Good evening all,
I’m hoping that someone can help us. My Father (83) grew up Northern Victoria (Boort) and as kids ‘washed’ their hands with the leaves of a tree they called ‘blackwood’. He said that it removed all smells and when rubbed between their hands the leaves disolved into “soap”. My research led me to a tree that is in semi-rainforst which Boort is definitely not. We’d be grateful if anyone knows what tree it is.
With thanks, Jen
Good evening all,
So did you find out it’s not one actually called blackwood, right? Cause Acacia melanoxylon should be growing in Boort.
Yes, it’s likely to be Blackwood, Acacia melanoxylon which has been traditionally used as a natural soap (along with other Acacia species). This blog gives some background - the mention of its use as soap is some way down, so just keep reading
I’ve been considering using some soapwort plants for that purpose. They’re quite invasive here so I normally pull them, but considering finding more practical uses for what’s already around.
Thanks very much Melodi. Our initial research stated that Acacia melanoxylon needed rainforest or semi rainforest conditions which Boort is definitely not. The droughts there can go on for years and years with ‘the Boort lake’ being name only often. However thanks to this group and the article citing it’s ability to adapt to climate extremes, it is the blackwood as my great Gran said. Thank you to everyone.
that Acacia is invasive around Cape Town. No rain forest in sight. Very successful species.
Invasive ivy too. Last week I discovered that - 10 torn ivy leaves (in a zippy laundry bag or tied sock) will wash a load of laundry in the machine. Revenge is sweet.
While stationed in Hawaii, I first made the acquaintance of the “shampoo ginger.”
That is beautiful, and tickles my fancy too. Thanks.
You wouldn’t happen to know a use for tradescantia flumeninsis (Wandering Jew) would you? lol
Thanks for that. I’m familiar with it as “wild ginger” and it was quiet common in the inland Sunshine Coast where I lived for a few years. When allowed to travel interstate again, I can’t wait to check it out.