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Plants: Species

Moreton Bay Chestnut or Black Bean Tree Castanospermum australe


Once used as bush tucker by the Aborigines of Australia is the Moreton Bay chestnut Castanospermum australe, also called the black bean tree because it grows large woody pods that turn black when they fall to the ground. Inside are the seeds, which once treated are said to taste a bit like chestnuts. But beware: the seeds are actually poisonous! In order to make them edible, the Aborigines cracked them and soaked them in water to remove some of the toxins, then pounded them into cakes and roasted them over a fire to eliminate other toxins.