Field Trip to ‘Yina’

Field Trip to ‘Yina’

Posted by Bernadine Flanagan

On a glorious September day, an enthusiastic group of students and researchers from the ARC Uniquely Australian Food training centre travelled to Mt Cotton to learn more about Indigenous Australian plants.  Sophie Ader and her husband Xavier graciously welcomed us to their property ‘Yina’.  It is a wonderful place to discover a variety of medicinal and edible native plants in their natural habitat with approximately 70% of the property being native bush.

Dr Andrew Pengelly, President of the Indigenous Plants for Health Association,  generously shared his extensive knowledge of native plants with the group, teaching us how to identify different plants and highlighting their uses.

Amongst those he spoke about were:

Finger limeCitrus australisRutaceae
Native hibiscusHibiscus heterophyllaMalvaceae
Kangaroo GrassThemeda triandraPoaceae
DianellaDianella sp.Phormiaceae
Midgim berryAustromyrtus dulcisMyrtaceae
lemon myrtleBackhousia citriodoraMyrtaceae
cinnamon myrtleBackhousia myrtifoliaMyrtaceae
hop bush (sticky)Dodonaea viscosaSapindaceae
Soap treeAlphitonia excelsaRhamnaceae
Wombat berryEutrephus latifoliusLaxmannaceae
Davidson’s plumDavidsonia pruriensCunoniaceae
Native Apricot / gumby gumbyPittosporum angustifoliumPittosporaceae
native elderberrySambucus australasicaAdoxaceae
Warrigal GreensTetragonia tetragonaAizoaceae
Old man saltbushAtriplex mummulariaAmaranthaceae
PigfaceCarbobrotus glaucescensAizoaceae
Native sea celeryApium prostatumApiaceae
Lilly pillySyzygium spp.Myrtaceae
Native rasberries (atheron Rasberries)Rubus spp.Rosaceae
GeebungPersoonia Stradbrokensis sp.


Sophie and Xavier are also passionate about permaculture and around 30% of their property is used to grow a range of native and exotic medicinal and edible plants, with a total of 130 different identified species. There were so many delicious treats around every bend and we enjoyed the mulberries and native raspberries and all went home with some lemons. Some of the lemons and herbs were incorporated into delicious dishes for our team lunch the next day.


Sophie and Xavier demonstrated their flame throwing skills used to release Banksia seeds for propagation, which PhD Candidate Gaya will grow at her home.

During the heat of the day we enjoyed a walk to a meandering waterway with welcome breezes and beautiful shady trees. The diverse habitats are home for some native Australian animals such as fish, eels, turtles, echidnas, bandicoots, koalas, wallabies, goannas, snakes and birds. For many the highlight of the trip was visiting with the magnificent Tallow wood Grandmother tree, aged between 350 and 500 years.

With our new found knowledge of different edible and medicinal native plants, the team now want to identify, label and profile those plants and hidden treasures in the bushland surrounding our new facility on UQ’s Long Pocket Campus. We are also considering an overnight field visit at Dr Pengelly’s home near Stanthorpe, to learn about different types of Australian native species.

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