Mooja

© Copyright 2000 Teaching Treasures Publications

The mooja tree

The mooja tree is also known as the Christmas tree. This tree has roots with edible suckers.

Aboriginal people used to dig these suckers up. They are juicy and can have a sweet or bitter taste. The yellow bark around the root was peeled off to get the edible part inside. After they had taken the roots, they would take the wood to make shields or other things. Some time after they had taken the wood the families would go back and collect or eat the raw sweet gum that was oozing out of the trunk. 

The flowers were also used. They would soak the flowers in water to make a sweet drink! The mooja tree can grow to about 8m high having greyish-brown bark. The flowers are bright yellow, orange or a golden colour. The leaves are dull green to bluish-green.  This tree also produces fruit but it is not edible. The fruit is carried away by the wind and may grow into another tree.

These trees are found in Western Australia. The mooja trees grow for approximately 10 years before they are fully matured and can flower. The flowers are often used as a decoration.

The Nyoongar people (Aboriginal tribe) believe that when a person dies their spirit goes inside a mooja tree, so the leaves must not be taken inside a house or camp hut, believing the spirit will be trapped. 

 

Scientific name for the mooja tree

Mooja seientific name Nuytsia floibunda

 

To lesson plan | Back to bush tucker

© Copyright 2000 Teaching Treasures Publications