West Australian native root vegetable, used both as a food source and medicinally to treat dysentery, mouth sores and toothache. Has also been used to make a red dye. It has a spiciness similar to radish or chilli, and when cut oozes a reddish sap. When eaten raw the roots are very spicy and can numb the lips. Best roasted or baked, the roots can also be pounded into a powder and used as a spice. Purple-black flowers on tips of long spikes are produced during October and January.
Harvest the root during August and September by digging it up and separating it from the leaves above the ground. Drought tolerant, hardy and tolerant to poor sandy soils. Slow growing and dormant during the summer it may take a couple of years to produce a decent bulb. Best in full sun, although will tolerate some shade.
Grows between 0.3 – 2 m with clumping tough and leathery dark green leaves, which darken to black with age.