Foliage of Austral Mulberry growing in Milarri Garden.
Image: Rodney Start
Source: Museum Victoria
Djiel-warg (Woi wurrung)
Botanical name: Hedycarya angustifolia
A dry piece of stem about 60 cm long and 1 cm in diameter was rapidly twirled in a hole made in a flat piece of wood, often the dry flower-stalk of the Southern Grasstree, until friction caused the pith to smoulder. This was then tipped onto some dry stringybark and gently blown to produce a flame. The whole operation took about two minutes. So highly prized were the sticks, called Djelwuck, that they were traded from the mountains right up to the northern tribes on the Murray River. Different materials were used in other parts of Australia to make fire.
Austral Mulberry is found in cool temperate rainforest and damp sclerophyll forest. It grows in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales.
This shrub or small tree grows 3 –7 m tall and 4 m wide and requires cool, rich soil. It grows best where there is plenty of water.