'MURNONG' - YAM DAISY (Microseris walteri) 'Bush Tucker Plant Seeds'
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It is found in many forms in southern and eastern Australia. In Victoria, the plant is widespread and occupying a wide range of habitats, particularly dry open forest.
A variable species, it has the form of a tufted rosette of toothed lanceolate leaves. The flower is a yellow head of florets, reminiscent of a dandelion.
This species of Murnong was the main staple food for the Wurundjeri Aboriginals until the mid-1840s, when the introduction of sheep rendered the yam virtually extinct. Though they’re rare in the wild, you may still spot them growing in bushlands in Victoria, NSW and the ACT.
Tubers start forming in mid-summer beneath clumps of dandelion-like flowers. When the plant flowers in Autumn, the tuber roots are ready for harvest.
The plant usually grows a single tuber each season. There is a wide variation in shape and size of tubers between plants from different habitats in the Victoria. Those from northwest Victoria have probably the longest tubers. A rare form from the volcanic plain (Woorndoo area) has a stocky, sometimes few-branched, but apparently perennial tap-root.
The plant is quick growing, and likes full sun to part shade. Will do well in most soil types, and is drought and frost tolerant, but good care will ensure better growth.
Bush food: Murnong was prepared by roasting or pit baking; the taste is described as "sweet with a flavour of coconut".
May be eaten raw or baked, in salads, mixed with other vegetables, or turned into a paste for desserts. The slightly bitter leaves are also edible
Germination: Sow in autumn to early winter, as hot weather limits germination, and sow on the soil surface, a small sprinkle of sand or seed raising mix over the top of the seed will help it not be blown away. Germinates in a couple of weeks
Video by EUROA ARBORETUM
Cathy Olive shows the Yam Daisy test patch at the Euroa Arboretum and shows how to id the daisy and which of the tubers can be eaten.