This is the #FedUniMurnong Citizen Science project 2020. Participants (including us) become custodian of 20 plants of an undisclosed subspecies of Microseris for at least three years. I collected my young charges this week on 23rd. We live in Napoleons on Wadawarrung country, so the species are likely sp. walteri or scapigera.

🌼 Murnong is an Australian yam daisy.

The Murnong (Microseris) is a group of Australian native yam daisies that were once absolutely everywhere across the landscape. Here is the record of our first 10 plants. We will update it as the project continues. I know they are not much to speak of yet, but they are on their way 🙂

🌼 Murnong was once a staple food.

Murnoong formed the main starch source of food for indigenous folks and animals across the south east of Australia. It is highly nutritious, and tasty. The vast majority of it was eaten to oblivion by sheep pretty soon after their introduction, but there are various projects across Victoria and NSW to build their numbers once again.Here are the second lot of our project.  This to docment over time which ones survive and thrive.

🌼 This project helps build Murnong numbers.

The aims of the project are to examine how the Murnong grow, to grow them on and increase healthy numbers, learn about natural distribution and help develop the cache of people and understandings around Murnong development.
We will be taking pictures, making progress notes and having fun taking care of our little local charges. We’ll update you all so that we can share more about how these true locals mature. We also look forward to tasting one somewhere down the line.
The group of 1-10 are from the south of the bed. The picture showing 11-20 is taken from the North side.
Number 4 is the tallest and most developed of our starters in the set. At just 60mm high it is still small but you can just see a little flower head drooped over – which is totally normal for this plant. That pendulous flower bud rises and opens to the sun.
Number 1 is the smallest of the set, at just 7mm high above ground, it will be interesting to see if it comes on.  Other than that, the other plants to be of immediate concern from first oberservation upon collection is number 6 and 13. Number 6 was observed upon planting as having a large hole in the side of the tuber just under the first leaf. It seems to be almost entirely hollowed out. Doesn’t look good. Time will tell. Number 13 looks healthy on first inspection, but has a slimy base.hmm. not sure what that is. Will monitor.

We are taking part in hopes that one day, Australians can once again grow, harvest and benefit from our own nutritious vegetable, prolific and easily found across the landscape. Wouldn’t that be ace.🌼

Look wide; grow well, folks 🌿