Creating an Indigenous plant-use garden: resources from the bush
Climate Region: Arid | Temperate | Tropical
State or Territory: All States/Territories
Age Range: 13-18


When Jarrah and Adam went on their walk, they could see lots of plants used for food, fibre, medicines. Adam talked about the different parts of the plant that were eaten, and if it was the leaves, roots, flowers, fruits and or seeds. Jarrah was very interested and amazed at how much food was in the bush!

Jarrah then came across a beautiful large plump purple fruit on a small strappy plant. He was so excited and picked it and popped it in his mouth. He then spat it out. “Yuck!” he cried, “that was awful”.

Adam came over. “Jarrah, we don’t just go and eat any old fruit in the bush, some can be harmful. This one is what the women in our families used to dye their dilly bags but is not for eating. You’re lucky that it’s just awful tasting and not toxic like some fruits can be”.


For thousands of years, First Nations peoples across Australia have been using plants for many different purposes. Plants are used for food, fibre, shelter, medicine, tools and utensils, hunting, music and ceremony. Everything they needed to survive comes from the land.

To understand local perspectives and support these activities, we recommend reaching out to the local Traditional Owners and First Nations peoples who can assist in knowledge sharing and understanding local land, histories and culture. This is an important consideration to ensure that any reconciliation initiatives are being driven in a local, meaningful way.

This learning activity is the first part of a sequence of 6 individual learning activities focused on creating an Indigenous plant-use garden. The order of these learning activities are: resources from the bush, vision, plant list, site assessment, planting and harvesting.


For children to:

  • appreciate the diverse range of plants that First Nations peoples across Australia use
  • explore the different ways that Indigenous plants are used, e.g. food, fibre, medicine, tools, utensils, ceremony and in everyday life
  • identify plants from their local area using plant guides.

This activity can be undertaken any time of the year, however it is important to remember that the reproductive cycle of plants is dependent on the time of the year, and the climate zone of the area. You may like to repeat this activity at different times of the year to see the difference in the plants.

Did you know?

Flowers, stems, shoots, roots, fruits, seeds, nuts and leaves are all parts of an edible plant that may be eaten. Never eat plant material unless guided by an adult.

Did you know?

Edible leaves contain good minerals and vitamins that help our bodies remain healthy, warding of disease. Often leaves are processed into teas or tonics and utilised as medicines.

Did you know?

The roots of some plants can be harvested and are staple foods for the tribe and clan groups. These roots are full of starch providing energy and carbohydrates.

Did you know?

Flowers, stems, shoots, roots, fruits, seeds, nuts and leaves are all parts of an edible plant that may be eaten. Never eat plant material unless guided by an adult.

Why not try one of our other Junior Landcare learning activities?

Creating an Indigenous plant-use garden: plant list

First Nations Perspectives

Love Letters to the Land

Biodiversity|First Nations Perspectives|Food Production|Waste Management

Creating a yarning circle: involving First Nations people

First Nations Perspectives

Creating a yarning circle: yarning circle activities

First Nations Perspectives