#FastFacts: Blackbean (Castanospermum Australe)

 In Flora, Learn, News

#FastFacts: Blackbean – Rainforest Rescue’s Scientific Advisor, Dr. Robert Kooyman, tells us about this fascinating Daintree rainforest tree, Castanospermum Australe, and it’s importance to the Kuku Yalanji people.

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If you’d like to learn more about the Kuku Yalanji people, visit Jabalbina Aboriginal Corporation and the Mossman Gorge Centre websites.

Fun Facts:

Blackbean is known as mirrayn in the Jirrbal language, junggurra in Yindinji and baway in Kuku Yalanji.

Blackbean is a native species that grows to 10m when planted as a garden ornamental or up to 40m in a natural rain forest setting.

The Castanospermum Australe tree flowers are big, beautiful, orange and red, pea-flower shaped flowers. The nectar produced by the flowers attracts birds, bats and butterflies. Following flowering in March-May, large cylindrical pods measuring 12-20cm by 4-6 cm are produced. These pods split in two, revealing 3-5 large bean-like seeds weighing about 30 grams each.

Still, want more? Check out this video from the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney that shows the Ancient Aboriginal process for cooking black beans

Thanks for tuning in to #FastFacts: Blackbean (Castanospermum Australe).

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