The botany of desire

As we know already, all information transmitted from generation to generation must be contained in the pollen of the staminate parent and the ovule of the pistillate parent. Fertilization unites these two sets of genetic information, a seed forms, and a new generation is begun. Both pollen and ovules are known as gametes, and the transmitted units determining the expression of a character are known as genes. Individual plants have two identical sets of genes 2n in every cell except the gametes, which through reduction division have only one set of genes in.

The botany of desire

Prehistory of Australia and Sydney rock engravings The first people to occupy the area now known as Sydney were Australian Aborigines. Radiocarbon dating suggests that they lived in and around Sydney for at least 30, years. This would mean that there was human settlement in Sydney earlier than thought.

The earliest Europeans to visit the area noted that the indigenous people were conducting activities such as camping and fishing, using trees for bark and food, collecting shells, and cooking fish.

The " Eora people" are the coastal Aborigines of the Sydney district. The name Eora simply means "here" or "from this place", and was used by Local Aboriginal people to describe to the British where they came from.

Consequently, they were first to suffer the effects of dispossession when the British arrived, though the descendants of Eora still have a strong presence in the Sydney area today. Other than the Eora, people of the DharugKuringgai and Dharawal language groups occupied the lands in and around Sydney.

Examples of Aboriginal stone tools and Aboriginal art often recording the stories of the Dreamtime religion can be found throughout New South Wales: Ten days later they landed at a bay in what is now southern Sydney. Cook and Banks then reported favourably to London on the possibility of establishing a British colony at Botany Bay.

Frequently bought together

The colony was formally proclaimed by Governor Phillip on 7 February at Sydney. Sydney Cove offered a fresh water supply and a safe harbour, which Phillip described as: Phillip visited the Manly Cove areabetween 21 and 23 January and was so impressed by the confident and manly behaviour of the local Aboriginal people of the Cannalgal and Kayimai clans who waded out to meet his boat in North Harbour, that he gave the cove the name Manly Cove.

Enlightened for his age, Phillip's personal intent was to establish harmonious relations with local Aboriginal people and try to reform as well as discipline the convicts of the colony.

Phillip and several of his officers—most notably Watkin Tench —left behind journals and accounts of which tell of immense hardships during the first years of settlement.

Often Phillip's officers despaired for the future of Sydney. Early efforts at agriculture were fraught and supplies from overseas were scarce. Many new arrivals were also sick or unfit for work and the conditions of healthy convicts only deteriorated with hard labour and poor sustenance in the settlement.

From on, however, the more regular arrival of ships and the beginnings of trade lessened the feeling of isolation and improved supplies. Poor equipment and unfamiliar soils and climate continued to hamper the expansion of farming from Farm Cove to Parramatta and Toongabbiebut a building programme, assisted by convict labour, advanced steadily.

In the early days of the colony this was mainly due to depletion of local food stocks and the advent of introduced diseases such as measlespossibly chicken poxvenereal disease and smallpoxto which the Aboriginal population had no genetic immunity.

Contrary to later trends, Governor Phillip in fact enforced strict rules of behaviour for interaction between settlers and native people, and his policy was remarkably enlightened by the standards of the time. Author and First Fleet officer Watkin Tenchwhose accounts are primary sources about the early years of the colony, suggested that the epidemic may have been caused by Aborigines disturbing the grave of a French sailor who died shortly after arrival in Australia and had been buried at Botany Bay.

Another intriguing possibility mentioned by Tench was that, as the colony's physicians had brought bottles of smallpox-infected material with them from England for use in inoculation against smallpox. She points to regular contact between fishing fleets from the Indonesia archipelago, where smallpox was endemic, and Aboriginal people in Australia's North as a far more likely source for the introduction of smallpox.

These people pioneered Sydney's private sector economy and were later joined by soldiers whose military service had expired, and later still by free settlers who began arriving from Britain.

Governor Phillip departed the colony for England on 11 Decemberwith the new settlement having survived near starvation and immense isolation for four years.

Aboriginal resistance and conflicts[ edit ] Aboriginal leader, Pemulwuy. Hawkesbury and Nepean Wars With the expansion of European settlement large amounts of land was cleared for farming, which resulted in the destruction of Aboriginal food sources.

This, combined with the introduction of new diseases such as smallpox, caused resentment within the Aboriginal clans against the British and resulted in violent confrontations.

He persuaded the EoraDharug and Tharawal people to join his campaign against the newcomers. His most common tactic was to burn crops and kill livestock.

The Voyage

Whether Pemulwuy was actively resisting European settlement, or was only attempting to uphold Aboriginal law, which often involved revenge acts, is debated by historians. Regardless, the British believed the attacks made against them were acts of war.

At dawn the next day government troops and settlers followed them to Parramatta. When confronted, Pemulwuy threw a spear at a soldier prompting the government troops and settlers to open fire. Pemulwuy was the first to be shot and wounded. The Aboriginal warriors threw many spears, hitting one man in the arm.

The botany of desire

The difference in firepower was evident and five Aboriginal warriors were killed instantly. The war was extremely complex, as many of the Aboriginal nations occasionally allied themselves to the British in order to conquer more land for their tribes, and just as quickly returned to a state of war against the British.

It was fought using mostly guerrilla -warfare tactics; however, several conventional battles also took place. The wars resulted in the defeat of the Hawkesbury and Nepean Indigenous clans who were subsequently dispossessed of their lands.

The botany of desire

Early Sydney was moulded by the hardship suffered by early settlers. In the early years, drought and disease caused widespread problems, but the situation soon improved.Mondia whitei.

Photo: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings. Also known as White’s Ginger, Mondia whitei is found across sub-Saharan Africa. It is used in quite a few ways, usually to aid digestion or appetite, but the roots are used as a cure for impotence.

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