"Noongar Country of southwestern Australia is home to the world’s largest
parasitic plant, a mighty mistletoe that blooms every December. That’s why it’s
commonly known as WA’s Christmas Tree. But it also goes by other names, mungee
and moodjar. And it holds great significance for Noongar people including the
Merningar people of the south coast.
While the unique biology and charisma of the species (Nuytsia floribunda
been recognised by Traditional Owners for millennia, such rich Indigenous
knowledge is barely known to Western science. Our research team includes three
generations of Merningar alongside non-Indigenous scientists. In our new
research, we set out to explore mungee’s physiology, ecology and evolution from
both Indigenous and Western science perspectives.
The plant’s ability to access a wide array of resources is remarkable, enabling
it to prosper in the hostile, infertile, but biologically rich landscapes of
southwestern Australia. This is also the case for Noongar people, whose
traditional diet reflects the biological richness of their Country.
Mungee is a revered teacher to Noongar people, with lessons for us all about
living sustainably and in harmony with one another."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics