Common Bushfoods of the Hunter Valley

Acacia longifolia (Sydney Golden Wattle)

A common hardy wattle, growing 3-4m tall, with golden yellow cylindrical flowers.

Uses: Aborigines roasted the pods to eat the seeds which are rich in nutrients. The flowers are edible, having a subtle sweet flavour which can be added to cakes.

Acmena smithii (Lilly Pilly)

A well known attractive small tree with fragrant white flowers and mauve berries.

Uses: The fruit is fleshy and sweet but is sometimes tart/ sour. The fruit is also made into a jam.

Alpinia caerulea (Native Ginger)

A fringe rainforest clumping plant with blue berries.

Uses: The blue fruits are edible? but have a slightly acid taste. The young tips taste like ginger.

Baeckea virgata (Heath Myrtle)

A shrub of sheltered places with numerous small white flowers.

Uses: The leaves are boiled to make a sweet tea.

Billardiera scandens (Apple Berry)

A slender twiner/ climber with pale yellow tubular flowers.

Uses: The cylindrical fruits when soft and ripe have a sweet, edible pulp.

Carpobrotus glaucescens (Pigface)

A succulent groundcover found on coastal sand dunes. The leaves are thick and fleshy, and the flowers are bright pink.

Uses: The juice from the leaves can be used to soothe insect bites.

Cissus hypoglauca (Native Grape)

A woody vine growing in or near rainforest. Leaves are arranged in 5’s in a palm shape.

Uses: The purple-black fruits are grape-like and edible.

Dianella caerulea (Blue Flax Lily)

An attractive clumping plant with blue flowers and blue berries.

Uses: The ripe fruits are edible.

Doryanthes excelsa (Gymea Lily)

A beautiful large tufted plant. The flowers grow on a stem which can be several metres high. The flowers are bright red and in large round clusters.

Uses: The long flower stems were roasted and eaten by Aborigines

Eustrephus latifolius (Wombat Berry)

A common tough twiner/ climber found near creeklines.

Uses: The orange fruits can be eaten but are tasteless. The underground tubers can also be eaten raw.

Ficus coronata (Sandpaper Fig)

A small tree growing along creeklines and near rainforest. The leaves are rough and sandpapery.

Uses: Aborigines used the leaves to smooth timber for tools, bowls and other useful items. The fruits are edible.