Learn about the Bunya Nut Tree
The Bunya Nut Tree (Araucaria Bidwillii)
Historically, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from across South East Queensland would follow pathways to the Bunya gatherings held at the Bunya Mountains in January and feast on the nuts.
Origin and Conditions for Growing
Cultivated in many areas and, despite its sub-tropical/tropical origins, is hardy in cold areas
Too big for growing in pots – needs a large open area for optimal growth
Dome-shaped conifer, averaging 40m high
Quite slow to mature (starts producing at 5-7 years) and harvest occurs approximately every 3 years, in January-February Produces large cones weighing up to 5kg each and should not be planted where falling cones may cause damage or injury Long, prickly green leaves are clustered at the end of branches
Large oval shaped bundles of nuts grow off the branches
Nut; found inside casing and kernel – nuts can be stored frozen in airtight bags. CAUTION: Yellow core inside the nut can cause sickness if consumed – remove this.
Good source of protein, fibre and complex carbohydrates High in magnesium and potassium.
Uses: Traditional and Current
Traditionally a very important food source where the green seed kernel was eaten raw or roasted as it matured. Seeds were carefully germinated in a large cane basket and eaten after a few months of being buried in the mud
Currently not commonly used as a food source, rather for furniture and planted for wind breaking.
Bake or boil the nuts to get the husk off. They can be eaten raw when fresh or chopped and made into a paste or used in damper, cakes and desserts