GANEIDA'S KNOT.

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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Some weird...

A visitor to a Quaker Meeting stands up after 5 minutes of silence & asks, "When does the service begin?" An old Friend rises after a brief reflection & says," Service begins when the worship ends."


Most Australians are cognizant with the Backhousia ~ or lemon scented myrtle. It is endemic to the sub~tropical rainforests of central & southeastern Queensland & if you haunt the foodies court at the EKKA you will have come across some of the various culinary concoctions & oils made from this plant.


What you probably don't know is who the plant was named for. James Backhouse was an English Quaker who visited Australia in 1832 under a *concern* for the convicts. He had begun his working life in a drug & grocery store but developed tuberculosis & decided an outdoor life would be much better for his health so studied to become a botanist. He & his brother Thomas then purchased a nursery at York & in 1824 he was admitted as a minister in the Society of Friends. Yes, we have ministers ~ people who are acknowledged to have a spoken gift ministry. Elizabeth Fry was also a Quaker minister. As part of her ministry to convicts she ministered to every ship that left the Thames for the colonies in Terras Australis. Quakers have always had a social conscience & a social impact disproportionate to their numbers.


Backhouse traveled & ministered throughout the Australian colonies for 6 years from Hobart in the south to Brisbane in the north. He published A Narrative of a Visit to the Australian Colonies in 1843 discussing the colonies, the Aborigines. the convicts, the social conditions ~ & the botany!


He returned to England in 1841 resuming his nursery & ministry until he died in January of 1869 & was honoured by having the lemon myrtle named for him.


The Backhousia is an evergreen that can grow to 66' in height & gets clusters of creamy white flowers from summer through to autumn. As an oil it can be used for flavouring, as an essential oil or as an insect repellent. Aborigines used it both for cooking & healing. As a *bushfood* the leaves can be crushed & used as a tea, flavouring, or lemon replacement. It can be grown outside its native habitat if care is taken to protect it from frosts while young though it rarely exceeds 16' in height when grown as cultivated plant. After a scraggy adolescence it grows a dense canopy & the scent can fill a garden with its heady aroma.


As an aside & a really random bit of trivia, James Backhouse's son, also a James, grew the first pink daffodil! That's some weird.

12 comments:

seekingmyLord said...

Quite interesting! I just realized how much I have missed your Tuesday Trivia.

joyfulmum said...

Very interesting - both that Quakers do indeed have ministers and that a plant was named after one of them:)

MamaOlive said...

I love your recent posts. I want to stop and chat about everything, but I can't. Need to get it together for my holiday which starts in 3 days.

Ganeida said...

lol Seeking: Yeah, I know, but they were getting really time consuming & I didn't have the time.:(

joyfulmum: I am very fond of the plant. It was only when I was looking it up I realised it was named for a Quaker ~ which intrigued me as the community of Friends has always been very small here.

MamaO: I wish you could stop & chat too. One day, either in this world or the next...

Sandra said...

I also enjoy your trivia. I have never seen a pink daffodil. I wish I could experience the sight and smell of this plant.

Ember said...

Sounds like a plant that we should include in our garden. I'd like to think we had a flowering Quaker gracing our patch with his heady scent. Marvellous :0)

alecat said...

Fascinating! Very pretty flower.

I remember hearing about the lemon myrtle for the first time when a friend brought around some infused olive oil. We had some bread and dipped the bread into the oil, then into some balsamic vinegar. It was lovely. :)

Now, I have an apple myrtle growing in the front of my property. I wonder if that could be used to make herbal remedies and the like.

Ganeida said...

Sandra: I loved doing the trivia but it was getting too much. :( Im not sure this myrtle would withstand your weather.

Ember: I will have to plant one now. This is at least the right environment for them.

alecat: I expect you could. I have a bush apple ~ the fruit is nasty but it is suppossed to be edible. The bush food people are doing all sorts of things thses days. A little systematic for my right brain but fascinating stuff.

Amanda said...

I love lemon myrtle tea! and!! yoghurt! The one I buy comes with a few walnuts sprinkled on the top... just delicious! I don't know much about plants so this is all I could contribute to the discussion LOL

Jo said...

That was so interesting - much more than trivia. I am reading a book you might enjoy "At Home" by Bill Bryson about the social history of our homes. It is full of fascinating information such as storing food, lighting and heating in our homes, history of salt etc.. I love facts and figures so this book has been so interesting - sadly I don't have anyone to tell interesting things to, except the guy who works across the corridor at work - he is now reading it to!!

Persuaded said...

The more I hear of Quakers, the more I am inclined to approve of them♥

Ganeida said...

Amanda: I get a lemon myrtle yoghurt with macadamias. Yum!

Jo: I adore odd information. I often blog it for the pleasure of sharing though not everyone appreciates my oddities! lol ☺

Persuaded: Um, there are some not so good things too. Many Quakers today are not even Christian but nearly all have a disproportionate social conscience. I don't agree with all their theology either ~ but then it's a denomination that allows for differences. lol