Sunday, 28th April, Tomkinson Creek.
- Written by John McDouall Stuart
- Category: John McDouall Stuart - Fifth Expedition
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Sunday, 28th April, Tomkinson Creek. Sent Thring down to examine and see how the creek runs. I have named it after S. Tomkinson, Esquire, Manager of the Bank of Australasia, at Adelaide. We have found many new plants and flowers, also some trees, one of which grows to a considerable size, the largest being about a foot in diameter. The fruit is about the size and colour, and has the appearance of plums; the bark is of a grey colour; the foliage oval, and dark-green. Another is more of a bush, and has a very peculiar appearance; the seed vessel is about the size of an orange, but more pointed. When ripe it opens into four divisions, which look exactly like honeycomb inside, and in which the seeds are contained; they are about the size of a nut, the outside being very hard. The natives roast and eat them. The leaves resemble the mulberry, and are of a downy light-green. We have obtained a few of the seeds of it. The bean-tree does not seem to grow up here. Mr. Kekwick, in looking for plants this morning, discovered one which very much resembles wheat in straw (which is very tough), ear, and seed. It grows two feet high. The seed is small, but very much like wheat both in shape and colour. At about 3 p.m. Thring returned, having run the creek out into a large grassy plain. The course of this creek is west-north-west for about nine miles; it then turns to west, and empties itself into the plain. There is plenty of water about, but where it empties itself it becomes quite dry. The native companion, the emu, and the sacred ibis are on this creek. The country is splendidly grassed. We have got to the north side of the Whittington range. I shall have to leave my two done-up horses here, and will get them when I return. The hills and rocks are of the same description as the first part of the range. Wind, south. Sun hot, but the nights and mornings are very cold.