Beautiful Bush Tucker in photos

I am alway fascinated by people’s relationship with plants,  their importance and their place in the native landscape, and yes I am a bit of an unashamed plant geek.

The stories of  plants and their place is so important; not just for people, but as they are the basis of so many species’ existence. By letting others know some of the plant stories, I am hopeful that their place and their presence is more valued.

As someone fascinated by food (and food plants) and as someone who has grown to love and learn about our native landscapes and spend quite sometime in them, I have been finding out more and more about “Bush tucker” plants in the Top End.

Bush Tucker not only seems a popular topic, to catch the attention of people and tell these plants stories, it was vital as a food source for the traditional custodians of the land, it provides food to our wildlife and highlights why looking after the fantastic swathe of native landscapes we have in northern Australia is important. IN Darwin this is the Larrakia people, who we respect past and present.

I will slowly tell the stories of these plants (and some already are on here- follow links after the photos)….

Enjoy this colourful feast, which  shows just some of the food plants that are common in the greater Darwin region, the majority of which has been wild collected (16 of 18, with permission from the landholder/ collecting permit)

Busher tucker tiles 1Bushtucker tile 2

From the top, Left to right:-

Terminalia carpenteria, Terminalia microcarpa, Grevillia pteridifolia( Fern leaved Grevillea) , Naucleau orientalis (Liechart Tree), Syzygium fibrosum, Syzygium minutiflorum, Exocarpus latifolius (Native Cherry), Syzygium nervosum and Fluggea virosum (Native white currant)

Cychlophyllum shultzii ( Lolly bush), Terminalia ferdiandiana (Kakadu or Billy Goat Plum) Ficus racemosa (Cluster fig), Persoonia falcata (Milky plum) Syzygium suborbiculare (Red Bush Apple) Planchonia careya (Cocky apple), Meiogyne cylindricarpa (Bush Apricot) Buchanania obovata (Green Plum) and Sterculia quadrifida (Peanut Tree)

There is also long list of  many language names for all of these plants across the many languages of northern Australia.

Thanks to Yvette Brady, one of my Bush Tucker teachers, to Strider and to the some of my  Yolngul family in Arnhem Land for passing on this knowledge.

Also see https://tasteofthetopend.com/2015/05/15/top-ten-of-the-top-end-bush-tuckers-plant-based/

Or search “Bush Tucker” in this webpage.

 

 

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Beauty and the Bush

Grevillea and KpokAt every time of the year our Top End landscapes hold treasures for the senses.

At the moment there are some very common plants flowering prolifically and adding a splash of very different colours to the bush, also indicating the time in the year we are at (a mighty fine cool dry time) so can be called calendar plants

KApok 3 The Kapok (Cochlospermum fraseri) is a wonderful understory tree or small shrub in our woodland that looses its leaves and displays its bright yellow flowers right about now (the middle of the dry season) The flowers can also be eaten- so a wonderful addition to any salad or platter.

Calytrix sky Close Calytrix

The Turkey bush (Calytrix exstipulata) seems to be flowering more prolifically than ever in a bright bright pink, that catches the eye, contrasts against the sky and adds happiness to everyday out and about. It is found in drier, often gravelly woodland and disturbed areas.

Grevillea and pandanusGrevillea against skyThe Fern Leaved Grevillea (Grevillea pteridifolia)  is flowering so much you can smell its rich nectar as you drive along the highway. These plants a usually an indicated of wetter areas and grow on flood plains, swamp margins and low places in the land scape. These amazing orange centipede like flowers attract an array of birds but also can be harvested by humans, dropped into hot water and drunk as a malty sweet drink. Lemongrass stems and other yummy parts can be added in to make a really good seasonal tea.


All 3 flowersAlthough these three flowers and very common and sweeping across the woodland it is unusual to see them all together as they have different niches. I was pretty excited to see all three flowering on Finn Road, towards Berry Springs and managed to line them up all in one photo.

Euc miniata flowersAlso in flowering in the woodland is one of our most dominant and beautiful Eucalypts, the Wooly Butt (Eucalyptus miniata) recognised by its rough trunk, which stops as you look further up and exposes smooth grey trunk. Hard to find lower flowers to photograph, but obvious once you cast your eyes up. The flowers are favoured by smaller birds and insects and then the nuts that form attractive to larger birds like cockatoos. They signal that the sugar bag honey is ready for harvest (my Yolngul Yappa told me this) Last year these did not flower very well, but this year they are in full flower and will shortly be followed by the white flowered Stringy Bark (Eucalyptus tetradonta) whose buds are just opening.

Kurrajong 4 KurrajongStill common, but a little less easy to spot from a car window is the smaller tree/ large shrub-The Red flowered Kurrajong (Brachychiton paradoxum) This tree also looses its leaves and just bears these attractive red flowers with sturdy petals.