Soursobs in Gawler

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Fast Facts
Type of thing Domestic

John Harvey introduced the soursob into South Australia. This was done with the idea of adding a valuable plant to the fodders available for stock. He had sailed for South Australia, from England, in the ship "Superb". When he arrived in Capetown South Africa, he paid 2/6 for a pot containing a few soursob bulbs.

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Memories of Soursobs in Gawler

Bluewren remembers: Geoff Manning's "Insight into South Australian History" states "Aching gardeners will be enchanted to know that the chiropractors friend, the Soursobs, were deliberately imported from Tasmania, whither the beastly things had been introduced!" There were introduced in 1839 to Western Australia and to South Australia in 1841 - ( John Harvey did not arrive in SA until the latter part of 1839. Another reason supporting the theory that he did NOT stop off in Capetown and pay 2/6 for a pot of Soursobs is that he was an 18 year old labourer, travelling with Mr McFarlane, his employer, and 2/6 would have been a fortune at that time. He also did not take up land and become a pastoralist for quite a few years after he arrived.

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