Thursday, April 13, 2006

Smilax Glyciphylla

I've been reading a book called, The life and times of John Nicol, mariner. A great little historical autobiography from the early 19th century about a Scotsman who travels the world many times because he's a sailor.

When he gets to the new colonies in Australia he talks of a sweet tea he drinks, like china tea. There's a wonderful moment when he mentions an old lady with a shrivelled face and white hair who everyone goes to see because she is suckling a child after just giving birth. Her 'fecundity' is because of the tea made from the Smilax Glyciphilla, or Sarsparilla as it's more commonly known.

I don't want to have kids when I'm ninety, or suckle them, but I think I'm going to buy some and grow it in my garden.

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