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Mai Putitja and Irmangka-Irmangka

Bush Tucker and Bush Medicine

around Coober Pedy

Contents Introduction Bibliography
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Urpa and Anumara

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Wakati and Nyurngi

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Utiralya and Kalkula

 

Utiralya

Marsdenia australis     Bush Banana

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Flowers of the Utiralya - the Bush Banana

The Bush Banana is a vine that grows to the top of other shrubs and trees, where it forms a mass of vegetation and flowers. It has small cream flowers, large pear shaped fruit and seeds with tufts of white, silky hairs. This vine is common through the central deserts, where it grows in sandhill and breakaway country.

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The unripe Kalkula - the unripe fruit of the Bush Banana

Utiralya is extremely versatile, with almost the entire plant being edible. The young Kalkula (fruit) have a pleasant tangy flavour when eaten raw, or they can be roasted. Older fruit are roasted, but the outer rind may be eaten raw. Kalkula have an exceptionally high thiamine level – 2900 m g/100g – ten times that of any cultivated food. It is easy to see why this fruit was valued as bush tucker.

The flowers of Bush Banana are also tasty when raw, and the shoots, seeds and leaves can all be eaten. The young leaves may be eaten raw, while the older leaves are better when steamed. In times of food shortages, the large string of tubers can be dug up and cooked.

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The opened unripe Kalkula - (lens cap of camera beside for scale)

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Contents

Introduction

Bibliography
left.gif (12828 bytes)

Urpa and Anumara

Text Only

Wakati and Nyurngi

right.gif (14030 bytes)