Butchulla Seasonal Garden

Surrounding HBRG on two sides, the Butchulla Seasonal garden highlights native flora and how it was utilised by the region's original inhabitants.

Explore the garden for yourself and learn more about the seasons as well as the plants and their uses below.

Flora of the Butchulla Seasonal Garden

  • Butchulla name: Wongal

    Common name: Geebung

    Scientific name: Persoonia virgata

    Wongal / Geebung - Illustration by Joel Barney

    Wongal / Geebung - Illustration by Joel Barney

    Endemic to coastal areas and the wallum country of eastern Australia.

    Food: When the fruit is ripe, the pulp is sweet and fibrous.

    Preserve: When the bark is combined with water, a preserve is created. Twine and nets can be soaked in this mixture to preserve them.

  • Butchulla name: Djaga

    Common name: Grasstree

    Scientific name: Xanthorrhoea johnsonii

    Djaga / Grasstree illustration by Joel Barney

    Djaga / Grasstree illustratoin by Joel Barney

    Found growing in eastern Australia including K’gari.

    Tools: The flower stalk can be used as a light spear for fishing, and when rubbed with hardwood it is used to start fire.
    Resin from the trunk is mixed with white ash from the fire to create glue for binding weapons and tools.

    Weaving: Leaves are woven by women to make baskets.

    Food: Flowers provide sweet nectar to eat. Leaf bases and new shoots are also eaten.

    Medicine: The flower heads and bark can be thrown
    into fire and inhaled to cure cold-like symptoms.

  • Butchulla name: Bupu

    Common name:K'gari Apple

    Scientific name: Acronychia imperforata

    Bupu / K'gari Apple illustration by Joel Barney

    Bupu / K'gari Apple illustration by Joel Barney

    Found growing in coastal areas of K’gari and New South Wales to northern Queensland.

    Food: Nutritious fruit can be eaten raw and has an astringent flavour.

    Hunting Habitat: When in flower this plant encourages insects and wildlife like fruit bats to the coastal ecosystem.

  • Common name: Sandfly Bush

    Scientific name: Zieria smithii

    Sandfly Bush illustration by Joel Barney

    Sandfly Bush illustration by Joel Barney

    Endemic to eastern and south-eastern Australia.

    Wellbeing: Foliage has insect repellent properties.

    Medicine: Used to ease congestion and headaches.

     

  • Common name: Finger Lime

    Scientific name: Citrus australasica

    Finger Lime illustration by Joel Barney

    Finger Lime illustration by Joel Barney

    Endemic to southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales.

    Food: Delicious zesty citrus fruit.

    Medicine: The pulp and juice of Finger Limes have known antibacterial properties and can be applied as an antiseptic to wounds and boils.

    Wellbeing: Powerful nutrition properties – high in folate, potassium, vitamin E and vitamin C.

  • Common name: Blue Tongue

    Scientific name: Melastoma malabathricum subsp.

    Blue Tongue illustration by Joel Barney

    Blue Tongue illustration by Joel Barney

    Scrub country throughout Australia and Asia.

    Food: The fruit have sweet fleshy pulp that are edible, with the pulp staining the tongue blue-black after eating.
    Young leaves eaten raw or cooked, sour flavour.

    Medicine: The bark is utilised for treating dysentery and toothache.
    The leaves and roots are pounded and applied on wounds to ease swelling.

    Natural Dye: Seeds are used to produce a black dye, while the roots produce a pink dye.

  • Common name: Black Wattle

    Scientific name: Acacia leiocalyx

    Black Wattle illustration by Joel Barney

    Black Wattle illustration by Joel Barney

    Widespread and common in eucalypt woodlands, especially on Wallum country.

    Food: Seeds of the Diilgar are collected and eaten raw, roasted or ground into a flour.

    Wellbeing: The gum can be sucked as a snack or soaked as a source of fibre.

    Tools:  The wood can be used to produce spears, boomerangs, spear throwers, clubs, shields, handles for axes and chisels, coolamons and digging sticks.

  • Butchulla name: Dundardum

    Common name: Queensland Kauri Pine

    Scientific name: Agathis robusta

    Dundardum / Queensland Kauri Pine illustration by Joel Barney

    Dundardum / Queensland Kauri Pine illustration by Joel Barney

    Found in rainforest areas of the Mary River country and K’gari

    Tools:  Fishing nets and baskets are made from the inner bark.

  • Butchulla name: Banya

    Common name: Bunya Pine

    Scientific name: Araucaria bidwillii

    Banya / Bunya Pine illustration by Joel Barney

    Banya / Bunya Pine illustration by Joel Barney

    Endemic to Queensland. Found in some mountainous country throughout south-east and northern Qld.

    Ceremony and Feast:   Every two or three years, the Bunya Pine produce a particularly prolific crop. During these seasons, the abundance of the seed facilitated massive gatherings where various Aboriginal tribes from many countries would travel to the mountains to enjoy the shared harvest of the nuts.
    These large gatherings were used as important opportunity for trade, sharing lore, stories and celebrations.

    Food: The inner kernel (nut) is eaten raw or roasted in an open fire.

  • Butchulla name: Midgen

    Common name: Midyim

    Scientific name: Austromyrtus dulcis

    Midgen / Midyim illustration by Joel Barney

    Midgen / Midyim illustration by Joel Barney

    This small shrub is found naturally growing in sandy soils across heath, scrub, open forest and rainforest margin terrains on Kgari and other coastal areas of NSW and QLD.

    Food:  The small white, purple-speckled berries are found in profusion throughout late Summer and early Autumn.
    The berries are delicious, similar in taste and appearance to the blueberry and are eaten raw. Tea can be made from the leaves.

  • Common name: Red Silky Oak

    Scientific name: Grevillea banksii

    Red Silky Oak illustration by Joel Barney

    Red Silky Oak illustration by Joel Barney

    Found on the Queensland coast from Ipswich to Byfield National Park. Mostly grows
    on headlands, ridges and in forest country.

    Food:  The nectar from Grevillea flowers is popular for its sweetness. The nectar is shaken onto the hand or put into a coolamon with a little water to make a sweet drink.

    Warning: The flowers and seed pods contain toxic hydrogen cyanide and have caused toxicity and allergic reactions.

  • Butchulla name: Deebing

    Common name: Paperbark

    Scientific name: Melaleuca sp.

    Deebing / Paperbark illustration by Joel Barney

    Deebing / Paperbark illustration by Joel Barney

    Native to New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea and coastal eastern Australia.

    Shelter:  Paperbark can be useful as a shelter covering and or bedding because it is soft and repels water.

    Food Preparation: Softer pieces of paperbark can be soaked in water and wrapped around food, such as fish, emu or kangaroo and placed on the fire to cook. The soft paper bark is also used to collect and hold birds’ eggs.

    Medicine: An essential oil obtained from the fresh leaves and twigs has antiseptic qualities and was used to treat wounds and insect bites.

    Wellbeing: A Women’s Business plant the soft bark is peeled away from the trunk in sheets, which can be used during menstruation, during and after childbirth and for physical injury.
    Women use the coolamons, which is an indigenous Australian word for bowl, to put their babies in or carry food and water.

    Ceremony: Women would birth with the baby being born onto a soft sheet of paperbark and it might be used later for the smoking or welcoming ceremony for the infant.

    Food: Flowers are used for their nectar to eat and sweeten water.

    Hunting Habitat: This tree encourages a diverse range of insects and wildlife like fruit bats to the coastal ecosystem.

  • Common name: Geebung

    Scientific name: Persoonia virgata

    Queensland Cycas illustration by Joel Barney

    Queensland Cycas illustration by Joel Barney

    A widespread, native cycad in seasonally dry tropical sclerophyll woodlands close  to the east coast of Queensland.
     

    Food:  The fruit kernels are roasted and ground into a flour after many days of drying, soaking and leaching to remove toxins.

    Warning: All plant parts are considered highly toxic. However, after careful and extensive preparation to remove the toxins, the seeds may be safely eaten.

  • Common name: Thyme-leaf Honeymyrtle

    Scientific name: Melaleuca thymifolia

    Thyme-leaf Honeymyrtle illustration by Joel Barney

    Thyme-leaf Honeymyrtle illustration by Joel Barney

    Native to wallum and heathland country  throughout the coastal areas of Queensland and New South Wales.

    Medicine:  An essential oil obtained from the fresh leaves and twigs has antiseptic qualities and can be used to treat wounds and insect bites.

    Hunting Habitat: When in flower this plant encourages insect and wildlife diversity to the wallum ecosystem.

  • Butchulla name: Gululai

    Common name: Coastal Cypress Pine

    Scientific name: Callitris columellaris

    Gululai / Coastal Cypress Pine illustration by Joel Barney

    Gululai / Coastal Cypress Pine illustration by Joel Barney

    Primarily grows on sandy soils throughout Australia except Tasmania.

    Medicine:  The leaves can be ground and boiled to make a washing medicine for sores and to relieve abdominal cramps and cold symptoms.

    A long strand of inner bark can be wrapped around the abdomen (to relieve abdominal cramps).

    Wellbeing: When the bark is thrown into the campfire it repels mosquitoes and midges.

    Food: The gum is chewed as a refreshing pine flavoured treat.

  • Common name: Fringe Wattle

    Scientific name: Acacia frimbriata

    Fringe Wattle illustration by Joel Barney

    Fringe Wattle illustration by Joel Barney

    Favours moist sites near streams and on margins of light rainforest, and on hillsides as an understorey in eucalypt woodland or open forest throughout eastern Australia.

    Food:  The seeds are edible, nutritious and have a chocolate like taste. The seeds can be harvested and eaten raw or roasted. When the seeds are pounded using strong bark and rocks, they form a gluten-free flour like paste. The Wattle gum was also eaten as a snack.

    Tools:  The wood can be used to produce spears, boomerangs, spear throwers, clubs, shields, handles for axes and chisels, coolamons and digging sticks.

  • Common name: Mat Rush

    Scientific name: Lomandra longifolia

    Mat Rush illustration by Joel Barney

    Mat Rush illustration by Joel Barney

    Grows naturally in a range of sandy soils, in swamps and wet places to the montane zone on banks of creeks, rocky hillsides, cliffs and open forests throughout most of Australia.

    Food:  The white starchy bases of the Lomandra can be chewed and supply an energy boost on long walks. The seeds can be pounded and made into flour or eaten whole and mixed with native honey.

    Weaving: The strappy leaves are useful to weave baskets and dilly bags for carrying food as well as eel traps and nets.

    Medicine: Roots of the Lomandra are also used to relieve insect bites.

  • Common name: Flax Lily

    Scientific name: Dianella caerulea

    Flax Lily illustration by Joel barney

    Flax Lily illustration by Joel barney

    Found growing naturally across the eastern states of Australia and Tasmania.

    Food: The sweet purplish/blue berries and tiny nutty flavoured seeds are eaten raw. The root rhizomes are collected and pounded for roasting in the campfire.

    Weaving: The strappy leaves are used for weaving dillybags and nets.

    Natural Dye: Berries make a permanent blue dye.

  • Common name: Hairy Pea Bush

    Scientific name: Pultenaea villosa

    Hairy Pea Bush illustration by Joel Barney

    Hairy Pea Bush illustration by Joel Barney

    This widespread species can be found in dry, open forests and woodlands from southern Queensland to southern New South Wales.

    Hunting ground:  This wallum shrub provides habitat for a diverse range of wildlife including birds, insects and small marsupials.