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Historical Records of Australian Science
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  The history of science, pure and applied, in Australia and the southwest Pacific
 
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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 22(2)

Duboisia Pituri: A Natural History

Luke Keogh

Historical Records of Australian Science 22(2) 199 - 214
Published: 02 November 2011

Abstract

In the 1870s, an intense quest revealed to scientists that pituri, an important Aboriginal commodity, was sourced from the plant Duboisia hopwoodii—a shrub named after a well-known colonist. But it was Aboriginal people and white explorer-pastoralists from the Mulligan River region in far western Queensland who provided the samples and alerted scientists to the important chemical properties of pituri. Subsequently, there was a proposal to change the name of the plant to Duboisia pituri. Whom should the plant have been named after, the colonist or the Aborigine?



Full text doi:10.1071/HR11008

© Australian Academy of Science 2011

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