Herb: Bunya-Bunya

Latin name: Araucaria bidwillii

Family: Araucariaceae (Araucaria Family)

Edible parts of Bunya-Bunya:

Seed - raw, cooked or ground into a powder. Starchy and delicious, it has the texture of a waxy boiled potato with the flavour of chestnuts. Large, it is an important food source for the Australian Aborigines. Cones can be up to 4.5 kilos in weight and contain up to 150 seeds. The germinating seed produces an underground "earth nut" which has a coconut-like flavour.

Description of the plant:


40 m
(131 feet)


Habitat of the herb:

Rich volcanic soils in moist valleys at low elevations near the coast.

Other uses of Bunya-Bunya:

Wood - soft, easily worked, high quality. Used for cabinet making, flooring, plywood etc. The branches are used for fencing and fuel.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse or it can be stored cool and moist then sown February in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 2 months at 15C. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots. The plants have a rather sparse root system and are best placed in their final positions as soon as possible. Give them some protection from the cold for at least their first winter.

Cultivation of Bunya-Bunya:

Rich volcanic soils in moist valleys at low elevations near the coast.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Araucaria bidwillii:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.