The Yam Daisy
Once found widely across Victoria into NSA and ACT, Myrnong (Microseris walteri) sometimes called the Yam Daisy, is very easy to grow. It is one of three similar species found in south eastern Australia
The edible tubers grow just below the surface of the soil, making them easy to harvest bush tucker food.
They are found naturally in woodland areas and have been cultivated for many years. Clearing and grazing since the early 1800s has lead to near extinction in many areas, however today they are becoming recognised as a good food source, sweet tasting and a little like coconut.
The tubers look a little like white carrots, the plants are summer dormant and can be grown from seed.
How to Grow Yam Daisy – Myrnong or Murnong From Seeds
Seeds are best sown in early autumn, they should germinate in around 4 weeks and grow through until summer.
It is suggested that a cold stratification of seeds for 4 weeks before sowing will improve germination rates. However we sow fresh seeds after harvesting.
You can sow directly into the ground, into seedling pots grow in large pots.
A position in full sun to a little shade is best.
- Sow the seeds on the surface of an open potting mix.
- Cover lightly with some sifted potting mix.
- Keep moist.
- Germination should occur in around 3 – 4 weeks.
- Regular application of fertiliser will improve growth rate.
Harvesting The Yam Daisy
- The tubers are usually harvested after 2 – 3 years.
- The best time to harvest is at the end of summer when the flowers appear.
- Dig the plant with a garden fork to reveal the tubers.
- The largest older tubers are left as are the smallest ones. The middle sized ones are removed and eaten raw or cooked.
- The remainder are replanted.
Yam Daisy Species
- Microseris walteri
The most popular a single fleshy root that expands to a solitary, narrow tuber that is replaced annually.
- Microseris scapigera
Produces several long-tapered roots that are slightly fibrous and a little bitter in tatse.
- Microseris lanceolata
Roots are the most bitter and slightly fibrous.