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Bush banana

Bush banana

Marsdenia australis

Family: Apocynaceae

A woody, twining climber which grows on other trees and shrubs often making it difficult to distinguish from the supporting vegetation. It exudes a white milky sap if damaged.

This is an important bush food plant for Aboriginal people and most parts (flowers, leaves, fruit and roots) are eaten. The creamy flowers have a sweet flavour and are eaten raw. The leaves are eaten raw when young or steamed if older. The young fruit are eaten straight from the vine and are highly desirable. The older fruit can still be eaten but are cooked first.

When the fruit are mature, they split open to reveal white fluffy seeds which are easily dispersed by the wind.

Where to find this plant at Alice Springs Desert Park

These can be seen growing on the vegetation in the Woodland habitat of the park. A good example is located near shelter K.

Latz, P., 2004. Bushfires and Bushtucker, IAD Press, Alice Springs

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