|Common Name(s)||Dogs Balls, Dysentery Plant, Emu Berry|
A shrub to 1.5m, often 0.3-1m high. Usually deciduous.
Grewia latifolia is often utilised in coal mine rehabilitation. It was a common component of ecosystems in central Queensland pre-mining landscapes. We mostly harvest the seed in eucalypt woodland on moderately fertile, brown-reddish clay loams derived from basalt and this appears common throughout Queensland. Eucalyptus orgadophila and Eucalyptus melanophloia woodlands are common settings. It also appears common on intermediate rocks within our region (South Burnett). In both cases the plants occur on deeper soils near drainage areas yet also well up on to ridges with shallow skeletal soils, often with some exposed bedrock. Other soils such as laterites and granite derived soils are also noted.
Dysentery can be caused by a number of different pathogens resulting in severe diarrhea, abdominal pain and other symptoms. Both Grewia latifolia and Grewia retusifolia became popular remedies for dysentry among early European settlers in Australia after aboriginal people first imparted knowledge of the medicinal properties.
Mainly found between Boonah in south-eastern Queensland north to about Townsville, west to Glenmorgan, Canarvon Park, Jericho and Llanarth. However, there are a few minor occurrences as far north as near Coen, Melville Island off Darwin, Wellesley Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria and areas north of Cloncurry. In NSW some minor occurrences are near Grafton and Glen Innes.
Botanical Illustrations by Sylvia Seiler. Compiled by Ross and Wilma Tait for the Chinchilla Field Naturalists’ Club, 2014