Haemodorum spicatum - Bloodroot / Bohn / Meen / Mardja / Menang - 20 seeds
This slow growing, bulbaceous perennial herb growing 30cm to 2m tall with grass like tough round green leaves to 60cm long that turn black as they get older, from Spring to Summer it produces one, rarely two flower spikes up to 2m tall with dark purple to black flowers growing at the tip, the flowers mature form the bottom upwards. The flowers never open and are pollinated by native bees - they dive in head first in to the flowers after pushing open the petals to collect the pollen and nectar.
Flowering is stimulated by fire.
This is a native bulb vegetable, the Indigenous Australian Noongar people of WA used as a food source for a long time and also to help with dysentery, mouth sores and toothache. When eaten raw it has a spicy taste similar to chilli and radish, often numbing the lips. They are best baked or roasted, pounded and dried to use as a spice.
It oozes a reddish sap when cut and the compounds that colour this vegetable is unique to Haemodorum spicatum and is traditionally used as a red dye.
It is also being studied for its antibacterial and anti-tumour properties.
Bulbs are ready to harvest from late Winter to Spring, dig them up and separate them from the above ground leaf parts - it can take a couple of seasons to produce a decent bulb.
Note that these are Summer dormant.
They are found growing naturally in small clusters or individually along the south and west coast of WA in temperate woodlands and heathlands, low lying flats to the tops of hills, often thriving in poor sandy soils as well as in sandy clay soils in full sun or dappled shade.
Generally doesn't need fertiliser but some organic compost and slow release fertiliser in the soil after harvest.
This is a great bush tucker plant and makes a really interesting garden specimen, can be grown in pots or in the garden.
20 premium quality seeds shipped on receipt of cleared funds.