Bush Tucker Garden

Bush Tucker Garden

The Bush Tucker garden

Bush Tucker Garden

The Bush Tucker garden features plants native to the greater Sydney area, some of which were used in traditional food and medicine by the Darug and other Indigenous people. The garden is located at the eastern end of campus between Wally's Walk and building E7B (4 Wally's Walk), near the thermal storage tower.

Many of the plants selected are native to the North Ryde area, but the garden also includes species from further afield, including northern NSW and Queensland. As a bush tucker garden many of the plants have strong connections with Indigenous cultural practices, either as food or medicine, although some species require extensive preparation to remove toxins.

Local species include Blueberry Ash (Elaeocarpus reticulatus), Lilly Pilly (Syzygium smithii), Plum Pine (Podocarpus elatus), Grey Myrtle (Backhousia myrtifolia), Native Raspberry (Rubus rosifolius) and Sandpaper Fig (Ficus coronata). Other not so local species include Moreton Bay Chestnut or Black Bean (Castanospermum australe), Finger Lime (Citrus australasica), Native Ginger (Alpinia caerulea) and Zig-zag Vine (Melodorum leichhardtii).

We acknowledge the Darug people as the traditional custodians of the land the bush tucker garden is situated.

Carpark to garden

Late in 2010 the Office of Facilities Management (now known as Property) donated space formerly used as a carpark to Sustainability for conversion into a new garden for the Arboretum. A plan for the garden was developed by David Harrington and Alison Downing, with input from other staff and students from the Department of Biological Sciences.


Common NameScientific NameFamilyUsePhoto
Aniseed MyrtleBackhousia anisataMyrtaceaeLeaves can be used as flavouring herb for food and drink 
Blueberry AshElaeocarpus reticulatusElaeocarpaceaeFruit are edible when ripe (soft at base)Blueberry Ash flower 
Bolwarra, Native Guava,Eupomatia laurinaEupomatiaceaeFruit eaten raw or dried. Fibrous bark used to make fishing lines 
Lemon MyrtleBackhousia citriodoraMyrtaceaeLeaves can be used as flavouring herb for food and drink 
Lemon-scented Tea-treeLeptospermum petersoniiMyrtaceaeLeaves can be used as antiseptic and insect repellent  
Lilly PillySyzygium smithii (Acmena smithii)MyrtaceaeFruit can be eaten rawLilly Pilly 
Macadamia NutMacadamia integrifoliaProteaceaeKernel of nut eaten raw or roastedMacadamia fruit 
Magenta Cherry, DagubaSyzygium paniculatumMyrtaceaeFruit eaten raw or made into jam 
Moreton Bay Chestnut, BlackbeanCastanospermum australeFabaceae - FaboideaeToxic! Beans eaten after extensive water and fire treatmentBlack Bean flower 
Plum PinePodocarpus elatusPodocarpaceaeFleshy stalk below hard fruit can be eaten raw and cooked. 
Sandpaper FigFicus coronataMoraceaeFruit eaten when ripe. Sap from plant used in medicine. Leaves used like sandpaper.Sandpaper Fig 
Sydney Golden WattleAcacia longifoliaFabaceae - MimosoideaeTree used for gum, timber, wood and pollen and fibre. Seeds are edible. 


Common NameScientific NameFamilyUsePhoto
Cinnamon MyrtleBackhousia myrtifoliaMyrtaceaeLeaves can be crushed and rubbed on skin as insect repellent or dried and used to flavour tea and sweet dishes.Cinnamon Myrtle 
Finger LimeCitrus australasicaRutaceaeFruit can used in salads and drinks
MidyimAustromyrtus dulcisMyrtaceaeFruits edible when soft 
Narrow-leaved Myrtle, MidyimAustromyrtus tenuifoliaMyrtaceaeFruits edible when softMidyim berry 
Native RaspberryRubus parvifoliusRosaceaeFruit are sweet and juicyNative Raspberry

Herbs and Groundcovers

Common NameScientific NameFamilyUsePhoto
Blady GrassImperata cylindricaPoaceaeLeaves used to make paper, thatch, weaving into mats and bags. Also used for medicine. 
Blue Flax LilyDianella congestaPhormiaceaeSoft blue fruits edibleBlue Flax Lily 
BurrawangMacrozamia communisZamiaceaeToxic! Seeds contain starch, but must be treated extensively to destroy toxins. 
Creeping BoobiallaMyoporum parvifoliumMyoporaceaeFruits edible when soft. Leaves medicinal. 
Native GingerAlpinia caeruleaZingiberaceaeYoung root tips edible. Pith under skin of fruit has a lemony taste. Leaves used to protect food and provide shelterNative ginger 
PennywortCentella asiaticaApiaceaeMedicinal herb for various ailments 
PigfaceCarpobrotus glaucescensAizoaceaeYoung leaves and fleshy red fruits can be eatenpig face 
Warrigal Greens, New Zealand SpinachTetragonia tetragonioidesAizoaceaeLeaves can be eaten but should be blanched in boiling water to leach out toxins.Warrigal Greens 


Common NameScientific NameFamilyUsePhoto
Southern Melodinus, Bellbird VineMelodinus australisApocynaceaeFruit may be edible, but contains toxins 
Water Vine, Native GrapeCissus hypoglaucaVitaceaeEdible fruits are blue when ripe. Stems can be cut to provide water. 
Zig-zag VineMelodorum leichhardtiiApocynaceaeFruits can be eaten raw. Plant is important food tree for butterflies.

Zig Zag Vine

Content owner: Macquarie University Property Last updated: 18 May 2020 2:59pm

Back to the top of this page