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FIELD NOTES

Terri Allen describes the rich botanical history of south-west Gippsland.



Wattle seed icecream, anyone? Bracken ointment? A cumbungi bag? TERRI ALLEN lists some locally indigenous plants useful for food, fibre and medicine.

The bush pantry



FERNS
Pteridium esculentum, Austral Bracken


MONOCOTYLEDONS
Dianella revoluta, Spreading Flax-lily

Ficinia nodosa, Knobby Club-sedge

Juncus pallidus, Pale Rush

Lomandra longifolia, Spiny-headed Mat-rush

Used for tying up limbs, for bandages. This list formed the basis of a walk Terri Allen led recently at the Inverloch RACV Resort for members of the Australian Plant Society.


Pteridium esculentum, Austral Bracken, the great coloniser. Rhizome stems are used to treat diarrhoea and intestinal inflammation and tips of the fronds have a pleasant nutty taste.


Banksia integrifolia, Coast Banksia. Aborigines soaked the flower cones to make a sweet drink; flower syrup was used for sore throats and colds.


Leptospermum laevigatum, Coast Tea-tree. Cook and early explorers used the tips to make a tea to prevent scurvy.


Acacia sophorae, Coast Wattle. Aborigines steamed the young pods over a fire, eating the cooked seeds.

Phragmites australis, Common Rush

Poa labillardierei, Common Tussock

Triglochin procerum, Water Ribbons

Typha species, Cumbungi

DICOTYLEDONS
Acacia mearnsii, Black Wattle

Acacia melanoxylon, Blackwood

Acacia sophorae, Coast Wattle

Allocasuarina verticillata, Drooping Sheoak

Banksia integrifolia, Coast Banksia

Bursaria spinosa, Sweet Bursaria

Eucalyptus obliqua, Messmate

Eucalyptus pryoriana, Coast Manna

Leptospermum laevigatum, Coast Tea-tree

Leucopogon parviflorus, Coast Beard-heath

Melaleuca ericifolia, Swamp Paperbark

Melaleuca squarrosa, Scented Paperbark

Myoporum insulare, Common Boobialla

Rhagodia candolleana, Seaberry Saltbush

Rubus parviflorus, Native Raspberry

Sambucus gaudichaudiana, White Elderberry

Solanum aviculare, Kangaroo Apple


Acacia sophorae, Coast Wattle. Aborigines steamed the young pods over a fire, eating the cooked seeds.


Leptospermum laevigatum, Coast Tea-tree. Cook and early explorers used the tips to make a tea to prevent scurvy.


Banksia integrifolia, Coast Banksia. Aborigines soaked the flower cones to make a sweet drink; flower syrup was used for sore throats and colds.


Pteridium esculentum, Austral Bracken, the great coloniser. Rhizome stems are used to treat diarrhoea and intestinal inflammation and tips of the fronds have a pleasant nutty taste.