Ngarndal

(NGAHRND-ahl)

Speargrass

Sorghum intrans

Description

An annual grass to 2 m high; leaves narrow, to 50 cm long; flowers and fruit in dark brown heads to 30 cm long. Grows in Eucalypt savanna during the wet season with seed heads ripe at the end of the wet season.

Uses

The stems are used by children as toy spears. When the seed heads turn dark brown during late yirrung 'wet season' it signals that terns have laid their eggs and that it is time to go and collect them. Tern eggs are considered a delicacy and may be collected in relatively large numbers; they are cooked before eating.

(Source: Blake, N., Wightman, G., and Williams, L. 1998. Iwaidja Ethnobotany, p. 120. NT Botanical Bulletin No. 23, Parks and Wildlife Commission, Darwin.)