The Noongar season of Bunuru is the hottest and driest time of the year and is known as the second summer. Birak is the first summer. Hotter easterly winds in the mornings are cooled by sea breezes in the afternoons.
This was a time of living near to the coast and along rivers and estuaries. Seafood and freshwater foods, including shellfish and plants, made up a significant part of the diet.
Fire was used to force animals into the open to be captured more easily.
The Eucalyptus erythrocorys (red-capped gum or illyarrie) and the Banksia prionotes (acorn banksia) are visual signals that the Noongar season of Bunuru is commencing.
Many other plants flowering at this time of year provided nectar from which the cordial-like drink, mungitch, could be made. These included:
- Corymbia calophylla – the marri, a white-flowering gum tree
- Corymbia ficifolia – red or pink-flowering gum tree
- Eucalyptus gomphocephala – the majestic tuart, our tallest native Kings Park tree
- Banksia attenuata – the yellow-flowering candlestick banksia
- Beaufortia aestiva – flowering over a long period in bright scarlet
When ripe during Bunuru, female zamia plants produce bright orange seeds which provided the Noongar with a very important food source after being appropriately treated. Note both Macrozamia riedlei and Macrozamia fraseri inhabit the Swan coastal plain.
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