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03 September 2002
13/2002
Commemorative Issue

Bush Tucker

Australia
No matter how you look at it, this issue is both beautiful and fascinating. The subject is Bush Tucker and features five Australian plants traditionally eaten by Aboriginal people. The part of the plant consumed (and depicted) varies from the tuber (murnong); fruit (quandong and lilly-pilly); seed (acacia); and flower (honey grevillea). The featured plants are found in a range of climates and locations throughout Australia.

The plant foods are shown against a background of a woven basket or wooden coolamon. These containers, from the collections of the Museum of Victoria, are appropriate to particular regions where the foods are found.

Lilly-pilly (Acmena smithii)  

Lilly-pilly (Acmena smithii)

:

There are several varieties of lilly-pilly fruits that may be eaten. Acmena smithii, depicted on the stamp, grows best in the moist soil of mountain gullies from Victoria to Northern Queensland. The pale mauve or white berry-like fruits are pleasantly tart and juicy and can be picked and eaten raw from the tree. Acmena smithii is a common urban street tree.

The basket in the background was made from plant fibre by Joyce Moate of Healesville, Victoria. The coil technique is typical of the weaving traditions of South-Eastern Australia.

Honey grevillea (Grevillea juncifolia)  

Honey grevillea (Grevillea juncifolia)

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Grevillea juncifolia grows on sand plains and dunes in Central Australia. It is characterised by large orange flower clusters with abundant nectar. The sweet honey is highly sought after and can be sucked directly from the flower or extracted by steeping the flower in water to make a sweet drink.

The wooden coolamon in the background was made by Tjuliata of Ernabella, Central Australia. The burnt poker work designs represent women dancing.

Quandong (Santalum acuminatum)  

Quandong (Santalum acuminatum)

:

The quandong is a traditional staple food with a vitamin C content twice as high as that of an orange. Quondong trees are found in semi-arid areas of all mainland states. The small bright red fruits are eaten raw. Dried fruit, collected from under the tree, can be reconstituted in water. The fruit can also be pounded and made into cakes to be dried and stored for later use. The relatively large kernels can also be eaten or ground into a paste for medicinal purposes.

The plant-fibre string bag used for the background was made in a figure eight stitch in Victoria.

Acacia (Acacia coriacea)  

Acacia (Acacia coriacea)

:

The seeds of many types of acacia trees are eaten by Aboriginal people throughout Australia. One of the more attractive varieties, Acacia coriacea, is characterised by long, twisted pods containing vivid orange and black seeds. This acacia, also called dogwood, grows on the spinifex sandplains of Central Australia. When they are green, the pods are roasted and the seeds extracted and eaten. Hardened seeds are also picked off the ground then soaked and mashed with water to make a

Murnong (Microseris  

Murnong (Microseris

:

The murnong is a small root vegetable resembling a dandelion. Murnong was a staple food of Aboriginal people in South-Eastern Australia until the mid 19th century when introduced grazing animals rapidly destroyed this once abundant and widespread plant. Now the murnong is considered an endangered species. Murnong tubers were sometimes eaten raw but were usually cooked in baskets.

The plant-fibre woven bag in the background was made in a figure eight stitch in Victoria.

Technical Information

Issue date......................3 September 2002
Denominations ..............Five x 49c
Designer ............... Janet Boschen, Australia Post Design Studio
Stamp size ....................26 x 37.5 mm
Perforations ..................14.6 x 13.86
Printer/Paper
Gummed ..................McPhersons/Tullis Russell Red phosphor
Self-adhesive ............SNP Ausprint/JAC B100
Printing process ............Lithography
Stamp layout ................Sheets of 50, two panes of 25r
Special features ............Printed tete-beche. Decorative design in gutter
National postmark ........Grevillia, NSW 2474
copyright notice: This material has been reproduced with permission of the Australian Postal Corporation. The original work is held in the National Philatelic Collection.
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