Midyini, the daisy yam, was a staple part of the diet of Dharug families across the Cumberland Plain. Like so much of the regional ecology, it suffered hugely with the appropriation of land and resources by the British military occupation of the region in the late-18th Century. Sheep and cattle soon rooted out and trampled the long-cultivated yam fields of Dharug Nura. Nowhere was this more apparent than across Parramatta.
In April 2021, DSMG and our partners collaborated in returning midyini to this important cultural landscape in Parramatta Park.
With funding from the Commonwealth’s communities Environment Program and in collaboration with Muru Mittigar and the Parramatta Park Trust, DSMG hosted a planting day to return nearly 400 midyini plants (daisy yam – Micoseris lanceolata) and a smaller number of vanilla lilies (Arthropodium milleflorum) into three along Domain Creek in Parramatta Park.
The planting day saw a small group of community members and volunteers being briefed on the archaeological significance of the planting area by archaeologist and Parramatta Park’s Principal Program Officer – Heritage, Stephanie Licciardo. She explained the constraints that meant that only Aboriginal community members could dig and approval was conditional on the use of wooden implements only to avoid disturbing lower levels of the soil profile.
A video about the planting day can be found at:
If you are interested in volunteering for future planting days in Parramatta Park or the BNI site, please let us know via our contact page.