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giant waterlily, Nymphaea gigantea

antun (egng -)
andun (egng -)
paayen (mayi -)
in Uw Oykangand
in Uw Olkola
in Pakanh
inychil (egng -)
inyjil (egng -)
pinangachina (mayi -)
lily root, in Uw Oykangand
lily root, in Uw Olkola
lily root, in Pakanh
odndoy (egng -)
odndo (egng -)
kaachi (mayi -)
lily stalk ("rope"), in Uw Oykangand
lily stalk ("rope"), in Uw Olkola
lily stalk ("rope"), in Pakanh
arrchal (egng -)
arrjal (egng -)
pachi (mayi -)
lily flower, in Uw Oykangand
lily flower, in Uw Olkola
lily flower, in Pakanh


Giant waterlily, Nymphaea gigantea, near Oriners Station, February 1996 [PH].

The giant waterlily, Nymphaea gigantea (family Nymphaeaceeae), has round floating leaves and dramatic white flowers with yellow centres. It grows in freshwater lagoons, swamps and billabongs.

This plant is an important food source. The stock of the tuber, the stalk (called the "rope" locally) and seeds are all eaten raw, cooked on the coals of the fire or baked in the capmari oven. For more information on plant food and the traditional subsistence of Aboriginal people in central Cape York Peninsula, see the Edible plant products page.

e-mail: Philip Hamilton.
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