Native Plants Queensland
Townsville Branch
           PO Box 363 Aitkenvale Qld 4814





Cape Cleveland Plants

Food Plants named by James Murrell in:

'Sketch of a Residence Among the Aboriginals of Northern Queensland for Seventeen Years' 1864


Aboriginal Name


Current Name



Native Rosella

Abelmoschus moschatus subsp. tuberosus?

root - Growing on top of the highest hills is the best eating; it is sweet firm, dry and flourishes best in red clay soil.


Cardwell Lily

Proiphys amboinensis?

root - soft and nice eating, found in the scrub at the foot of hills


Grass Lily

Murdannia gramineaor similar small lilies

root - sticky when cooked. Grows in grass on the mountains, white like a turnip, a small thin leaf.


Grass Lily

Murdannia graminea or similar small lilies

root - smaller and darker than above



root - creeper which grows on the high banks of creeks, having a small thick green leaf


root like a turnip but smaller

Trachymene sp.

Wild Parsnip is very tasty. The thick, juicy taproots are sweet and fragrant.

cardoola or carlmba

root - runner in grass, blue flower.

Evolvulus alsinoides

Tropical Speedwell. Has a swollen tap root. All parts of the plant were used as a cure for fevers & dysentery. In some ares leaves were chewed in lieu of Pituri.

gowan gowan or oolooboo

large plum, nearly all seed - little substance

Pleiogynium timorense

Burdekin Plum. Fruit eaten widely by NQ aborigines.

moogah muddah

smallcurrant, very blue in colour, nearly all stone

Elaeocarpus sp.?


very sweet, white, small berry

Flueggia virosa

White Currant Bush


red currant, nearly all stone

Antidesma parvifolium

Currant Bush. Sweet and tasty. Kid's Fruit.


red fig

Ficus racemosa

Cluster Fig.- Ludwig Leichhardt noted "their situation was readily detected by the paths of the natives leading to them"


black fig

Ficus coronata

Sandpaper Fig Milky sap used to heal wounds. Some fruit sweet, others insipid.


breadfruit, grows in mountains

Pandanus sp.

Seeds rich in fats and protein. Need baking to remove toxins, or soaked to make an acholic drink. Leaf bases eaten raw. Leaves woven into baskets and mats.