must be kept moist after transplanting.

Edible Uses:
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Condiment; Tea.

Leaves – raw or cooked. Used as a flavouring in summer drinks[157]. A herb tea is made from the leaves

Medicinal Uses;
A tea made from the leaves of most mint species has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor ailments. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use. The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it is toxic in large doses. A decoction of this plant was used occasionally to induce sweating.

Other Uses:
Repellent; Strewing.

An essential oil is obtained from the whole plant. The plant is used as a strewing herb for repelling insects. Rats and mice intensely dislike the smell of mint. The plant was therefore used in homes as a strewing herb and has also been spread in granaries to keep the rodents off the grain.

Known Hazards:   Although no records of toxicity have been seen for this species, large quantities of some members of this genus, especially when taken in the form of the extracted essential oil, can cause abortions so some caution is advised.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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Herbs & Plants

Australian Bugle (Ajuga australis )

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Botanical Name : Ajuga australis
Family  :
Genus : Ajuga

Habitat : E. AustraliaNew South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria.  Most habitats, especially in open forests, in sandy soils in the montane zone.

Ajuga  australis is a small,evergreen perennial herb growing to 0.15m. with a basal rosette of leaves and soft, erect stems. The leaves are velvety, toothed and decrease in size towards the flowers spikes. The flowers are usually deep blue or purple but pink and white forms are also known. They are around 15mm long, somewhat tubular in shape and have a short upper lip and a long, spreading lower lip. Flowers are seen mainly in spring and summer.
It is hardy to zone 6. It is in leaf all year. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

click to see the pictures..>…..(01)....(1)……..(2)

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil.

Prefers a humus-rich, moisture retentive soil and a sunny position. Easily grown in the rock garden, it spreads rapidly by root suckers.


Seed – sow spring or autumn in the open border. Division in spring.

Medicinal Uses
The leaves are used as a salve for wounds and also in the treatment of boils and sores.

Other Uses
Ground cover.

Plants can be used for ground cover.