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Warrine flourishing in dry autumn

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Aboriginal NRM

Bush Walkers in the region might have noticed a scrambling vine with small yellow flowers standing out as a green beacon in the dry autumn landscape.

This is the Warrine (Dioscorea hastifolia) otherwise known as the Native Yam, an important Noongar bush food.

It is an edible native yam, harvested during the Noongar season of Kambarang (Oct – Nov). Traditionally, this species was grown extensively from Perth’s southern coasts all the way up to Shark Bay, with single yam fields often covering several square kilometres. After digging up the long tubers for food, the Noongar would replant the above-ground climbing stems for a subsequent crop.

In the Wheatbelt, only the tuber survives over summer and the plant makes an emergence in autumn, flowering from April through to July.

Warrine tubers are long, thin and white. They can be eaten raw, but taste much better lightly roasted with butter or a pinch of salt.

Brookton elder Faye Slater tells us in a video from the Mooditj Boodja website about the Noongar food of her youth.

Faye said “As kids, we never had it easy, but we always had food. A lot of that was Noongar Food.

We used to have ashes to cook in and almost everything came out beautiful.”

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