Lehman’s (1845) Plantae Preissana in Latin describes it as: ‘Typha schuttleworthii ‘In locis paludosis ad radices montis Elizamountain, Perth d. 19 Jan, 1839Â Radicis partem interiorem Aborigines edunt’. Reading the journals of the early explorers such as Mitchell (1839), Eyre (1840-1841) and Grey (1841), it is easy to get the impression that Typha root could be consumed over a prolonged period up until the wet season.Â However, they all refer to the properÂ Typha season as being when the plant is in senescence and we would suggest at this time also high in sugar content. Although he claims to have observed these meetings which lasted for several days, he does not provide any ethnographic or other details. Bulrush Horticulture Ltd. Newferry Road. When visiting Perth in 1837 James Backhouse refers to this broad-leaved bulrush as Typha latifolia (Latin, latus,Â meaning broad + folia, leaves).Â However,Â Typha latifolia is not found in Western Australia so this is probablyÂ Typha orientalis. Questions concerning its content can be sent using the We attempted to do this by crushing, scraping and drying a rhizome and managed to extract a small quantity of coarse fibrous flour-like granules that could have been further refined by grinding (and removing the fine fibrous matter) for use as a baking flour.Â This would have been a very time-consuming and laborious method of obtaining flour but we cannot rule out this possible means of survival. Or could Moore have been making an assumption, coloured by his own Irish background, where cakes were always baked. After steaming, the rhizomes can be chewed to remove the starch and the remaining fibre used to make string. Drummond (1836) shows a degree of ambivalence to Brown’s species classification of TyphaÂ when he remarks that: ‘…it is described with a mark of doubt in Brown New Holland Plants as Typha angustifolia of Linnaeus, but it is a very different species; the roots in particular are different: they are thick and succulent and contain a large portion of starch and mucilage.’ (Drummond 1836). It is unclear on what evidence this view is based for the inclement southwestern Australian winter which caused lowland swamps and floodplains of rivers to be inundated was a necessitating factor in the seasonal movement of Noongar people to the higher ground further inland every year. Cumbungi. We can only imagine that In the traditional context the Typha flour would have been cooked (for the second time) as a wet mealy paste. The grass-like leaves are thick and spongy, and are borne on either side of a stout, cane-like stem growing to 2.5 m high. 2010).Â Â We would assume given the antiquity of Australian Aboriginal culture that if such archaeological research were to be systematically conducted on grinding materials from southwestern Australia that the results could well predate these European findings. part used. Madden (1848) who was the Colonial Secretary of Western Australia and part-time anthropologist and anti-slavery campaigner, describes in his own handwriting, some of which we have transcribed that: ‘Yanjat – the flag root eaten by the natives. It is tasteless to me, being fibrous and farinaceous.â (Moore 29th March, 1834 in Cameron 2006: 317)Â. Digging up yanyettÂ rhizomes was a labour-intensive task, often commencing after the first autumn rains.Â If the rains were late the TyphaÂ remained dormant and the digging season was delayed due to the impenetrability of the dry hardened clay topsoil. Aquascapes Unlimitedâs seed sown local ecotype species add natural wildlife benefits, promote biodiversity, and oftentimes require less maintenance in terms of fertilizers and pesticides. The natives dig the roots up, clean them, roast them, and then pound them into a mass, which, when kneaded and made into a cake, tastes like flour not separated from the bran. Nyanyi-Yandjip (literally ‘pubic hairs’) was the tribal name for this area, an allusion both to the reeds surrounding the Lake and to the Waugal’s hairy mane (, A word of caution though, for anyone tempted to experiment, the preliminary results from a study conducted in India on, showed that its leaf may contain potentially harmful phyto chemicals like alkaloids, tannins, saponins and steroids, Â in its phytochemical analysis’ (International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research 2016:32).Â Until chemical testing is conducted on our own botanical specimens from southwestern Australia at the season when they were traditionally consumed by Noongar people, we have no way of knowing the phyto-chemical and nutritional composition of, 1. We wonder if Grey’s comment about there being two species of Typha is based on two different names he may have collected for this plant. that indigenous people followed the same Linnaean speciation model. Decomposition of the dead plant material can render the water unfit for use by stock. Don't rely on just one treatment: follow-up is essential. Typha is commonly known as Bulrush in Australia and Cattails in the United States. We have restrictions on sending some native plants due to state Biosecurity laws. From October to January new shoots emerge from the base. We would recommend a similar analysis be carried out of the nutritional composition of local Typha rhizomes from southwestern Australia at the starch-rich season, around April. Bulrushes grow in wet locations, including ponds, marshes, and lakes. County Londonderry. Roasting the rhizomes, pounding and then either drying or baking them into a dry mealy âbreadâ which Moore (1834) describes as tasting like ‘a cake of oatmeal’ may have been practised by smaller family groups and also as a convenient means of short term food storage. First of all they would heat the ground using hot coals and ashes, make a round shallow hole in the heated ground, pour in the kneaded mixture and then cover with hot ashes to cook.Â This was a similar method to how the traditional seed cake made from ground Acacia seeds known asÂ kwonnart was cooked.Â The earth-oven baking technique is a traditional Aboriginal means of cooking processed seed and we would suggest that Typha flour was also baked in a similar fashion. Cumbungi can reduce the holding capacity and access areas of dams and waterways. Infestations of cumbungi interfere with water flows in natural watercourses and drains, and caâ¦ This would have promoted the return of carbon-rich nutrients to the Typha beds and if such conscious burning took place every year, or on a rotational basis, it must necessarily, as pointed out by Grey (1841) be seen as a type of food crop cultivation.Â Light muck firing may be seen as an ancient form of wetland management. The natives dig up these roots, clean and roast them, and then extract the farinaceous matter. For many years we have been puzzled by Moore’s reference to dulbo which he defines as: âdulbo – A fine farinaceous substance eaten by the natives, and this is the name sometimes given by them to our flour.’ (Moore 1842: 34). Nyanyi-Yandjip (literally ‘pubic hairs’) was the tribal name for this area, an allusion both to the reeds surrounding the Lake and to the Waugal’s hairy mane (Yandjip is the Nyungar term for the reed Typha angustifolia).’Â Â.