Marsdenia australis, commonly known as the bush banana, silky pear or green vine is an Australian native plant. It is found in Central Australia and throughout Western Australia. It is a bush tucker food used by Indigenous Australians.
M. australis has many different names in Aboriginal languages. In the Arrernte language of Central Australia;merne alangkwe (older transcription: elonka), merne ulkantyerrknge (the flowers) and merne altyeye (the prefixmerne signifies plant food). In Karrajari, Nyulnyul and Yawuru it is called 'Magabala'. It can be eaten small or fully grown. The small fruits are called amwerterrpe. Kalgoorlie, Western Australia takes its name from the aWangai word, Karlkurla, meaning "place of the silky pears".
The flowers hang in clusters and can also be eaten, as can the main part of the plant (altyeye in Arrernte).
Bush bananas are cooked in hot earth beside the fire or eaten raw when young (the flavour has been likened to fresh peas). The root of the plant is called Merne atnetye and can also be eaten raw or cooked. The very white roots are cooked in the hot earth close to the fire.
All parts of the bush banana plant are still eaten in the desert today.
Marsdenia Australis is relatively easy to germinate. There are a few methods but I will describe two. One is to wrap seeds in damp tissue and wait until the rounded larger part of the seed swells and seedling emerges. This appears as a 'whitish lip' pushing through. These are the cotyledons (first leaves). Once this happens, place in seed raising mix with partial clay soil and push seed into soil, keeping the rounded part of the seed above soil, the thinner part, buried in soil. Another way to germinate is to simply put the seeds in seed raising mix, rounded part of seed facing up. Keep moist but not wet, until germinated. Please also keep in mind, that ants LOVE to eat the 'whitish lip' of this tiny fragile seedling, and will destroy your seed even before it gets a chance to generate cotyledons. Keep the seedlings safe, until they have produced chlorophyll into their cotyledons, turning green. Ants will not eat it thereafter.
Soil conditions: This native plant likes a clay/limestone soil. Once seedlings have been germinated, give them full sun and only water once soil has dried out. Once established, will not require much watering. They are a climber and usually like to grow on Acacia.
Please check your states quarantine regulations before purchasing as I will not be held accountable for any seeds that cannot be in your state. Thank you