Majamulirra

(MAH-jah-moo-LEED-ah)

Red Flowering Currajong

Brachychiton megaphyllus

Description

A small deciduous tree to 4 m high; leaves large and hairy; flowers red, conspicuous; fruit densely hairy, oblong, splitting to expose yellow seeds in dense, short hairs. Occurs in open forest and woodland. Flowers June-October. Fruit September-November.

Uses

The seeds may be eaten after the fruit have been roasted on a fire. The seeds are surrounded by short yellow hairs which can cause severe irritation if they are not removed from around the seeds. After a short roasting the seeds are very tasty and highly regarded.

The inner bark is used to make rope for canoes and for harpoons. This rope is very strong and long lasting. Slender twigs are chewed to fray the end and then used to dip honey out of native bee hives (Sugarbag).

Flowering during Manaj (June to August) signals that stingrays are fat and ready to be hunted; in fact it is the production of the red Majamulirra flowers that makes the Stingray fat.

(Source: Blake, N., Wightman, G., and Williams, L. 1998. Iwaidja Ethnobotany, p. 41. NT Botanical Bulletin No. 23, Parks and Wildlife Commission, Darwin.)