Cowslip Orchid

Cowslip Orchid
Cowslip Orchid | Caladenia flava

In Noongar language native orchids of many varieties were known as Djubak, from two words djuba (kidney) and ak (pertaining to) because the root tuber is often kidney shaped. The European model of classification where plants are classed on whether they’re genetically related can not be applied to Noongar classification systems. First Australians favoured a more utilitarian model - what does the plant do? How can it be used? Can it be eaten? Does it have special significance? Like items were often given a group name; many orchids were known as djubak (tiupuck, tuboc, tubac, tuubaq, tiupak) which was the name for the part of the orchid that was edible and underground, much like you might know of a potato.

Of course, you should never consume wildflowers without exacting knowledge to what is safe, and it’s not widely documented which exact species of orchids are safe so it’s best for you to admire the cowslip rather than eat it.

Endemic to:

Primarily South-west, also coastal regions scooping from the Mid-west to Esperance in the southern Goldfields. Mostly Noongar and Yamatji Countries, specifically;  Nhanta, Amangu, Yuat, Wajuk, Balardung, Pinjarup, Wiilman, Kaniyang, Wardandi, Bibbulman, Minang

It blooms:

July – December, Djilba – Kambarang (Noongar) Wandangga – Bin.garra (Yamatji)

Unknown, unknown, Caladenia flava, florabase
Macintyre, K and Dobson, B, 2019, Roots of contention: Noongar root foods and indigenous plant taxonomy, Anthropology from the Shed
An interactive map of Indigenous Australia can be accessed at
Unknown, 2018, Sharing Yamaji Knowledge, Education Resource for schools