Burchardia congestaCommon name: Milkmaids

Meaning of name: Burchardia honours Johann Heinrich Burckhard (1676 – 1738), a German botanist. Congesta is from the Latin word congestus, meaning brought or heaped together.

Aboriginal name: Kara.

Aboriginal use: The tubers of Burchardia congesta were eaten raw or roasted on coals.

Distribution: Occurs from Northampton to Cape Naturaliste.

Description: The flower stems are up to 60 centimetres tall above slender leaves. The white flowers, produced from August to October, have yellow anthers.

Notes: The colour of the anthers is the easiest way to separate Burchardia congesta and Burchardia multiflora. Burchardia multiflora has purple anthers.

References: Western Australian Plant Names and their Meanings, a Glossary. FA Sharr. 1996.

Flora of the Perth Region. NG Marchant, JR Wheeler, BL Rye, EM Bennett, NS Lander, TD Macfarlane. 1987.

Bush Tucker Plants of the South-West. B Daw, T Walley, G Keighery. 1997.