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Issue 2 , May-June 1997



Jenny Allen

Dennis Archer

Elizabeth Blakeman

D. J. Boland

Vic Cherikoff

Larry Geno

Colleen Keena

David Phelps

Chris Read

Ethel Richardson

Pat & Sim Symons

This magazine is dedicated to the traditional owners of this land. I would like to acknowledge their part in our discovery of the wealth which we are only now beginning to appreciate.

Thank you

Index: 2
From the Editor...
Notes - Pepper - Chris Read
Why Farm Bushfoods - Larry Geno
Bush Heritage - Pat & Sim Symons
To BC or not - Dennis Archer
Eat your garden - Jenny Allen
Watch your Lang'gwij - names & oddities
A rosella by any other name - Colleen Keena
Lemon Aspen - and how!
Ethel, in her own words - Ethel Richardson
On the Ground - Elizabeth Blakeman
Book Reviews
Foraging and Processing - Vic Cherikoff
Bushfoods in History - Pat & Sim Symons
DPI Note - Bushfood plants of western Queensland
Some thoughts on CSIRO Research in Bushfoods - DJ Boland
Nursery News
Climatic regions and species, 1

From the Editor:

One down, many to go...I would like to personally thank the people who have contributed, supported or simply subscribed to this magazine. The first issue took nine months to materialise i don't read anything into that! i and this second took a little longer than the 7 weeks I had allowed. As it 'settles in', its regularity (and timeliness) will doubtless improve.

I imagine, by Issue 4 or 5, that you, the reader, will be voicing some opinions about the content (or lack of it) and the views expressed. I certainly hope so. Much as I like complimentary letters, the backbone of this magazine will be relevance and I won't know what is relevant until you tell me. A number of readers have asked me not to forget the temperate zones or the arid regions or the highlands -1 haven't forgotten them but, to date, there hasn't been enough material on hand to cover them properly.

I don't want to take an apologetic tone but it is only fair to state that I suffer from lack of information as much as most of you -1 need more hard data on temperate, arid and alpine zones. I would dearly love more 'grass roots' stories from people that are out there doing it. I'd like to know more about harvesting...and distilling...propagation and the nitty gritty of getting product from the paddock to the market...perhaps, over the years, we will find and share this information together.

I have purchased as many books as my (scant) budget allows and built up a data base of 'industry players' over the last 12 months -but I am still woefully short on reliable data in a number of areas.

One day soon, I will spend my time flying around the country interviewing and researching and having a fabulous time. Till then, I am tied to my computer and my phone - call me, write me, get in touch.

We will all benefit from the contact.

NOTES - Tasmanian Mountain pepper

pepperTasmannia lanceolata

Chris Read is a principle of Diemen Pepper, Tasmania

Tasmania lanceolata - Tasmanania's native Pepper, is an attractive shrub about 5 metres high with dark green leaves and distinctive crimson young stems. It inhabits cool wet habitats from sea level to about 1200m in Tasmania and is found in similar situations in Victoria and parts of southeastern NSW. The leathery leaves of the plant usually contain a hot tasting compound, together with a large number of the aromatic compounds found in some other essential oil bearing plants, resulting in an unusual, fragrant, spicy taste with a 'bushy' rainforest feel. During the nineteenth century and the first half of this century, Tasmannia species (lanceolata, insipida, and stipitata) have been intermittently referred to as presenting economic possibilities. T. lanceolata was mentioned in the last half of the 19th century for its potential as a pepper or allspice substitute and for its resemblance to Winter's Bark, a herbal remedy prepared from a related South American species. The leaves and berries of the plant are now used by a number of groups in Australia to lend a 'Mild, natural and spicy' taste to foods of the 'bush tucker' genre, including emu hamburgers, flavoured pastas and pates, mustards and curd cheeses. The dried leaf powder is a powerful flavouring agent, and, stored at low temperatures, will retain its puncency for many months. We are able to prepare a fine milled leaf powder, a small flake (screened through a 2mm screen ) and whole either fresh or dried .

Fruit available fresh from late March until the end of June and, in limited quantities, as dried or frozen berries, is succulant with a hot, crunchy seed cluster at the centre. They offer possibilities as a novel garnish, a pickled berry or a spicy ingredient in soups, stews etc. The fruit contains a strong, red dye which adds an interesting colour when included in cheeses and other foods.

Our group is examining the potential of other products from this remarkable species which will be offered for trial.

Extensive research into Tasmannia lanceolata, commonly known as the Mountain pepper tree, is proving its worth as a natural source of high value, high purity products with enormous commercial potential. With funding from RIRDC, researchers at the University of Tasmania have investigated the chemical components of Tasmannia oil, including their characteristics and quality, methods of extraction, storage and product assessment. According to Professor Menary, the principal researcher in this project, their investigations of T. lanceolata have found high yields of such components as terpenes, highly regarded in the essential oil industry as contributing a freshness and floral note to aroma profiles. The success of this research has led to its rapid commercialisation, with strong interest from the USA and Japan likely to see rapid product development. Establishment and managament of clonal plantations is the main thrust of a new RIRDC project. For further information contact: Professor Robert Menary, University of Tasmania, telephone: (03) 6220 2723.


21 Bay Rd, Newtown, Tasmania 7008 03 62 781 601

Tasmanion Mountain pepper

Tasmannia lanceolata

The split berries of T. lanceolata

Late season fruit of Tasmannia insipida - Native or Mountain Pepper.

Oops Box

In the Riberry article in Issue 1 there were some figures which were a little misleading: - the minimum planting suggested to avoid inbreeding is not 20-40 as noted - this is the number suggested for breeding, not production. You plant just as few or as many as you want...

Why Farm Bushfoods?

Extracts from the forth-coming book by Larry Geno


This on-going column on bushfood farming will feature excerpts from the forthcoming book "Australian Bush-food Farming, Principles and Practices". As a serial column, it will cover: design site assessment species selection farming systems plantation establishment management and harvesting The column addresses commercial production of bushfoods in plantations by producers (those receiving or intending to receive a significant proportion of their income from producing bushfoods). Of course, much of this information will also assist casual or backyard growers and those using bushfoods in wildland restoration activities. All scales of bushfood farming are included, from small scale local markets to broadacre farm applications. Several key assumptions are made throughout the series; 1. that bush-food farming is not that different to other farming and that existing farms and farmers will have little trouble innovating to produce bushfoods. 2. That there is an intrinsic limit to wildharvest production and a growing market without competition and 3. that bushfood farming offers tremendous opportunities across a wide range of scale and criteria for rural landholders to become ecologically sustainable, culturally sensitive and financially secure.

Is it Bushfood outside the Bush? Some might argue that bushfood must necessarily come from the bush; wildharvested from native wild plants and animals. Indeed, that is the past practice, when the continent was populated by a dispersed society of animals and hunter-gatherers. Now, our balance of wilderness and population is obviously quite different. Current thought on classification and labelling of bushfoods do give 'wild harvest' products the highest status, followed in order by 'Product of regenerating native ecosystems', 'Product of a sustainable, organic plantation' and 'Bushfood from conventional agriculture'. One could argue that any leaf, fruit or nut is the same whether it is gathered from the wild or grown in plantations. This generally applies as long as the genetics has not been severely altered (selections from the wild rather than uegenetically engineered, for example). Similar to other food plants, if bushfoods are grown under intensive chemical fertilisation/pesticide use, the nutritional or flavour content may alter or chemical contamination risks may emerge. The bushfood industry may find it wise to retain a fair degree of 'bushiness' to production systems because there are clear signals from the market that bushfoods are valued for cultural and environmental benefits as well as for their tasty flavours or nutritional value. One of the immediate applications of this approach would be to build on existing wildharvest; coming slowly out of the forest, as it were. By linking with existing wildharvesters for species selection and monitoring , in planting additional or new species into wild systems to augment wild harvest and working first with currently native species to create intentional plantations adjacent to their wild homes or original range of occurrence.

Is there a Market?

Clearly, we don't farm bushfoods unless there is a market demand. Bushfoods are unique as a new crop opportunity. Usually, markets and products are best developed for a new crop along with development of production, sometimes even before (such as white lupins in WA). Fortunately, bushfoods already have a strong and growing market and demand, based on several decades of wild harvesting, production, processing and marketing. The popularity of bushfoods arose from a history of Aboriginal use and interest in their potential to assist military personnel in the wild (ala Bushtucker man Les Hiddens). Unique nutritional and flavour attributes came to be recognised by bushfood entrepreneurs as worthy of further examination. Due to the generally scarce quantity and high price of wild harvest product, one of the first and strongest markets to develop has been the urban and gourmet restaurant trade, Through exposure to products and preparation advice, restaurateurs came to offer bushfoods to the general public. This has coincided with a strong yearning by many Australians to find 'The Taste of Australia' as opposed to imported cuisines. Despite the meat pie stereotype, Australians have always been an adventurous culinary people. Furthermore, many consumers see bushfoods as a way to reconnect with Aboriginal and environmental values. Currently, the market is growing and diversifying into mass market goods on supermarket shelves, niche marketing into export markets and being accepted as flavourings or additions to existing, conventional foods. Because wild harvest remains limited in quantity, erratic in supply and variable in quality, the final consumer price has been high and this has limited acceptance by a wider body of consumers. While it should be clear that bush-food farm product marketing will build on existing markets developed from wildharvest products, a key reason to farm bushfoods is; because there isn't enough bushfood in the wild. There are significant restraints on the development of a bushfood industry based on wildharvest only: On public lands:- there is increasing allocation of land to parks and reserves where wildharvest is prohibited. We increasingly realise that extensive wildharvest may compromise other values we wish to maintain, such as Aboriginal or wildlife use or the contribution to biodiversity. Several states already prohibit wild harvesting of bushfood on public lands.

On private lands: - in many areas, private lands have been substantially cleared and developed to other uses. Often, only remnant wild stands remain. Despite regulation, land clearing continues. The early, immature nature of the industry offers insufficient incentive to conserve and develop bushfood on private land. There are significant competing land uses for bushfood producing private lands (such as NSW State Forests clearing same to joint venture eucalypt plantations) However, there is great scope and an increasing amount of research being done into regrowth of native species on private land. What many farmers considered woody weeds in the past are now being seen as viable, alternative or supporting crops (ie Dorrigo pepper). The widely dispersed nature of bushfoods on both public and private lands, the essentially un-coordinated activities of wild harvesters and the variability in quality and quantity mentioned before have all combine.d to create a 'Catch 22' situation evidence by the high price for bushfoods which suppresses market acceptance and expansion. This in turn limits producer incentives to expand production. One clear answer is plantation production with consistent and adequate quality and quantity at lower raw material cost. Many species have simply not been available to the growing bushfoods markets; those species that are rare or endangered in the wild (Small leaf tamarind, Diploglottis campbellii, for example) and those species not amenable to wild harvest (very high fruiting trees with high insect or wildlife pressure for example). Both of these constraints to wildharvest production are opportunities for plantation producers. Finally, as we come to learn of the ethical constrains necessary for truly sustainable wild harvesting, it is likely that even the small current wildharvest supply may decrease. Beacuse it will help your farm - and you.

Accepting that a growing market exists for bushfoods, what's in it for you, your family and your farm? As a type of farming, either wholly or in conjunction with existing farming enterprises, bushfood farming offers significant economic, environmental and cultural benefits. Economic Benefits Like most horticulture, bushfood farming offers very high returns from small areas compared to broadacre or animal production. This makes bush-food production attractive to both small landholders and larger landholders with specific microclimates. Hven considering the costs of labour, special equipment and marketing, returns from bushfood farming appears at present to exceed most other crops. Of most interest to experienced farmers is the rare opportunity to produce essentially without competition. The present market is unsatisfied and no one else in the world can produce these foods. It should be noted that bushfoods are no different than any other 'new crop' in that there will be an inevitable lowering of price as production increases. Where bushfood farming is used to augment existing farm enterprises, there is the opportunity to diversify income and land use, generate family or community employment, ensure farm stability and add value - all contributing to economic success and stability.

Environmental Benefits

Firstly, plantation production of bushfoods can reduce our pressure on native environments currently supplying wildharvest products. This will encourage higher landscape diversity and stability both in the wild and on the farm. As we come to use, plant and sell native foods, we will also come to observe and value them more. In our area (northern NSW), marginal 100 acre beef farms, previously dairy, no longer generate sufficient income to employ children or to undertake the necessary defence against environmental weeds. Time, energy and resources put into the clearing of some native regrowth (the pepper mentioned before, native lime and a number of other species) can be turned to management and harvesting of a valuable product. Additional on farm income can generate funds for revegetation and restoration work needed on the farm. Finally, be establishing an economic value for rare and endangered species/ecosystems, we can help them pay for their own rescue!

Cultural Benefits

Bushfood farming, particularly where it is integrated with wildharvest, may represent a particular opportunity for Aboriginal Australians with a cultural history of hunting and gathering. Much of bushfood farming, due to the very nature of the plants and animals, is more akin to gathering than harvesting by way of the white man's farming style. We have the opportunity to merge with our indigenous citizens in a win-win scenario. For all of us, bushfood farming can encourage our reconnection with the natural heritage of our home continent and to further our 'sense of place'. For the first time, we have the opportunity to develop and enjoy our own unique cuisine rather than a foreign import. In the growing moves towards bio-regional awareness, cooperation and land management, bushfood farming with local native species becomes a useful tool and focal point for regional regeneration. Finally, bush-food farming will allow Australia to enter world export markets with unique Aussie fare and to stand proud in the international community with a Gondwanaland contribution.. So - should you farm bushfoods?

To be Continued...

Larry Geno is a farming ecologist, Principle of Agroecology Associates Consultants and Proprietor of Northern Rivers Bush tucker Foods.

heritageBush Heritage - Second Edition

The second Edition of Pat & Sim Symons' gloriously information-packed book (covering the Brisbane and Sunshine Coast areas) is now available. In it find the historical use of bush foods, plant notes and more. Order through this magazine or direct from Pat & Sim: Ph: 07 54411029.










To Bc or not to bc

A contemplative look at the bushfood or native food industry

Dennis Archer of Toona Essential Oils

Back in 1991, after about 12 months of research into various Australian trees and shrubs suitable for our area (Goomboorian, SE Qld) and with potential for essential oil production, my wife Rosemary and I planted 1000 Backhousia citriodora - Lemon scented myrtle or Lemon ironwood in scientific literature and Lemon myrtle in the bushfood industry. To save confusion, we call it Bc.

At that time, using as many sources as we could access - libraries, bookshops, essential oil agents and sundry experts, the sum total of information condensed down to seven (7) A4 pages, virtually none of which was of use for commercial plantings.

Since then, the amount of both published and anecdotal information has expanded exponentially. As to the number of trees in the ground - have a guess, and halve the rumours on which the industry thrives.

A similar argument could he used for where and who has the 'best' producing plant i.e. the highest yield and/or the best quality.

Are cuttings better than seedlings? Should there be PBR (Plant Breeder's Rights), or do we rely an progeny from in situ bush trees ?

Should we undertake research to produce clones which are both high yielding and have top quality oil? Will such cloning, and subsequent commercial plantings produce a monoculture which may be subject to pest attack? Is there a centralised, volume industry, or should we be happy to rely on a combination of cottage and small, commercial growers to build a viable sector over a long period, with the chance to produce quality product, recognised all over the world?

Is there a need for a national bushfood body, or do we need separate bodies for each product produced, another solely for growers and another for processors and marketers?

Some or all of the above has been addressed in one form or another by many other sectors, such as in the Tea Tree industry over the nearly 10 years since the first TT plantation was developed.

Similarly, the wool and meat industries have asked the questions and are still working on the answers.

Perhaps the bushfood industry, rather than trying to re-invent the wheel, should seek some guidance from the experience of others who have preceded us. At the end of the day it all comes down to the bottom line - can we make a quid out of it ? The grower wants payment commensurate with his labour in producing the crop, the processor wants recompense for R&D into new products as does the marketer, and the consumer wants a Rolls Royce for a Holden price. Somewhere in there must be found an answer. Without the grower achieving a reasonable return, the crops will not be grown. Without the processor, new products will not be developed. Without the marketer, the public will not be educated into the availability and uses of these products, and be prepared to pay the price necessary so that all the links in the chain achieve a black, rather than red bottom line. How the price for each link is determined really starts at the consumer end - what will they pay ?

If the end price is too high, then the market is limited. If the end price is too low, the grower will not receive enough to continue providing the raw product.

All the links in the chain have to be aware of the problems and limitations of the particular product - the grocer may be able to inform the processor and marketer of the properties of their crop that will increase the viability of the product, and the processor and marketer may have specific requirements that can be allowed for in the growing of the crop.

We put the questions to all those who have a genuine interest in developing an industry which can grow and provide enjoyment, a way of life and an income for all concerned.

Rosemary Cullen-Archer and Dennis Archer are Directors of Toona Essential Oils Pty Ltd, manufacturers of high quality Lemon Scented Myrtle perfumes, aftershaves and other cosmetic products, and suppliers of leaf, seeds and essential oils from Australian native trees and shrubs. Rose and Dennis have over 10 years experience in organic growing of Australian natives and have been farming 'Toona' at Goomboorian in the Cooloola region since 1990.


Bushfood products for home cooks to Executive chefs and food manufacturers

A range of foods are available in ready-to-use forms. The range includes Bush tomato chutney, Munthari and lemon myrtle chutney, Kakadu plum spreadable fruit, Rosella spreadable fruit, paperbark (for cooking), 4 ground herbs, Akudjura and Wattleseed. Available at selected Coles stores. David Jones and Myer food halls and specialty delicatessens.

The new TuckerMan™ foodservice range was developed for commercial applications and provides ready-to-use Australian native food products that can be further embellished for individual applications. The range includes:

Mountain pepper BBQ sauce

ilawarra plum sauce

Bush tomato sauce

Lemon aspen syrup

Rosella syrup

Bush Tucker Supply Australia

The extensive range under the company name brand consists of fruits, herbs, nuts, seeds, oils, pastas, preserves, biscuits and value-added goods. Available through foodservice distributors for professional chefs and direct through Bush Tucker Supply Australia for large manufacturers.

About the company behind the products: BTSAust. has been sourcing and supplying bushfoods since 1983. Our core business is raw ingredient research, development, supply and marketing. We are constantly expanding our grower base to those interested in supplying goods to high quality standards, with timely deliveries and a determination to constantly improve.

We trust you have an opportunity to cook with some of the products above and use them as a regular part of your culinary repertoire.

For those people with whom we currently work, thank you for your continued support.

Bush Tucker Supply Australia Pty Ltd

The Bushfood Professionals

482 Victoria Road. Gladesville NSW 2111 Phone 02 9817 1060

Fax 02 9817 3587 E-mail, bushtuck@geko.net.au

Eat Your Garden

JennyJenny Allen's garden in Maleny, Qld, is an abundant food forest. She runs bushfoods workshops and advises people on how to spice up their gardens with bushfoods.

As the interest in commercial bushfoods skyrockets, I believe it is important to remember the array of bushfoods that we can integrate into our everyday life. These bushfoods can be used not only as food, but also for medicine (although these are often one and the same). Importantly, understanding these plants is also part of understanding and respecting Aboriginal culture. Although now we may cook many of the plants in different ways, it is still about respecting and working with our native environment. This is an important step in our journey towards reconciliation.


Nelumbo nucifera: One of the most stunning plants I know, the lotus, is quite an easy addition to your garden. Also known as the Sacred or Chinese lotus, it has enormous dark green leaves, reaching up to 1m wide, and often protruding out of the water. Its large pink or white flowers (up to 25cm wide) have a yellow centre and a subtle, yet exquisite aroma. They are stunning as cut flowers - for about an hour -and then there is a drastic droop. They last longer by picking them before they open. Their dried seed pods last a long time and look intriguing in floral arrangements - the ones with curly stems have great potential - to make weird creatures from outerspace!

The Aborigines use many parts of the lotus - they roast the seeds, the inside of the leaf stems and the tubers (best in Autumn). In Asia, the immature leaves are eaten fresh as a vegetable or boiled and put in stir-fries. The seeds are eaten raw like peanuts or boiled. All parts are used in Chinese herbal medicine and it is significant in a number of religions, especially Buddhism. The cross section of the root has a stunning pattern and looks great in stir-fries. It often absorbs the flavour of the stronger food, yet maintains its shape. The petals are a delight-,, ful surprise in salads. The lotus grows in pemanent lagoons, which you can copy by planting it in full sun in a pond or in a container, such as a bathtub, with alot of rich soil anji at least 20cm of water cover. It can become rampant in watercourses, so plan to monitor this.

Aniseed Myrtle: Backhousia anisata: As I write this section I'm drinking a cup of aniseed myrtle tea. The cysanathol in its leaves can make you slightly euphoric, yet at this stage all I can feel is pleasantly numb lips. However, I do feel refreshed and stimulated to keep on writing.... Although it is a stunning rainforest tree, few aniseed myrtles still exist in their natural habitat. Fortunately, as a positive sideline to the bushfood industry, many landholders are no longer clearing them as its commercial value is being realised. Under cultivation it reaches a bushy 6m, and it is about 3-5 years until it is commercially productive. It enjoys full sun, tolerates a light frost and can be used in a windbreak. It has bright green new growth and undulating leaves making it highly ornamental and a great pot specimen.

Its great for flavouring desserts and sauces and you can give the young leaves to the kids as a healthy alternative to humbugs.

Pepperbush (Pepper Tree): Tasmannia insipida - To spice up your life - try the hot, crushed seeds of the pepperbush.

A small bush, its pink/purple berries ripen in autumn and then its seeds are ready for peppering up. The bush grows in mountainous eucalyptus forest or rainforest edges and enjoys shady conditions. Leaves range from green to pink to yellow and it is highly ornamental, making it a good pot plant as well. As it has a low frost tolerance it is good to place it as an understorey in a more protected part of your garden.

Macadamia Nut Macadamia integrifolia: It would be careless for me to overlook this scrumptious native nut, just as the early twentieth century Australian agriculturalists did. Due to this it was first produced commercially at the turn of the century in Hawaii - Australia caught on sixty years later. Ironically many forms now have Hawaiian names and the US still produce more macadamias than we do. The tree is dense and grows about 10m. It does well in most good soils, even in milder climates down to Sydney. It should produce in about 4 years if you plant it in full sun and protect it from harsh winds and frost. It is fairly drought tolerant but produces better with irrigation, especially aroung spring and early summer. It attracts birds and butterflies. Be patient - the nut will be ready about 1 year after the tree flowers. It will then split open and drop to the ground. After about 10 years you could get about 25 kg of nuts, with reports revealing up to 100kg of nuts in a season. It has a a high fat and oil content, giving you a lot of energy. Enough energy to go and plant more of these great trees for your family and friends.

Lemon Aspen: Acronychia acidula

Resembling a giant lemon tree, the lemon aspen fruit is also very acidic and tart. It has a strong after taste that is difficult to explain and needs to be worked with to bring out its unique flavour - going especially well in mayonaise, biscuits, drinks, sorbets and ice cream. It can be used in place of lemons and limes. Three lemon aspens are about the same strength as a lemon, including its zest. It grows to around 15m with a dense green canopy. As it is a highland tree it adapts well to cooler climates - just ensure it is not exposed to frost. It enjoys sun to part shade and will attract birds to your garden.

Native Ginger Alpinia caerula

Often confused with the ornamental ginger, the native variety has clusters of bright blue Alpinia caerula edible berries (hence its latin name "caerula" - which means "blue"). The Aborigines ate the flesh of these berries from February to May (spitting out the seeds) as well as the gingery root tips. They cooked meat wrapped in the large leaves. It grows quickly in part shade or full shade as well as being highly ornamental and attracting birds. Growing to only 1-2m it is a handy substitute for grass beneath trees.

Why mow ........where food can grow?

Now sec the Video! Jenny Allen & Barbara Knudson invite you to make your backyard a permaculture oasis with their video

"Eat your Garden"

$29 + $4 p&h

Phone orders: 07 5499 9442 19 Beechwood Rd Maleny

Qld 4552

Nomenclature - watch your lang'gwij

no-m'en kla - chur - a set of names for things of one kind

I have found the proper names of plants to be a little like a very large lady I once knew - daunting at first encounter but quite friendly and even rather endearing with time. Familiarity has certainly never bred contempt in either case. I have no trouble remembering her name but often find myself struggling with plants .Truely a knack which.comes only with constant usage. Pronouncing them with even some degree of correctness is another matter altogether! The binomial (or two word) system we now use was largely put in place by Linnaeus in his Species Plantarum (1753-2 volumes, 1200 pages). Linnaeus used the characteristics of the sexual organs of plants to devise 24 classes of plants - a system which no doubt made sense at the time but has created some problems since. There was some contemporary resistance to adopting his binomials but as no one else had bothered to catalogue all the known plants of the time, it was eventually accepted.

The binomial system uses the generic (single genus, plural genera) name of the plant (for instance Banksia) followed by a plant specific or species name (robur). A third name, of the variety or strain, can also be added (eg; Syzygium leuhmanni, "Vic's Choice"). Generic names are usually Latin but they can also be Greek, medieval, personal, geographic, mythical, vernacular, modern, anagrams and hybrids.In most cases, they are coined by the discoverer. The basis of specific names are too numerous to note but usually refer to some obvious feature of the plant (glauca, white; elatus.acringermysteria tall, acidula, sour, etc) or to a person (wilsonii)

Beginnings and Endings

Some of the more common suffixes are:

i - used to refer a person - ie cooperi

ia - used to refer to a person, ie Backhousia, Banksia

ii - used to refer a person - ie Araucaria bidwillii

nus - also used to refer to a person, ie balfourianus

There are too many beginnings to even attempt a partial list, so here's a fairly random selection:

a - Greek prefix signifying a negative or lacking of - thus Allysium, against madness. acu - 'sharply pointed', thus, acutifolius (sharply pointed leaves).

bi - 'two'

brachy = 'short'

tetra - 'four'

And a few polite roots: albus - white

fistula - pipe

glaber - smooth (glabrous)

glaucus - bluish grey

Pronunciation is no easy matter but here are some highlights: ae - as in aisle an - as in house ch - as k ei - as in rein oe - as in toil, ph - as p or p-h if possible

ui - as in we

If you'd like to know more about where the accent falls, an excellent book by N. Hylander titled 'Vara Prydnadsvaxter Namn pa Svenksa och Latin' will clarify things immensely for you.

As for the meaning or origin of some of the proper names of our bushfoods, some of them make no sense to me at all and some are quite self-evident. Here are a few of the better-known:

Acacia - Gr. akis, a sharp point (Acacia spp.).

Achronychia - Grk akros, terminal; onux, a claw. Referring to the points of the petals. (Achronychia acidula - Lemon aspen) insipida - tasteless or insipid (Tasmannia insipida - native pepper - ??)

Backhousia - named after the travelling Quaker nurseryman James Backhouse (Backhousia citriodora).

Brachychiton - from the Greek brachy, short; chiton, a tunic - refers to the overlapping scales (Brachychiton bidwillii - Little kurrajong)

Caerulea - dark blue (Alpinia caerulea - Native ginger) Capparis - Gr, the caper (Capparis mitchellii - Wild orange). Confusus - one we don't see too often - Latin for confused or uncertain (apt to be mistaken for another species).

Diploglottis - Gr - diploos - double; glottis, a tongue (Diploglottis campbellii, cunninghamii and smithii - our native tamarinds). Kunzea - named after Gustav Kunze

pomifera - apple bearing (Kunzea pomifera - Muntari) Microcitrus - Gr. mikros, small, kitron, lemon (Microcitrus australis - Native lime) myrtus - Gr for Myrtle dulcis - sweet (Austromyrtus dulcis - Midyim berry) Podocarpus - Gr, podos, a foot, karpos, a fruit. The fruits of the Podocarpus (related to the Yew) are born on fleshy stalks.

elatus - tall (Podocarpus elatus - Illawarra plum)

Prostranthera - Gr. prosthetna - appendage;

anthera, anther, refering to the spur-like appendage on the back of the antler (Prostranthera incisa - Cut leaf mint)

pruriens - L., causing an itch (Davidsonia pruriens - Davidson plum)

Santalum - Gr. santalon, sandlewood tree, derived from the sankskrit chandana, fragrant

acuminatus - tapering into a long point (Santalum acuminatum - Quandong). Solanum - Latin for nightshade (Solanum centrale - Bush tomato)

Sterculia - L. - named for the Roman god of privies (Latin stercus =dung)

quadrifidus - L. cut into four (Sterculia quadrifidia - Peanut tree)

Syzygium - now here's an odd one which has caused some discussion. According to my references, this comes from the Greek suzogos, joined, and refers to the paired leaves and branchlets (Syzygium spp).

Tetragonia - Gr, tetra, four; gonia, an angle (Tetragonia tetragonoides - Warrigal greens)

Other Words

Morphology - the study of form Phylogeny - evolutionary history (thus phylogenetic succession is the evolution of a species). Taxonomy - the study of the classification of organisms according to their similarities and differences.

Plant(s) of the Month

Syzygium bungadinnia - come on, say it fast. My thanks to Adrian Walker (in the Rainforest Seed Collective newsletter) for this one. And of course there's that well known roadside plant: Scottmebuggered walkerii (thanks again Adrian).

Further, better informed, more esoteric or more amusing contributions welcomed. Good luck to you all.

Based largely on A Gardener's Dictionary of Plant Names, A.W. Smith & W.T. Stearn, Cassell & Company, London

Textbook of Botany, Lowson. Revised by Howarth & Warne, University Tutorial Press, London The Plant Kingdom, Ian Tribe, Hamlyn, Sydney. See also:

Dictionary of Plant Names, Allen J Coombes, Timber Press, Portland, 1985.

Rainforest Seed Collective

Anything rainforest - wild, fresh seed, a 20pp magazine issued 4 times a year. Practical and up to date info on rainforest reafforestation, bushfoods propagation collection etc. Workshops and courses. $20 pa ( 4 newsletters) $10 pa low income Contact:

Yahana Treweeke

PMB Bellingen

NSW 2454

A Rosella by any Other Name...

Colleen Keena is a native plant enthusiast of encyclopedic proportions with a partricular interest in our native rosella.

In Issue 1 of Australian Bushfoods magazine, an extract from the latest report from the Rural Industry Development Corporation (RIRDC), "Prospects for the Australian Native Bushfoods Industry" listed fourteen plant species identified as having the most potential. This list includes Wild Rosella, Hibiscus sabdariaa and Native Rosella, Hibiscus heterophyllus. At the time of the report commercial plantings were unknown. The product is the flower (fresh), the density per hectare is 1500 plants. Plants take 3 years to mature and yield 40 flowers per 100 g. Fresh, uncleaned flowers return $4 a kilogram and cleaned and frozen flowers return $8-$ 12. Estimated cost per hectare is $3750 for plant material. The RIRDC Report lists the Wild Roselia as an introduced species common in Northern Queensland and the Northern Territory. It is described as having a tart flavour with a raspberry, rhubarb, plum quality. The petals make jelly and can be used for dessert garnishes. The report notes that Native Rosella is used in the same way as Wild Rosella. Both the Wild Rosella and the Native Rosella will be described, even though the Wild Rosella is an introduced species.


Hibiscus sabdariffa: a short lived perennial shrub, 1-2 metres in height. Seeds are planted 60 cm apart in 90 cm rows. To harvest, the stem is snapped at the base of the flower. The flowers close and become deep red when mature and should be harvested before they become woody. The leaves can also be eaten and the flower can be used to make jam, jelly or cordial. The calyces, or fleshy red parts, are high in pectin, which is used in making jams, jellies and custards'. A further use for the calyces is as a substitute for sauerkraut. Information about cultivation and preparation can be found in Yates Garden Guide.


Hibiscus heterophyllus also known as native hibiscus. It has large (10-19cm) white or yellow flowers with dark red centres in spring and summer. Fruits are five-celled ovoid capsules, 15-20 mm long. Leaves are dark-green, simple, or lobed and large and the stems are rough or prickly. The species name refers to the different shaped leaves found in this species. Native rosella grows as a tall shrub or small tree, 1-5m x 1 -3m with a rounded habit. It is found along the east coast from central N.S.W. to Lockhart River in shady and swampy eucalypt forests, gullies and rainforest edges on soils ranging from loam to granite or poor and gravelly. It prefers a moist open spot but adapts to dry conditions and partial shade. Flowering is prolific. The plants in the southern half of the range are white and those in the northern half of the range are yellow. The plant becomes rather sparse but can be developed into a compact bush with regular tip pruning from an early stage. It benefits by being pruned by one-third after flowering.

Propagation is from seed or cuttings. Abrading seeds by rubbing between two pieces of sandpaper assists in germination. Most seedlings will flower within a year. Cutting back seedlings will delay flowering. Seedlings have a tap root which can be an advantage in some locations, e.g. on sandstone ridges. Cuttings taken in spring strike readily, especially if the cut is through a node and if a rooting compound is used. Cuttings may also be taken in summer and autumn. The cutting grown plant, with its fibrous root system, forms a dense plant (particularly if tip-pruned regularly) and flowers earlier than seedlings.

Flowers and buds of Hibiscus were eaten by the Aborigines3 either raw or cooked and the buds were cooked and made into jam for domestic and commercial use during the colonial period4. The sour buds continue to be cooked and made into jam 5 although the jam may have little flavour3b. Buds can be eaten without cooking in salads or boiled as a vegetable2. The petals can be eaten in salads5. The flavour of the flowers is very mild and it has been suggested that perhaps the best use for them is as a colourful edible ornament for a salad5. Although profuse, they are short-lived but if they are wanted for use at night, they can be picked as they begin to unfurl in the morning, then stored in the refrigerator crisper and if taken out in the late afternoon, will open and stay fresh until about midnight. The flowers can be stuffed*8 made into fritters*8 or made into tea8 and the buds pickled*8. Young shoots of Hibiscus are also edible9 raw or cooked6' 10and have a pleasantly acid taste3b. They can be used raw mixed in salads, steamed or boiled as a vegetable or added to soups8. The very sour leaves make a good spinach substitute in Greek dishes5 and an excellent "spinach" pie7. The roots3 6-10 can also be eaten raw or cooked. Hibiscus heterophyllus has been described as a versatile vegetable, with buds that can be stewed as one would rosella, leaves tasting like sorrel and roots like woody parsnips7.

It should be noted that although numerous references suggest that no hibiscus is known to be poisonous, Peter Hardwick (profiled in the first issue of Australian Bushfoods magazine) has expressed concern in relation to Hibiscus heterophyllus. In the Australian Food Plants Study Group Newsletter of February 1995 it was reported that he suffered kidney damage from drinking H. heterophyllus tea over a few days and that discussions with Aborigines confirmed that they use this plant only sparingly as a medicinal plant, rather than to eat.

Challenges Associated With Growing Hibiscus

Although Hibiscus heterophyllus is a productive plant, it is not without a number of challenges. IRRITANT HAIRS. The seed pod is covered in hairs that may cause skin irritation. Sticky tape stuck onto the skin and then pulled off is an effective way to remove these irritant hairs. Tweezers should be used when extracting seed.


There are a vatiety of sucking or chewing creatures that enjoy the flavour of both buds and leaves, although well grown plants are less likely to be attacked by either pests or diseases". The Harlequin bug depends on sap sucked from species such as hibiscus, but is not usually troublesome12. Metallic flea beetles chew a series of small holes in the leaves but do not damage the flowers. Scale insects can become a problem but can be easily managed either by removing by hand or even by cutting off affected pans. Any other damage that may occur can also be pruned off. Regrowth is fast and the pruning can result in a greater number of flowers. Honeyeaters take advantage of the large nectar-rich flowers13. In addition, the seed capsules can provide food for seed-eating birds13 and insects14 seek out the flowers. Thus, Hibiscus heterophyllus attracts birds and predators and so encourages natural pest control as the insects use the plant as a food source and are themselves controlled by a wide range of predators15.


Probably the major obstacle to growing Hibiscus plants is availability of plants. Few nurseries regularly carry this species. For members of the Society for Growing Australian Plants (SGAP). seed may be obtained through SGAP seed banks. When the plant is available, it may be incorrectly or inadequately identified and other species, e.g. Hibiscus divaricatus, may be labelled as Hibiscus heterophyllus.

There is some controversy in distinguishing between these two species16 and this may add to the difficulty of accurate identification. There is, however, an observable difference in the calyces of the two species17.

Introduced Species

Perhaps the greatest challenge yet associated with Hibiscus heterophyllus is that, in spite of its ability to survive over an extended range and the fact that it featured in early written records and was frequently listed as a food source for both people and fauna, it has been supplanted by the introduced species. The RIRDC report lists no annual tonnages traded nor value added products. Possibly the mild flavour of the flowers could be enhanced by being combined with one or more species that do qualify as "native bushfood species" and thus ensure this species becomes more than just a hardy shrub with showy flowers.


3aCribb, A. B. and J. W. (1974): Wild Food in Australia, Collins, Sydney 3b. Cribb, ibid, Second Edition.

4. Symons, P. and S. (l994):Bush Heritage, Queensland Complete Printing, Nambour.

5. Low, T. (1988): Wild Food Plants of Australia, Angus and Robertson, Sydney.

6. Leiper, G.:Mutooroo. Plant Use by Australian Aboriginal People. Assembly Press, Australia. 7.Low,T. (l989) Bush Tucker, Angus and Robertson, Sydney.

8. * indicates recipes are in French, Jackie (1993) Yates Guide to Edible Gardening, Angus & Robertson, Sydney.

9. Elliot, W.R. & Jones, D.I. (1980-88): Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants Suitable for Cultivation, Vol 5. Lothian, Melbourne.

10. Lebler, B.A. (1977): Wildflowersof Southeastern Queensland, Department of Primary Industries, Brisbane.

11. Beers, L. and Howie, (1985) J.: Growing Hibiscus, Kangaroo Press, N.S.W.

12. Jones, D. and Elliot, R.( 1986, 1990) Pests, Diseases and Ailments of Australian Plants, Lothian, Melbourne.

13. Hacker, B, Butler, R. and Rekdahl, R. (1994): Putting Back the Forest, QUT Printing, Brisbane.

14. Barnes, DJ.: "Faunascaping" Using the Native Plants ofS.E. Queensland,

15. Hadlington, P. and Taylor, T. (1992): The Native Garden Doctor, Simon and Schuster, Sydney.

16. Hibiscus Study Group Newsletter, S.G.A.P. Study Group, May 1983.

17. Dr Doug Wilson, Western Cotton Research Laboratory, Phoenix, Arizona, personal communication.

Recipes Native Rosella

From Wild Food Recipes, Botany Club, University of Queensland


Take five pounds of Rosellas after seeds and pips have been removed.

Wash well.

Add 7 and 1/2 cups of water and boil for 15 minutes.

Add1 lb of sugar for each Ib of fruit and a cup of sugar for each cup of water

Boil for a further 20 minutes.


is made by washing the fruit and boiling until seeds are seen through the pods and the fruit is reduced to a pulp, straining through a flannel jelly-bag, adding 1 cup of sugar to a cup of juice and boiling for 20 minutes. If boiled longer the colour will spoil. When first boiling the fruit do not cut it and do not quite cover it with water.

Wild Rosella - Hibiscus sabdarriffa

from Hale, P. Williams, B. LiklikBuk( 1977) Wirui Press, P.N.G


Separate the calyces from the seeds and tails and weigh out 1kg of calyces. Place in a pot and add 625

In another pot, place 670 g of seeds and tails and 625 ml of water. Boil rapidly for exactly five minutes.

Strain seeds and tails through a cloth and put this liquid into the pan with the water and calyces.

Boil combined liquids for about 20 minutes until the colour of the liquid is a deep red.

Chopped up lemon skin can be added to taste

Measure liquid and add the same amount of sugar. Sugar and fruit and juice are combined and boiled as quickly as possible for 10 to 15 minutes.

After 10 minutes a sample is spooned out to see if it jells. Cooking is continued until sample jellies.

Rosella Jelly

Wash the fruit including seeds, tips and calyces, cover with water and boil for one hour. Strain juice through a cloth, add 1 cup of sugar to a cup of juice and boil for a further 20 minutes.

Rosella Drink

Boil calyces, water and sugar to taste until the calyces turn white and the water becomes a deep red colour. Remove calyces, allow liquid to cool. The liquid is diluted according to taste.

Lemon Aspen - and how!

Our cover plant this issue is the Lemon aspen - native fruit with a punch.

Lemon Aspen Information gathered by the editor

Achronychia acidula

It would be interesting to research the evolution of the 'western' palate. Somewhere along the line, someone decided that sweet was the thing and tart was for the birds. I'm rather fond of fruit that makes your lips pucker up and your taste buds go 'howdy!' and there are many native fruits and berries which don't disappoint. Lemon aspen has to be top of this list. Pop one of the plump, creamy fruits into your mouth and try to whistle! This is a seriously tangy fruit. As Cribb so delicately put it 'They might be better used to make jam...'

Having read about the taste sensation from Northern Queensland, I was full of excitement when I picked my first fruit. Not content with nibbling, I popped the whole thing in my mouth. My first thought (after my eyes had stopped watering) was that I had discovered a natural toothpaste that would leave the tubed variety for dead. The Lemon aspen is not a fruit to be eaten fresh from the bush, having a high degree of acidity and an almost overpowering citrus taste. A native to high or low rainforests (it seems to tolerate a range of temperatures), Achronychia is a reasonably fast growing and hardy tree which may reach the 30m mark in dense, rainforest conditions but is more likely to stick around the 8m height. Propogation can be difficult, with a slow germination rate and an (apparantly) high degree of seed destruction through caterpillars. The speciman I saw was in a Permaculture garden which was generally free of serious pests.


This can be hastened if the small black seeds are removed from the pulp prior to sowing. A germina- tion period of 6 months-i- has been quoted. As this is food to a number of fruit eating pigeons, perhaps experimentation with something like gibberelic acid could be undertaken. Cuttings would appear to be the optimum method of propogation.

Cultivation is still an area which is open to experimentation. Tip pruning for a bushier habit and even crown pruning after fruit drop are both likely aids to easier harvest but I have been able to find little data on the tree in a commercial setting.

Post Harvest

The fruits I picked stored nicely in the fridge for over a week, loosely packed in a plastic container. A handful left out dried beautifully without blemish and lost surprisinly little size, drying up to a nice almond colour and losing their super sharp tang (and some of their flavour). If anything, the dried fruits had less of the citrus like flavour and more of a piney, almost menthol-like taste.


Jean Paul Bruneteau, in his very excellent book ; Tukka', recounts his work with Lemon aspen: 'The crushed leaves of Achronychia acidula smell of turpentine mangoes. This is mirrored in the juice of the fruit which is a potent, almost nauseating grapefruit essence. For this reason, lemon aspens are best processed using the same glace techique as used for the riberry. My observation of the lemon aspen is that a little cooking, plus repeated sugar saturation, softens the strong flavour...the syrup left over from glaceing is ideal as a cordial. The flavour of the lemon aspen is exceelant in fruit curds and salad dressings."

Ethel - in her own words

Transcript from an interview with Ethel Richardson,

Butchella ~ Hervey Bay & Fraser Is.

...my father belonged to a tribe, some of them were born on the mainland as well as on the island because they moved around as they followed the food that was in season and they'd come to the mainland. They were wise. They looked after their health. Healthwise it was a good thing to do instead of living in the same old place, you know.

I like eating certain types of fish, scale-less fish. Even certain fish with scales I don't eat. The red emperor, I don't touch, or any red fish. On my Mother's side, they didn't touch certain food because they said they were poisonous. It must have been something, otherwise they wouldn't have said it. They had hundreds of years knowledge, to find out.I respected the customs of my Father's people (Peter Nixon, Mulligmny Tribe). They're not here, but the customs keep them alive.

I don't want them to die out. I'm handing on these things to the young generation...they used to go up to the Blackbutt Ranges to feast on the bunya nuts and from a hundred miles radius people would go there. Only every three to four years when there'd be a bumper crop. They'd make long trips and they'd camp along the way. Take days to get there. They took it easy, camp along they way and get a bit of food and that. They had to eat and drink, get hungry and thirsty. They had a wonderful time.

Mother often told me about them. On my Mother's island they used to eat the roots of grasses, the juices that you get from the tuberous roots. Things like that. Wild fruits. There was a seed they sucked, when they were nice and yellow. They got a big hard seed inside and they just chewed and sucked all of them.

They knew how far to go and when to stop.

They watched the seasons. They didn't rush in and use fruits, such as fish just coming in, a lot of young fish. They wouldn't touch them till they developed, until they were in their best condition and therefore they were getting good healthy food.

They ate everything within their seasons. That's why they were so healthy and that's what we don't do. We eat a lot of stuff out of season and it's not in good condition, very bad condition. Therefore we're not getting the nutrients from the food we should be getting.

It's similar with our gardening, you know. People leave the land till the plants grow over again, maybe three or four years.

The resting of the land. Then they go back again so there is always more. Every year they never go back straight again. The ground needs resting. The soil needs rest as well as us. It gets worn out and all the nutriment, all the goodness gets used up, evaporates.

Therefore it's got to be replenished again, to build itself up again. It takes time to do that. That's one of the reasons our people moved from one area to another, to let the plants develop again, fresh lot of fruit coming.

When certain trees were in flower it was like our Aboriginal calendar. Nature told us when to eat certain fruit, when it is the right time.

A wonderful system they had. Eating food in the right time in the right season, when they were in the best condition, full of nutrients. It's as simple as that. When we saw the wattle trees in bloom it was the right time to eat the sea mullet. They would be in their best condition.

It's a wonderful thing about the tea tree. It's used for so many different things. Building purposes for the little gunyahs, roofs, around the side, coolamons for carrying food, wonderful for torches. Various uses. The leaves, the eucalyptus oil.

They had ways of holding it over heat and then laying it on the affected area, so you were getting the oil from the leaves through the heat into the pores. They'd have you beside a fire to keep warm.

They'd wade out into the water and spear their fish. Talking about Fraser Island, they used dolphins to help them. It's a remarkable story. They knew well before the white man that they could be trained and they could be used to help them. They'd round the fish up and bring them in.

The Aboriginals would whistle. The dolphins could hear it. The sound is much emphasised under water.

They believed in sharing what they had with the whole camp. They'd make the rounds asking "You got any fish to eat today?" They were good like that. They looked after the needs of everybody. Didn't leave anyone out, you know. And that was wonderful, sharing with one another, caring for one another. That's why they were so healthy and happy. Not everybody is a fisherman.

Just like today, someone is a carpenter. He's a professional at his job and he knows best how to do it. There were good hunters, good honey men. Others would go out looking for wallabies, kangaroos and then they all brought it back for the camp.

Looking after water. Just don't use it like a toilet place. We weren't allowed to go around and play around there. We had to keep away from where they'd dip up the water. We could play in the bush nearby. We were scared of swampy areas anyway. They'd tell us scary stories, probably to keep us away.

Living simply, not taking more than you can use, leaving some for next time. If the men cut some honey, they wouldn't clean it right out. They'd leave some there for some hungry person.

People are not thoughtful like that today.

From an interview given in 1995.

On the Ground

First in a series of grower case histories.

Elizabeth Blakeman

I would like to contribute the following report on our native bushfood project.

In 1995 we set aside a 100 acre paddock on our farm for growing native bushfoods. The soil is sandy, so drainage is not a problem.

With a Ph of 5, it is strongly acidic. It previously supported stringybarks, silvertops and banksias. It is situated on a west facing slope. Our rainfall over the past four years has averaged 77mm or 30 inches During 1995, we used "Brush Off, applied via a carpet roller, to kill the bracken, or at least reduce its exuberance, and in October '95 we formed furrows along the contours of the hill, using a dumpy level and the grader blades on the tractor.

We then planted the following as a trial plot: 48 bush tomatoes, 48 muntries, 12 quandongs, 6 Illawarra plums, 5 ribemes, 5 lemon aspens, 5 sandpaper figs.

To complete the inventory, around the verandah posts of our house we planted 12 sweet appleberries, alternating with 12 Leichhardt pears and in the orchard 5 native raspberries, 12 commelinas, 4 warrigal greens and 12 sea celery. Fertiliser and Chemicals As well as the "Brush Oft" for initial bracken control, I have used small quantities of "Zero" from a hand-held spray pack to kill patches of kikuyu grass. No other chemicals have been used.

We have used a handful of "Dynamic Lifter" per plant applied at initial planting and in late winter. Irrigation

We have set up a 37,500 gallon tank which catches the overflow or rainwater from our domestic water tank and it is currently full. From this we have set up a dripper and micro-jet irrigation system. Despite professional advice on setting it up, we found the tops blew out on two occasions because of the 45m or 138 ft drop and we have replaced the plastic taps with metal ones and inserted a pressure reducing valve in the main line. We also have a filter in the line.

I am disappointed that some of the drippers have cracked around their heads after one year's use. The micro-jets are surviving better to date. I have also found the black narrow tubing expands in the hot sun and then blows off the little takeoff fittings.

Individual plastic tree guards around each plant have had the unexpected major benefit, as far as irrigation is concerned, of channelling the water supply from the sprays so that it falls around the root system, thus lessening the time needed for irrigation and the volume of water wasted.


Weed control is a real pain!

The row of muntries was planted in black weed mat. It certainly controls 90% of the weeds but I think the soil gets very hot under it and I wonder if it has inhibited the growth of the muntries a little.

We have now purchased a mantis tiHer, which cuts weeding time from days to hours but is still strenuous work and has punctured the irrigation line on several occasions. The ensuing repairs add to costs. I still have to laboriously hand weed immediately adjacent to the plants.

I hope eventually to employ Koori people from a community I am involved with, to help harvest, cultivate and hopefully, process the product. Survival After One Year We lost 15 muntries, 40 bush tomatoes, 4 quandong & 1 lemon aspen, 4 superb figs and all the quandongs look pretty sick. At the house all the Leichhardt pears, sea celery and warrigal greens died too. We therefore have abandoned bush tomatoes, Leichhardt pears and warrigal greens and in November '96 we planted 20 riberries, 20 lemon aspen and 20 more quandongs (I like them and don't want to give up!), 15 muntries and have added 20 lemon myrtle and 20 mountain pepper and I have replaced the Leichhardt pears with appleberries, so that we now have B. scandens alternating with B. cymosa around the verandah. The new sea celery is flourishing in large pots, with rich soil in the shade.

The Future

Our intention is to spend a set sum of money each year on plants and irrigation until the paddock is full and to use blood and bone as a fertiliser, spreading it with a super spreader, so that we can cut hay between the furrows, thus using the land for 2 purposes.

I hope this is of interest to people and I would be most interested to read what others have done, be it bigger and better or smaller and simpler.

Elizabeth Blakeman

Reprinted from Issue 5 of the Southern Bushfood Network Newsletter (Dec 96-Jan 97)

Book Reviews:



Real Australian Food, by Jean Paul Bruneteau, Angus & Robertson 1996

With Tukka, Jean Paul Bruneteau has created a book which delights the taste buds, the eye and our curiousity. Sumptiously laid out, Tukka, is filled with, not just recipes, but history, plant notes and Jean Paul's own observations, trials, errors and, most especially, his delight in working with our unusual and rewarding foods.

The better known plums, bunyas, quandong, peppers and wattleseed are covered as well as kangaroo, magpie, marron and a host of other animal foods. The recipes bear the imaginative simplicityof a true food artist.

It's enough to want you go out and grow them all - and cook with them.


"Bushfires & Bushtucker. Aboriginal Plant Use in Central Australia"

by Peter Latz

Bushfires & Bushlucker is the culmination of a life's work for the author, Ccnlralian botanist Peter Latz. Pitjantjatjara, Warlpiri. Arrernte, Pintupi and many other Central Australian Aboriginal people have shared their knowledge over many years with Peter to produce this highly informative and accessible reference work.

Part I documents how, with fire and ceremony, Aboriginal people have managed the country in a way that has ensured not just their survival but a comfortable life.

Part II gives detailed descriptions of more than two hundred and fifty individual plants, explaining their habitat, use and preparation. A detailed appendix includes a number of tables for easy cross-referencing of information and supplementary material. The author. Peter Latz, was born in Alice Springs and raised in the Aboriginal community of Hermannsburg, 110 kilometres west ofl the Alice. His earliest memory are of foray looking for bushtucker with his young Arrernte friends. It was these trips that formed the basis of a lifelong interest in plants and the subsequent research for this book. He has worked in a variety of occupations and is an accomplished photographer.

Peter Latz is Senior Botanist as the Conservation Commission of the Northern Territory, Alice Springs.

For more information contact Josie Douglas on 08 89511334 or fax 08 89522527.

IAD PRESS Aboriginal publishing from Central Australia. PO Box 253I, Alice Springs NT0871.

Foraging and Processing Suspected Edible Bits

Vic Cherikoff

Bushfoods are moving from the bush to plantations and from niche products to supermarket lines (including Australia's Own products in Coles. Bushells' native herbals and Woolworths' Bushfoods Bush Breads of Australia) but many would-be foragers are still faced with the task of knowing what they can or cannot eat. Amateur botanists have only 20 to 25,000 names to learn and of these about 4000-5000 have some edible portion. A practical repertoire of a hundred or so species from all over Australia can provide something to nibble on at most times of the year, especially if you use those foods used by Aborigines as staples. The following guide presents an approach to treating plant parts from unidentified species. This system may err on the side of caution, but without knowing the true identification of the plant the most extreme conditions should be assumed necessary.


Use the same qualities of softness and colour uniformity as for conventional fruits. Look for fruits on the ground. Are they a different colour to those on the plant and still not over-ripe? Many fruits ripen on the ground.

Taste the skin and fruit flesh separately. Seeds should not be swallowed if they are large or bitter; they may be swallowed if they are small and numerous (small fruits in large numbers usually mean no toxins, but they rarely ripen at the one time.) Bake fruit in hot ash or in a ground oven if you suspect the presence of alkaloids, e.g., as in bush tomatoes (Solanum species).

Gums and exudates

Sample gums and exudates cautiously, test-tasting for astringent tannins. Avoid gums (kinos) from gum trees (Eucalyptus species). Eat sweet or flavourless gums and exudates directly or dissolve them in water to make jellies or sweet drinks.

Roots, tubers, bulbs, rhizomes and other underground storage organs

Dig in loose or sandy soil and not in hard stony ground. In dry country look for cracks in the surface of the soil near plants suspected of having edible roots. Choose young tubers which are usually white or pale, firm and crisp rather than dark and shrivelled. Roast all roots as a preliminary step before even tasting any juice.

Grass seeds

Check that the seed heads are free of contaminating black fungus. Use a container or plastic sheet to collect the seeds by placing it under the seed heads. Dislodge the seeds by rubbing the seed heads between your hands or 'milk' out the seeds like milking a cow, or harvest whole heads with fully-formed seeds and leave in a dry sunny position to ripen. Check area for ants' nests, where some seeds may be found. Ants harvest certain grass seeds for the attached aril which they use for food. The seeds are discarded near the ants' nest. Hold a loose bundle of burning sticks over a dish and sprinkle the grass seeds through the fire so they fall into the dish after the heat treatment. Winnow ash, seed husks and debris from seeds. Mill the seeds to a flour using a coffee mill. Use a grindstone and top stone to grind the seeds adding a little water to make a paste. Bake in hot ash as a seed cake or add wheat flour to make a mixed-grain bread.

Shrub seeds

Pick dry splitting pods containing fully ripe seeds. Collect fallen seeds from the ground. See on for the preparative treatment of unripe green wattle seeds. Clean dry seeds of any debris and place the seeds in afire-proof dish, e.g., a wooden coolamon or a metal container. Add live coals to the seeds and stir them through the seeds, replacing the coals as they cool. Remove the debris from the heat-treated seeds. Mill seeds to a flour with a grain mill, coffee grinder or grinding stones. Seeds can be heat treated in a saucepan on a stove top, but don't over-roast them.

Bushfoods in History

Pat & Sim Symons

Pat & Sim Symons are, amongst other things, co-authors of the excellent book 'Bush Heritage1. Here, they continue their series on bushfoods in in history.

James Backhouse (1794-1869) Naturalist and Quaker Missionary.

James Backhouse came to Australia in 1832 and departed in 1838. During this time he travelled extensively throughout the young British colony. He recorded his journeys in diaries and these records were eventually published, in 1843, as a book titled "A Narrative of a Visit to the Australian Colonies". He also gave Kew Gardens two manuscript volumes of botanical recollections in Australia. Throughout his arduous journeys, Backhouse collected a valuable herbarium which he sent to Kew Gardens. In recognition of his contribution to the knowledge of Australian vegetation, the genus of a myrtaceous shrubs was named Backhausia.

Background Information

As a young man in England, Backhouse was apprenticed to a chemist. During this time he developed tuberculosis. Regaining his health with outdoor work, he trained for two years in a nursery, where he first became interested in Australian plants. This new occupation, in combination with his association with the Quaker Society of Friends, who were interested in prison reform and transportation, contributed to his keenness to visit the Australian colony. Backhouse's concern for the condition of convicts, Aboriginal people and missionary duties make very interesting reading, but considering the theme of this article, the focus is on his observations of some bushfoods of Brisbane. He visited the Moreton Bay District in 1836. Brisbane had been established as a penal settlement in 1824 and remained as such until 1842. His diary lays much emphasis on the botany of the district and the use of plants and animals by Aboriginal people.


The following brief, yet interesting descriptions are of some fruits, seeds, marine animals and roots eaten In the Moreton Bay District by Aboriginal people. These records were published in "A Narrative of a Visit to the Australian Colonies" and reprinted In John Steele's book "Brisbane Town in Convict Days 1824-1842."

Fruits Native Grapes

"...There are also three species of Cissus; one of them with simple, and the other two with trifoliate leaves; these are kinds of Vine, bearing grapes about equal in size to English Sloes, but sweeter."


"The fruit of the figs is rather dry, but it is eaten by the native Blacks and by numerous birds..."


"...in the margin of the woods, there was a white-flowered Grewia, with a thin, sweetish covering to the seeds, for which it is valued by the natives.."

Midyim on Moreton Island

"...Taking therefore my compass, I determined to make my way direct to my companions, whom I succeeded in reaching, after same fatigue, by wading through a lagoon and crossing some steep hills. The latter was overgrown by Myrtus tenuifolia, a Myrtle of low stature with narrow leaves, and sweet aromatic, white berries spotted with purple. These are the most agreeable native fruit I have tasted in Australia; They are produced so abundantly as to afford an important article of food to the Aborigines..."


Two of the three species of Cissus mentioned above would have been Cissus antarctica and Cissus hypoglauca. The Grewia is most likely Grewia latifolia or dog's nuts. The myrtle is Austromyrtus dulcis ormidyim.

Seeds Black Bean

"The Moreton Bay chestnut, Castanospermum australie, is a fine tree with a profusion of flame-coloured blossom, with leaves

like those of the European walnut. Some of the pods are ten inches long and eight round, they contain several seeds, in size and colour resembling Horse Chestnuts, but in flavour, between Spanish Cheshunt and a fresh ripened Bean, with a slight degree of bitterness. The Blacks roast them, soak them in water, to prepare them for food." Note: Black, bean seeds are quite toxic unless prepared correctly.

Pandanus on Moreton Island

"Here, in sandy places, Pandanus pedunculatus, a species of Screw Pine, forms a singular tree, fifteen feet high...its fruit...the fleshy part, is eaten by the Blacks; but it has an unpleasant smell and though sweetish, is rather acrid..." Note: Pandanus pedunculatus is now considered P. tectorius.

Marine Animals Teredo, a shipworm

"...One of the young men of the company told us that, on a certain occasion, when lost in the bush, he was driven by hunger, to eat a species of Teredo or Augur-worms, called by the Blacks, Cobra, which he found very palatable. In this part of the country, within the reach of the salt water, this animal is abundant in logs, which it perforates, till they resemble honeycomb."


" ... the Blacks do not kill the Porpoises, because they shew where there are fish to be caught, but they value the flesh of another cetaceous animal called here youngon, the Dugong of India, Halicore dugong. This animal feeds on marine vegetables; and is taken when it goes up narrow creeks, by means of nets, skilfully made of the bark of various species of Hibiscus..."


Fern roots on Moreton Island

"...Near the east coast there were...also Pteris esculentum (Bracken fern), and Blechnum cartilagineum, ferns, the roots of which are eaten by the Blacks" ...many of the women were roasting fern-root. This, after it was roasted, was held by one hand on a log of wood, while its whole length was beaten by a stone, held in the other hand, so as to break the woody fibre. In this state it is eaten...without removing the charred surface; its taste is like that of a waxy potato, but more gelatinous.."

The use and preparation of edible fern root in Brisbane was also observed and commented on by, amongst others, Tom Petrie. Tom was closely involved with the Brisbane Aboriginal community from an early age. He arrived in Brisbane in 1837 with his family. He observed that

"... animals, birds and fish were all roasted on hot cinders, and so were certain roots and tubers of plants. The natives got the root of a fern (Blechnum serrulatum) which grew in the swamps in great quantities. It: was mostly the gins who dug this up and put it in their dillies to carry to camp; great loads there would be at times, for the root was highly esteemed. It was called "bangwal", and was first roasted, then scraped and cut up finely with sharp stones on a rock, when It was ready to eat. "Bangwalli" was generally eaten with fish or flesh, as we use bread, though also eaten separately...it was very much used,"

Note: Backhouse and Tom Petrie both refer to the scientific name of fern root as Blechnum cartilagineum or Blechnum serrulatum. Today, it is generally thought they were referring to the fern Blechnum indicum, a swamp fern.

James Backhouse was certainly a daring and energetic character. As well as travelling, collecting botanical specimens, investigating and reporting on the conditions of convicts and other personnel for the Quaker Society of Friends and British government officials in Australia, he travelled as an observer and medical assistant on convict ships. After leaving Australia in 1837, he spent three years travelling through the wilds of South Africa, trying to improve the lot of the Black Africans. These people were still being kept as virtual slaves by the Boer settlers. He died in his native England in 1869, at 75 years of age.


Steele, J.G. Brisbane Town in Convict Days, 1824-1842. Queensland University Press, 1975 Petrie, C., Tom Petrie's Reminiscences of Early Queensland, Angus and Robertson, 1983. First published 1904.



Bush food plants of western Queensland

Native Thyme (Ocimum tenuiflorum)

David Phelps, Pasture Agronomist, Longreach

Native thyme near Longreach, it is a small aromatic shrub

Leaf and seed structure of thyme, showing ripe seed heads along the stem


Thyme is very aromatic, releasing a strong smell if disturbed in the paddock. It is a short shrub to knee height, common in gidyea country around Blackall and Longreach and also Cloncurry and towards the gulf. Native thyme can be found growing in a variety of soils ranging from clays to sands. It produces small purple flowers (which look similar to the white flower of domestic basil) following summer rains. Leaves also grow quickly in response to rain. During drought, thyme plants have few leaves with only dried branches and some seed heads remaining.


Native thyme leaf has limited (but rapidly increasing) use as a herb within the bush food industry. It is being used to flavour breads and pastas, and will soon be promoted with other native herbs in supermarkets.


Sorted and dried thyme leaf is currently being bought for $55/kg at the farm gate.

Further information

Anderson, E.R. (1993). "Plants of Central Queensland, their identification and use". Department of Primary Industries, Queensland.

Cribb, A.B. and Cribb, J.W. (1989). Useful Wild Plants in Australia. Collins, Sydney.

Cribb, A.B. and Cribb, J.W. (1990). Wild Food in Australia. Second Edition. Angus and Robertson, North Ryde.

Cribb, A.B. and Cribb, J.W. (1990). Wild Medicine in Australia. Angus and Robertson, North Ryde.

Cherikoff, V. (1992). Uniquely Australian. Bush Tucker Supply, Boronia Park.

Cherikoff, V. (1993). The Bush Food Handbook. Bush Tucker Supply Australia, Boronia Park.

Dowling, R.M. and McKenzie, R.A. (1993). Poisonous Plants, a field guide. Department of Primary Industries, Queensland.

Golson, J. (1971). Australian Aboriginal food plants. In Aboriginal Man and Environment in Australia. Ed. Mulvaney, D.J. and

olson, J. A.N.U. Press, Canberra.

Isaacs, J. (1989). Bush Food, Aboriginal food and herbal medicine. Weldon Publishing, Sydney.

Jones, G.P. (Ed.) (1985). The Food Potential of Seeds from Australian Native Plants. Deakin University Press, Victoria.

Low, T. (1989). Bush Tucker, Australia's wild food harvest. Angus and Robertson, North Ryde.

Low, T. (1991). Australian Nature Field Guide: wild food plants of Australia. Angus and Robertson, North Ryde.

Ross, J. (1995). A Taste of Australia: authentic Australian cuisine. The Five Mile Press, Noble Park Victoria.

Stewart, D. (Ed). (1988). Burnum Burnum's Aboriginal Australia. Angus and Robertson, North Ryde.

Tindale, N.B. (1974). Aboriginal Tribes of Australia. Their terrain, environmental controls, distribution, limits and proper names. Chapter 7. Tribes and Food. A.N.U. Press, Canberra.

© The State of Queensland, Department of Primary Industries, August 1996 Produced by: DPI West Region ISSN 0155 - 3054

Order No: FN-W 96022002 Replaces: n/a Agdex304


Some thoughts about CSIRO Research in Bushfoods


D.J.Boland CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products PO Box E4008 Kingston 2604 CanberraI currently serve as the Australian Native Bushfood Industry Council Ltd (ANBIC) contact person for requests directed to CSIRO on bushfood research. My role arose during the initial establishment of the bushfood industry steering committee in 1995 when Dr Brian Stynes from RIRDC approached Dr John Radcliffe, Director, of the then CSIRO Institute of Plant Production and Processing. Brian suggested that a CSIRO contact person would be useful to direct inquiries related to bushfood research to relevant CSIRO researchers.

At that time Brian was involved in the establishment of ANBIC. Many would realise CSIRO is a large and diverse organisation comprising approximately 7,000 employees and 24 Divisions located throughout Australia. It is therefore not surprising that non-CSIRO people might find it difficult to discover who is conducting research on bushfood issues within the organisation.

As the CSIRO/ANBIC contact person my first task was to establish the extent of CSIRO's current involvement in bush food research. A request for information was e-mailed to all staff.

Responses to the inquiry established that eight Divisions were, in some way, involved in bushfood research. Divisions, research areas and contact persons are listed on Page 29. Information gathered during this phase established that some areas of research being conducted were currently of marginal value to Australian producers.

In future editions of this journal my hope is that other CSIRO scientists will feel motivated to write about some aspect of their work in the area. In this article I would like to mention some aspects of bushfood relevant to my research interests and those of CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products. There is a surprisingly high level of research on bushfood in CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products. There are two reasons for this. Firstly it is clear that many bush foods are products from trees. Table 2 indicates that 9 of the top 12 bushfood species selected by ANBIC as priority species for the industry are trees or large shrubs. Secondly, for over 30 years, the division has been involved in exploring the potential of native Australian trees for wood production and other purposes; especially for people in developing countries. In doing this we have always recognised that if a species produces multiple products/benefits, it is more likely to be widely adopted by communities. As a consequence we have tended to take up a wide range of research avenues in order to explore ways to add value to our tree species.

It is arguable that Australia's greatest gift to humanity lies not so much in our bushfood species (such as macadamia), but in our tree species that produce wood products of value to people in other countries, such as eucalypts, casuarinas and acacias. Species of these genera are remarkable for their fast growth under adverse conditions, and their utility for purposes such as house construction (poles) and fuelwood. We all recognise that many health problems arise from eating food that has not been sufficiently cooked through lack of adequate fuel; or from drinking contaminated water that has not first been boiled. Australians should feel proud that their natural resource has been of immense value to others and then reflect, that in the same way, the genetic resources from other countries are the backbone of our own rural industries. Some examples include potatoes from South America, wheat from the Middle East, and merinos from Africa/ Spain.

I would like to illustrate my previous comments by taking the example of blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus) which has been so widely adopted and used in Ethiopia and neighbouring Eritrea. In these two countries an expanding population, in an essentially fertile and productive region of the world, led to the destruction of much of their native forest resource. It is said that the Ethiopian capital, now Addis Ababa, was always moving as fuelwood resources became exhausted. The successful establishment of blue gum plantations stabilised fuelwood resources and hence the location of the modern-day capital.

Although fuelwood and poles for house construction are still the most important products obtained from blue gums, other minor products include the production of sawn timber, leaf mats for storing and freshening cooked injera (the national bread which is made from teff seeds), leaves for use as insecticides in household grain storage, ingredients in hair gels for women and nectar for honey production. Watching Ethiopian farmers ploughing agricultural fields with oxen using traditional, single-furrowed ploughs made of blue gum poles illustrates the importance of our native trees to others in developing countries. The blue gum example illustrates the diverse uses that Australian trees, grown essentially for wood production, can be used for in developing countries. It also provides an insight into one reason for the breadth of the research interests within our Division.

Highlights of bush food research conducted in the Division include work related to desert Acacias for human food (conducted with agencies in West Africa and communities in central Australia) and work on exploring the potential of essential oils such as those from eucalypts, melaleucas and Backhousia (both anisata and citriodora). I understand that our work on acacia foods (productivity, food safety and improvement by Divisional members ) is the proposed subject of an article in the next issue of this magazine. The genetic and taxonomic work of Gavin Moran. Lex Thomson and Maurice McDonald, together with Bruce Maslin of CALM. W.A. has been crucial in circumscribing the various confusing taxa in the Acacia holosericea complex. There is no point in conducting nutritional trials if seed of the different species are mixed in the sample being tested! One interesting by-product of this work on acacia seed has been the development of new acacia cuisines by the people in Niger and India.

Divisional research on eucalypt oils, in conjunction with Dr Joe Brophy of the University of New South Wales, involved exploring the potential of eucalypt oils in lesser-known species. Our results (refer to the book 'Eucalypt leaf oils—use, chemistry, distillation and marketing' edited by Boland, Brophy and House, Inkata Press) discovered some new chemical compounds, and established some new chemical compositions for many lesser known eucalypt species. By and large the results were of more interest to the industrial sector than to the bushfood industry. Interestingly another researcher found a crystaline compound (methyl cinnamate) in the essential oil of a new species of eucalypt (E. olida) occurring naturally in northern NSW. This compound is used as a flavour enhancer in the food industry eg in icecreams.

In 1991 Brophy and Boland were responsible for discovering the second chemotype (methyl clavicol, or estragole) of aniseed myrtle (B. anisata). The first chemotype, E (trans) anethol, was first identified in 1949. Both chemotypes of B. anisata are notable, amongst other world sources of aniseed flavour, in that they only contain low levels of the carcinogen z-anethol. Both chemotypes are now well known to the bushfood industry and plants of each type are sold commercially in very small numbers. Ian Southwell and colleagues at Wollongbar Agricultural Institute, northern NSW, have conducted more recent research on the two chemotypes.

Dr John Doran has initiated range-wide seed collections of B. citriodora and established field trials near Beerburrum with Dr Alan House of the Queensland Forestry Research Institute. Dr Doran's ultimate goal is to identify and select highly productive strains of the species for commercial use.

In my view CSIRO researchers face two main problems in gearing up bushfood research. The first is the low level of potential funding available for dedicated bushfood research. For example, the most logical funding source for CSIRO research on bushfoods is RIRDC but the likelihood of CSIRO receiving adequate grants from them is very slim. Based on current estimates that the industry is worth $10million per annum, I would guess that RIRDC policy personnel would determine the research funding level for bush-food at around the level of 1 % of the commercial value of the commodity or around $ 100,000 per year. The second problem for CSIRO is the lack of clear signals from the industry of priority areas for biological research activity. A strong, united statement from the industry that such and such needs research would help CSIRO to better focus its research efforts, and limited resources, on bushfood.

My plea to the industry would be to work towards an agreed and united research agenda rather than let events happen through chance. I realise that some in the industry would rather not steer events in this way and are in favour of a looser approach that allows good ideas to surface and be funded at random. This approach, which is essentially the current CSIRO model, may have merit but is very difficult to manage from a limited funding base and may not, in the longer term, be in the best interests of the industry. In conclusion, I believe that CSIRO research on bushfood will continue to be conducted within the organisation but at a fairly low level. CSIRO does not have a centrally coordinated systematic programme for bushfood research. The research that does exist is mainly driven by a few enthusiastic researchers in several Divisions and is largely, with a few exceptions, incidental to the real needs of the industry.

Table 2. Priority bush foods identified at the ANBIC meeting in Brisbane, May 1996.

Wild limes Eremocitrus glauca

Microcitrus sp.

Wattle Acacia victoriae

Warrigai greens Tetragonia tetragonoides

Riberry Syzgium leuhmanii

Quandong Santalum acuminatum

Muntries Kunzea pomifera

Mountain pepper Tasmannia lanceolata

Lemon myrtle Backhousia citriodora

Lemon aspen Acronychia acidula

Kakadu plum Terminalia ferdinandiana

lilawarra plum Podocarpus elatus

Bush tomato Solanum centrale


Entomology (Various edible insects) E. Neilson GPO Box 1700Canberra ACT 2601

Food Science and Technology (Food safety, Quality Aspects) B. Shay PO Box 52 North Ryde NSW 2113

Forestry and Forest Products Acacia Seed (Productivity, food safety improvement) C, Hardwood

Seed Collection and Trials with Aboriginal Communities J.Morse

Taxonomy of dry zone Acacias M. McDonald

Essential oils of Woody plants J. Doran

Forestry and Forest Products Edible Forest Mushrooms N.Bougher QVT Canberra ACT 2601

Horticulture Quandong (Host-parasite relations) B.Loveys, B. Byrne

Native Citrus (Improvement) S. Sykes GPO Box 350 Adelaide SA 5001

Soils Suitable Rhyzobia for Acacia spp, used for food (pilot project) M. Ryder Private Bag No 2 Glen Osmond SA 5064

Tropical Crops and Pastures Vigna (wild mung beans), genetic improvement B. Imrie

Native Grasses and Legumes (taxonomy) B. Hacker Functional foods to ameliorate Type2 diabetes in North Aust aboriginal communities (proposed) J. Aylward, D. Cameron

Ex situ conservation of bushfood species (proposed) B. Hacker

Selection, improvement and domestication of herbacious bushfoods (proposed) B. Hacker 306 Carmody Rd, St Lucia, Qld 4067 Wildlife and Ecology Identification and promotion of Nth Qld bushfood plants T. Irivine

Management of landscapes for biodiversity (includes bushfoods) G. Griffin PO Box 84, Lyneham ACT 2602


Books, nurseries, government departments, retail outlets, marketing firms, distributors, exporters...and... more!



Arrente Foods, Foods from Central Australia, Margaret Mary Turner,. Inst. for Aboriginal Development, Alice Springs

Australian Herb Industry Resource Guide, ($22+$3) Focus on Herbs Consultancy and information Services, PO Box 203, Launceston, Tas 7250

Australian Native Plants, a manual for Propogation, Cultivation and Use in Landscaping, JW Wrigley and M Fagg,Collins

Bushfires & Bushtucker, Peter Latz, IAD Press, Alice Springs

Bushtucker Identikit, Wrightman and Andrew, NT Conservation Commission, Darwin

Developing New Agricultural Industries ($60), Wood, Chudleigh & Bond, RIRDC, DPIE, Canberra

Go Native, Wild Food Cookbook, Jan Sked, Society for Growing Australian Plants, Pine Rivers

Fruits of the Rainforest, W& W Cooper, Geo Productions/Readers' Digest

Maya, some Bush Fruits of Dampierland, Gather mayi et al, Magabala Books, Broome, WA

Plants and People; Aboriginal uses of plants on Groote Eylandt, Aust. Inst of Aboriginal Studies, Canberra

Tukka, Real Australian Food, Jean Paul Bruneteau, Angus & Robertson

Wild Foods of Australia, AB & JW Cribb, Collins

Wild Herbs of Australia, Tim Low, A&R Harper/Collins

Periodicals/Fact Sheets

Australia's bush food industry, a brief introduction, DPI note, Qld DPI

Australian Bush Foods, illustrated unusual bush food recipes, ANCA, GPO Box 636 Canbera ACT 2601, $5.50 poster)

Mail Order Catalogues

Green Harvest, seeds, ground covers, pioneer plants, trees, books, organic gardening tools: pruning & propagation, pest control (least toxic - neem oil etc). Send 3 x 45c stamps for catalogue: 52 Crystal Waters, MS 16, Maleny, QLD 4552.


Primenotes, DPI Qld, Cherie Beilby, (07) 5430 4958

Australian Tropical Plants, Zodiac Publications, C/- Yuruga Nursery (070 933 826) $65 + $3p&h (check for current special price)

The Internet:

DPI Home Page: http://www.dpi.qld.gov.aU//dpinotes/index.html (html#bushfoods) Greening Australia: http://www.greenwork.org.au/bushfood.htm ANCA books, posters and kits: http://www.anca.gov.au/about/products/salepub3.htm Yuruga Nursery, http://www1.tpgi.com.au/users/zodpub/atp.html



Feasibility of a Sustainable Bushfood Industry in Western Queensland, D.G. Phelps, Qld DPI, RIRDC Research Paper


Essential Oils & Plant Extracts, Proceedings of the Essential Oils Planning Workshop.

RIRDC Occassional Paper 96/1. $15 (+$4 p&h).

Both from: RIRDC, PO Box 4776, Kingston ACT 2604, Ph: 006 272 4539


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