Preliminary Plant List from Hunter Valley, Australia

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Kayuga Herb Farm “Athlone”
Field School Herbarium
Dorset Rd., Muswellbrook NSW 2333.
Ph. 065 432292

19-20th October 1996

We at Kayuga herb farm (in the Hunter Valley, eastern Australia) ran our first weekend field school attended by 16 Sydney-based herb students. I thought some of our activities may be of interest to herbalists elsewhere.

The herb farm currently consists of an acre of cultivated medicinal herbs - mainly display gardens and some trial crops - enough to keep my clinic supplied in many of the staples. Our activities are now moving to several acres of creek flats, until recently cow pastures, now an array of wild and naturalised herbs (others say weeds!) with a smattering of Eucalyptus and Casuarina trees, all thriving in the good spring rains. Some of the better known herbs growing in abundance are Gallium aparine, Marrubium vulgare, Plantago lanceolata and Medicago sativa.

The first field school activity is creation of the herbarium - presently around 40 specimens being pressed, keyed out or spotted in field guides where possible. Many are local versions of better known species, for example we have "wild" sage, wild onion, wild opium poppy, wild geranium, dovesfoot cranesbill, wild raspberry, prickly lettuce and Mexican poppy. These are being progressively tested (or tasted) for energetic and texture qualities, and hopefully we'll get some analysed for constituents. Some are used as ingredients in my compound tea formulae and we are looking to other manufacturing possibilities. This is the initial species list of the herbarium.

Other activities on the weekend included field manufacturing, specifically of clivers juice (succus Galium) and fresh tincture of Calendula flowers. We also included a bush walk to the nearby "Coffin creek" and spotted several native herbs including the local Phyllanthus, Bursaria spinosa (sourse of esculin) and the aromatic Backhousia myrtifolia.

Future field schools will follow more specialised themes - they will become an integral part of the pharmacognosy course I teach as well as part of environmental education programmes (I am actively replanting native trees and helping retain and increase ecological and biodiversity values).

Despite the rain and primitive camping conditions everyone loved it - in fact many complained at the lack of this aspect of their herbal education - so we're planning for bigger and better things.

Andrew Pengelly, Medical Herbalist NHAA
Dorset Rd, Muswellbrook NSW 2333 Australia.
Ph. 065 432292. email: andrewrp@mail.enternet.com.au

Collections taken along sandy creek banks, open pastures and hillsides.

Code # Botanical name Common name
001 unknown - Apiaceae
002 Ciclospermum leptophyllum slender celery
003 Salvia verbenaca wild sage
004 Asphodelus fistulosus wild onion
005 Capsella bursa-pastoris shepherd’s purse
006 Papaver somniferum spp. setigerum wild opium poppy
007 Rumex crispus yellow dock
008 Rumex spp. dock
009 Conyza canadensis fleabane
010 Senecio madagascarensis fireweed
011 Geranium molle dovesfoot cranesbill
012 Geranium spp. wild geranium
013 Lomandra longifolia common lomandra
014 Urtica incisa native nettle
015 Brassicaceae a mustard
016 Galium aparine clivers
017 Plantago lanceolata ribwort
018 Melilotus officinalis sweet clover
019 Marrubium vulgare horehound
020 Lactuca serriola prickly lettuce
020A Wahlenbergia bluebell
021 Poaceae grass
021A Swainsonia loco weed
022 Oenothera stricta common evening primrose
023 Verbena bonariensis purple top
024 Tragopogon porrifolius salsify
025 Medicago sativa alfalfa
026 Gomphocarpus fruiticosus narrow leaf cotton bush
027 Argemone ochroleuca Mexican poppy
028 Rubus parvifolius native raspberry
029 Asperula spp. woodruff
030 Rosa canina dog rose
031 Sisybrium officinale hedge mustard
032 Trifolium spp. yellow clover
033 Senecio quadridentatus cotton firweed
034 unknown Cyperaceae sedge
035 Anagallis arvensis scarlet pimpernel
036 Trifolium spp. pink clover
037 Hypochoeris radicata cats ear

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If you have any comments or suggestions about the contents of this page write to Andrew Pengelly at andrewrp@mail.enternet.com.au. If you want to comment on web design or broken links write to me, Howie Brounstein. Last updated November, 1996.
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