In the ethnobotany of the Aborigines, plants of the

genus Goodenia enjoy a certain reputation as healing and food plants as well as pituri or pituri substitutes (O'Connell et al. 1983, 109). The Goodeniaceae are well represented in Australia. In addition to the genus that gave the family its name, Scaevola taccada (pipe tree) is especially important. This bushy shrub is a typical coastal plant that grows in sandy soil. The Aborigines use the juice of the fruits as an eye remedy and as an antidote for animal stings and bites. The ends of the branches are hollow; they are used as pipes for smoking pituri (Wightman and Mills 1991, 46 f.). In the language of the Alyawara, Goodenia lunata J.M. Black is called ngkulpa ankirriyngka. The Alyawara mix the dried leaves with plant ashes (primarily from Ventilago viminalis Hook.; Rhamnaceae) and chew the result. They place it in the same folk taxonomic category as wild tobacco (Nicotiana spp.) (O'Connell et al. 1983, 109*). Macerations of the fresh leaves are used in a manner similar to those made from wild tobacco, namely for poisoning the watering holes of the emu (98*). When smoked or chewed, the leaves of Goodenia lunata appear to have mild psychoactive


Wightman, Glenn, and Milton Andrews. 1991. Bush Tucker Identikit: Common native food plants of Australia's top end. Darwin: Conservation

Commission of the Northern Territory.

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