by Dr Hugh Spencer
Home to the southern cassowary, one of the world's largest flightless birds, crocodiles, fruit bats and a host of other animals and plants, the Daintree lowlands have become one of Australia’s most beautiful icons.
With an unbroken history of over 100 million years, the tropical rainforests of the Daintree lowlands are, miraculously, still surviving and inspiring people such as Robin. However their future is, like so much of the world's remaining rainforests, dire. The Daintree lowlands, for that is the really unique and unprotected area, is under immediate threat from, not logging, but piecemeal development.
Stinging trees (Gympie-Gympie) are the bane of people in the Australian tropical and sub-tropical coastal areas - especially after disturbances such as cyclones, which trigger the germination of seeds. It becomes quite an issue when children wander into small plants - and are really badly stung.
There are four common types of Australian stinging trees. Two are large rainforest trees growing up to 30 to 35 m. The other two are really little more than bushes growing up to 3 or 4m tall but often seen as a shrub 0.1 to 1m tall. The sting inflicted by the smaller species are by far the most painful. The poison from the smaller species is the most virulent and because of their size people are more likely to blunder into them. All four are closely related and belong to the same family as the common stinging nettles.
(Urticaceae). In Australia the common native nettle is Urtica inscisa.
I have been feeling more than a little guilty about the fact that I haven’t taken the time to post this much earlier … I have been looking through the various blogs and information sites on Trigeminal neuralgia in the last couple of days (Feb 2010) – and nothing seems to have changed at all in the past 10 years! In fact, the dominant paradigm for treating TGN seems to be a total reliance on surgical intervention, which is exceedingly worrying - and probably totally unnecessary.
So I am posting my experiences with trigeminal neuralgia and my highly successful treatment of it, for the benefit of other sufferers.
Phenology of Ficus variegata in a Seasonal Wet Tropical Forest at Cape Tribulation, Australia, by Hugh Spencer, George Weiblen and Brigitta Flick © 1996 Blackwell Publishing.
We studied the phenology of 198 mature trees of the dioecious fig Ficus variegata Blume (Moraceae) in a seasonally wet tropical rain forest at Cape Tribulation, Australia, from March 1988 to February 1993.