Saw-Sedge (Gahnia) – Traditional Aboriginal usage
Saw-Sedge may refer to a variety of plants which belong to the genus Gahnia, in the family Cyperaceae, of which two forms – Gahniasieberiana (Red fruited saw-sedge) and Gahniaaspera (Rough saw-sedge) were commonly utilised by Koori people in South Eastern Australia as a source of food and raw materials used in the production of baskets, mats and string.
The seeds of Gahniasieberiana (Red fruited saw-sedge) are known to have provided an important food source. The plant’s small red seeds were finely ground to produce a form of flour which was traditionally used in the production of a type of bread.
A common Tasmanian variety called Gahniagrandis (Cutting-grass) was utilised by Palawa people, with the base of young leaf shoots being eaten raw.