A talk to the Mornington Environment Association, November 2022

Indigenous Plant Foods : by Ian Hagley

















Ian is a graduate of Burnley Horticultural College and has recently completed a course on “Bush Tucker”.

He is the gardener at Geelong Grammar Junior School where he has introduced the Stephanie Alexander approach to food and cooking.  This is to grow your own vegetables so fresh vegetables are always available for food preparation and cooking.  The programme has been very successful and the students love growing the vegetables and then eating them.

A bush food plot has recently been introduced thanks to Murundinde, a tribal elder, who visited the school.


Plants chosen were suitable for growing on the Mornington Peninsula.

Ian explained the uses and growing requirements of many plants and passed around samples and a recipe for lemon myrtle chicken.

Lemon myrtle (backhousia citriodora), with its refreshing scent, was a particular favourite.  There is also a cinnamon myrtle (backhousia myrtifolia) which is not as common.

The roots of the yam daisy can be eaten raw or baked, however they no longer grow in the wild in Victoria as the sheep have eaten them all!

Warrigal Greens is a common ground cover on the peninsula but should be boiled/blanched before eating. It is similar to spinach.




Bulleen Nursery Art and Garden, Diggers, Ceres Permaculture Bushfood Nursery, Victorian Indigenous Nursery.



Grow Your Own Bushfoods, Keith and Irene Smith

Wild Food Plants, Tim Low

The Bush Food Handbook, Vic Cherikoff

Native Plants, Wrigley and Fagg