There is so much in flower at the moment, I could have chosen many different native flowers to write about – but the Yam Daisy is one that should have been included in the A – Z Species list last year. When I saw it in flower again, I thought it was high time to dedicate a post to it.
Due to its large tuberous roots, the Yam Daisy was an important food source for Aboriginal people across Australia. The Koorie people of Victoria called this plant Murrnong. According to an Australian Government publication ‘Aboriginal Plant Use in South-Eastern Australia” by the Australian National Botanic Gardens, it was believed the best time to dig up the roots for cooking was just after the flowers opened. The Koories were careful to leave many plants in the ground so that when they came back next season, there would be sufficient food. Unfortunately, sheep and cattle grazing dramatically reduced the occurrence of the Yam Daisy.
In her book ‘Flora Of the Otway Plain and Ranges 2’ Enid Mayfield states there are three species of Yam Daisy found in Australia – two named and one unnamed. Looking at photographs on VicVeg, I believe this one is Microseris sp. 3, but I’m happy to be corrected.
It seems to me that wildlife such as Wallabies and Possums also find the Yam Daisy tasty, as they never seem to last for long. I have to make a point of photographing them when I see them, as I rarely see them a day or two later.
From a quick glance, a Yam Daisy resembles a dandelion in shape. flower colour and growth habit, however my impression is that Yam Daisies are larger flowers with larger petals. I hope you enjoy the photographs.