An inexpert Anglo’s guide to identifying bush foods in the garden

Step 1. Come up with a list of possibilities through the interweb or other trusted source.

Step 2. Purchase, potentially with some difficulty, from a suitable vendor of native plants.

Step 3. Bring finds home and situate them carefully in the garden, giving appropriate thought to aspect and drainage.

Step 4. Wait. If, after some time, you find a patch of thoroughly excavated soil or even a few macerated fragments of greenery where your precious purchase was previously located, congratulations!  With the help of your hungry non-human assistants, you have identified an edible native plant!

Okay, it doesn’t always work that way, but I’m feeling slightly embittered since a second generation of bulbine lily has bitten the dust courtesy of the advanced culinary sensibilities of our trusty flock of brush turkeys. Thanks, guys!

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The apple berry vine was, I think, cleaned up by the possums.  The chocolate lily has suspiciously vanished from its new spot sheltered in the fringes of the prolific and obviously insipid tasting blue flax lily.  Dormant in summer, perhaps it will pop up again next year, but after reading descriptions of its “delectable” aroma and tubers that are edible both raw and roasted, I am not optimistic.  I have a strong suspicion, based solely on the fact that the regularly nibbled growing tips of the specimen outside my kitchen, that the Fraser Island creeper may also have some undocumented uses as a pot herb.  Don’t try this at home, though… unless you are a brush turkey, in which case, help yourself.

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