Photographed along Penny Lane and Top Rd in Terrip by Janet Hagen . 22/11/2020
Yam daisy , Murnong , Microseris lanceolata.
A small native dandelion-like herb , with smooth leaves and yellow flowers in spring.
Like all dandelions, all parts of the plant exude a milky juice when cut.
Once abundant in Victoria , but now relatively scarce due to grazing by sheep , rabbits and cattle . This season it is common in ungrazed remnant bush and roadsides.
This is the plant most frequently mentioned in early accounts of Koorie diet .
They called it ‘murnong ‘.
The radish like tuber is dormant in dry times , after good winter rains it sprouts a rosette of leaves and a new tuber grows while the old tuber withers and dies. Although sometimes eaten raw the non starchy tubers were usually cooked in baskets in earth ovens.
‘Bush Tucker restaurants’ would love a regular supply of commerially grown native yam .
I wonder if this would be possible ? I have baked these yams in a campfire and eaten them , the tubers were quite small and had delicate parsnip flavour . The seedheads , which look very similar to dandelion clocks , are ripening now and I have collected an small bag of seed to try to grow in the vegetable patch .
This plant can be confused with introduced weeds like flat weed & other dandelions.
By Janet Hagen.