21 November 2010

Wearable Weeds

The Cape Weed (Cryptostemma calendulaceum), prized for its daisy-chain making properties and known to many Canberrans as “Wet-the-Bed” or “Wee-the-Bed”, flowers in late spring and early summer.

In 1861, a hatter in Melbourne believed the hairs of the seeds of the Cape Weed would make a good material for the manufacture of felt hats and could also be useful in textile fabrics and paper.

Would you wear a weed? Information from, The Weeds of New South Wales, Part I by J.H. Maiden published in 1920.

The Weeds of New South Wales is a rare work recently acquired by the ACT Heritage Library. It is beautifully illustrated, including fourteen coloured plates, and contains fascinating insight into known weeds, their history in Australia, dispersal, means of eradication and potential use as fodder or in commercial products.

It is a valuable addition to our collections documenting the environment of the ACT and region.