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The Flora page contains data and references to the vegetation within KooyongKoot and its catchment including relevant Ecological Vegetation Classes (EVCs), indigenous food/medicine plants (aka Bush Tucker), weeds and our indigenous plant nurseries.

How to find Flora for a Location

Using EVCs

The EVCs and NatureKit application described on our Ecology page provide a good way to locate appropriate plantings for a site.

One way to do this is to use NatureKit on-line as follows:

  • Click on this link to open the main NatureKit page.  Note the help and other documentation available – though you probably won’t need much for this procedure because we are merely scratching at the surface with this procedure.
  • Click the Launch NatureKit button – a panel of options and a map should appear.  Scroll and zoom to the area you want to look at.  On a mobile device, you may have a Find Me button to make that process more efficient.
  • In the Layers panel alongside the map, expand the Vegetation classification and click the 2005 and pre-1750 vegetation classes’ options.  Pre-1750 EVC mapping is a model of the expected pre- European settlement vegetation types; 2005 approximates the present-day.
  • Click on your property or park of interest.  The details of the site should pop-up. Note the EVC number.  Depending on location, you may see one or two pop-ups like this:
  • Click on the Open benchmark assessment  for EVCs in this Bioregion (PDF) link.
  • Find your EVC number in the document that opens. There should be a couple of pages describing your EVC.

How to read the EVC benchmark assessment pages

The relevant pages in the PDF file provide a guide for what vegetation and other environmental characteristics are ideally expected at a site. The EVC provides “benchmarks” relating to canopy and understorey plant size, species, numbers and so on to help users assess their site against these benchmarks.  From this information you may determine the overall quality of the site and begin to tailor a revegetation plan if necessary. These explanations may help in understanding:

  • Description: Describes the EVC.  If it is listed as “complex”, the landscape can have many changes in one area. You may need to look at surrounding EVC lists to determine the landscape description that fits your particular area.
  • # / ha: This is the number of large trees per hectare – providing a guide as to the ideal number of large trees at your site.
  • Tree Canopy Cover: These are the species you might find in the canopy layer (the uppermost layer of vegetation) at your site. These can be ideal tree species to plant at your site. This field will also tell you how much of the site you should cover with these species.
  • % Cover of Life Forms: These are the proportions of different plant categories expected at the site. This section may be helpful if you are trying to decide on the proportion of trees, shrubs, grasses and so on to order for your understory.
  • #SPP of Life Forms: This indicates how many species would belong to each life form at a high-quality site. The life form type ‘Immature Canopy Tree’ will always be blank since this information is given under the ‘Tree Canopy Cover’ section.
  • Species typical of at least part of EVC range: These are some of the species that you can expect to find at a high-quality site. They are a good indication of which species you might order for your site. It is possible that you will find that some of these are already present.  If so, persist with those and narrow your choice of additional species accordingly.

Other Resources

Other resources include:

  • Consult the Flora of Melbourne book
  • Check your local Council for hand-books and guides on indigenous plants.
  • Visit our volunteer-run indigenous nurseries such as Greenlink and Bungalook. Both are KKA Members and have volunteers who are more than happy to answer your queries and provide assistance.

Bush Tucker Plants

Kangaroo Apple (Solanum aviculare) – poisonous if not fully ripe

The following is a list (no doubt incomplete) of various locally indigenous plants used traditionally for food. The base data has come from Bungalook Nursery’s list with additions from other sources. In particular, the Woiwurrung names IN CAPITALS used by the Wurundjeri in our area are derived from the guidebook: ABORIGINAL PLANTS in the grounds of Monash University (School of Biological Sciences, 2010). Note: We understand that the latter would have been based on the 1998 edition authored by Beth Gott (who passed away in 2022 aged 100).  She was an academic at Monash and pioneer of researching aboriginal food plants – decades ahead of her time.   

Botanical NameWoiwurrung & Common NamesPart of PlantUsage
— Tree gums and sap
Acacia dealbataMOY-YAN, Silver WattleGum Gum is edible – sucked like candy; soaked in water to make a jelly.
Acacia mearnsiiGARRONG, Black WattleGum Gum used as a chewing gum that dissolves as you chew.
Acacia pycnanthaGolden WattleGum, seed Roasted seeds and gum eaten.
Allocasuarina littoralisWAYETUCK, Black SheoakGum, seed The gum chewed or made into a jelly by melting in hot water. The young cones were eaten.
Eucalyptus viminalisWURUN, Manna GumSapSugary sap eaten and flowers soaked in water to make a sweet drink.
— Leaves
Lomandra longifoliaKURAWAN, Spiny-headed Mat-rushLeaf baseWhite leaf bases chewed to release starch.
Mentha australisPANARYLE, River MintLeaves Leaves used to make tea and also to treat coughs and colds.
Prostanthera lasianthosCORANDERRK, Victorian Christmas-bushLeaves Aromatic leaves used to make tea or flavour food.
Prostanthera melissifoliaBalm Mint-bushLeaves Aromatic leaves used to make tea or flavour food.
— Berries, fruit, flowers
Acrotriche serrulataBURGIL BURGIL, Honey PotsFlowersThe small flowers,
underneath the plant, are full of a fragrant nectar.
Billardiera mutabilisGARAWANG,
Common Apple Berry
Fruit Fruit eaten raw when ripe or roasted when green.
Cassytha melanthaDodder LaurelFruit Aromatic and tangy fruit look like small olives.
Coprosma quadrifidaMORR, Prickly Currant-bushFruit Berries are sweet and high in Vitamin C.
Dianella admixtaBlack-anther Flax-lilyFruit Dark blue or purple berries edible.
Dianella laevisPale Flax-lilyFruit Dark blue or purple berries edible.
Dianella tasmanicaTasman Flax-lilyFruit Dark blue or purple berries edible.
Einadia nutansNodding SaltbushFruit, leavesRed berries are sweet to eat. Leaves can also be eaten but should be boiled first.
Exocarpus cupressiformisBALLEE, Cherry BallartFruit Small orange berries turn red when ripen to a sweet and palatable fruit. Green seed not eaten.
Rubus parvifoliusEEPAEEP, Native raspberryFruit Has edible small fruit somewhat like small raspberries but not as sweet.
Solanum aviculareKangaroo AppleFruit Has berries/fruit which are poisonous while green, only edible once fully ripe (orange).
— Tubers/ roots
Arthropodium milleflorumPale Vanilla LilyTuber, flowersTubers can be eaten raw or cooked. Flowers can be eaten raw.
Arthropodium strictumChocolate LilyTuberTubers can be eaten raw or cooked.
Bulbine bulbosaPIKE, Bulbine LilyTuberTubers can be roasted and eaten, they are sweet tasting and contain calcium and iron.
Burchardia umbellataMilkmaidsTuberTubers can be roasted and eaten.
Clematis aristataAustral Clematis, Old Man’s BeardTaproot Taproot can be roasted and eaten.
Clematis microphyllaSmall-leaved ClematisTaproot Taproot can be roasted and eaten.
Geranium solanderiCrane’s Bill, Native CarrotTaproot Woody taproot rich in starch can be cooked and eaten.
Kennedia prostrataKABIN, Running PostmanNectar, stemsNectar is sweet like honeysuckle, stems can be used for twine.
Microseris walteriMURNONG, Yam DaisyTuber Tuber can be roasted or fried.
Typha spBOURT-DEET, Cumbungi, BulrushRhizome Rhizome is rich in starch. Also the young flowering stems were eaten raw.
— Seed
Acacia melanoxylonBURN-NA-LOOK, BlackwoodSeed Seeds are edible and flowers can be cooked and eaten.
Acacia pycnanthaGolden WattleSeed, gum Roasted seeds and gum can be eaten.
Linum marginaleNative FlaxSeedNumerous small seeds eaten.
Themeda triandraKangaroo GrassSeedSeeds can be ground to produce flour.

Why not try growing your own ?

While we don’t suggest everyone would have the constitution and palate to enjoy bush foods, why not try growing some of your own? Where the plants in our list above are available from Bungalook, we link to Bungalook’s plant page through the hyperlink on the botanical name. Bungalook’s page offers further links to the authoritative VICFLORA and other sources of information on the species.

Greenlink and other indigenous plant nurseries would also stock many of these plants. Greenlink includes some others you might like to consider in its brochure bush food plants.

For further information, please download the “Indigenous Plant Use Guide” booklet by the Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub at the University of Melbourne – authored by Barkandji woman Zena Cumpston. It explores the cultural, nutritional, technological and medicinal use of indigenous plants in more detail.


Weed have been variously defined as a “plant in the wrong place” and (Australian Weeds Strategy) a “plant that requires some form of action to reduce its harmful effects on the economy, the environment, human health and amenity”.

References on weeds:

  • Most local Councils have weed lists and pamphlets listing weeds of concern in their municipalities.
  • Book: Weeds of the South East