Atwakeye (Wild Orange)
This fruit hangs down off its plant on long stalks turning a yellow green tint when ripe. Its creamy white flowers open during the night and wither before the end of the next day.
On the left is a photo of a Honey Ant. On the right, Mavis and Jessie Bird show their skills at finding honey ants under the Mulga tree.
Aboriginal women will gather Honey Ants from nests found under Mulga Trees. The nest may extend as much as a metre or two deep into the ground and so it takes of lot of digging to get a handful of ants! The ants gather nectar from insects and then store the honey in their stomachs.
The Desert Yam is another staple food of the Aboriginal people of Central Australia. The yam can be hard to locate as it can be growing up to 80 or 90cms underground. The yam is cooked by placing coals over it for about 20 minutes and then peeled before being eaten.
The witchetty grub is an important desert food. The grubs are found in the roots of the witchetty bush which is found around Alice Springs and Central Australia. Aboriginal women and children most commonly dig for them. They can be eaten as is or very quickly cooked in the coals of a fire. Some people say the witchetty grub has a taste like an almond.
Desert Raisin Fruit
When ripe the fruit of the desert raisin looks like a small green tomato. These fruit ripen from July to August each year. If left on the bush the desert raisin will dry and eventually resemble dried raisins.