Bush Tucker and Bush Medicine
around Coober Pedy
Wangunu and Kaltu-Kaltu
Eragrostis eriopoda Naked Woollybutt
Wangunu or Naked Woollybutt (Eragrostis eriopoda)is an erect perennial grass that grows in dense tufts to 35 centimetres. It is widespread and common in the arid zone. It is course and wiry, and has distinctive white "woolly butts" at the base of the plant. Wangunu is long lived, with each plant living up to 20 years. Seeding of Naked Woollybutt occurs after summer rain, with the seeds remaining on the plant for one or two months.
The seed from this plant is an important traditional staple food for the Antakarinja people. The small reddish seeds can be easily collected by rubbing the seeds heads to remove it. It is first winnowed, then ground to a flour and damper made. This meal is very nutritious and keeps for a long time.
Panicum decompositum Native Millet
Kaltu-Kaltu or Native Millet (Panicum decompositum) is another grass used in the same way. This plant is short-lived and is encouraged by fire. It has the same nutritive value as Wangunu.