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Marsdenia australis

Plant Family


Alternative Common Names

silky pear, green vine.

A climbing species with twining stems containing a milky sap.

Leaves - are linear shaped about 50 to 100 mm long by about 30 mm wide.

Flowers - are greenish-yellow and are about 75 mm long and occur in branched clusters from the leaf axils. These can also be eaten raw, as can the main part of the plant.

Pods - follow the flowers and are large, pear-shaped or elongated fruit containing numerous yellow-brown seeds attached to tightly packed feathery hairs.

Flowering spring to summer. All parts of the bush banana plant are still eaten in the desert region by indigenous communities today.

Indigenous uses - Bush bananas are cooked in hot earth beside the fire or eaten raw when young (the flavour has been likened to fresh peas or zucchini). The root of the plant is called Merne atnetye and can also be eaten raw or cooked. The very white roots are cooked in the hot earth close to the fire. Young leaves can be used in salads.

One of the significant bush food for the Aboriginal people of Australia, the food is often depicted in current Aboriginal art, especially paintings about 'bush tucker', as well as 'Bush Banana Dreaming' paintings.


20, 21

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