Highly variable. May be a shrub to around 2 metres in height or a tree to 12 m. Leaves are typically oblong shaped and may have serrated margins (though this is mostly found in juvenile plants). The upper surface is dark green, while the lower surface is white and hairy. The cylindrical, pale yellow inflorescences may reach 10 centimetres in length. Seed is contained in ‘follicles’ which form along this inflorescence. These typically open within 12 months and discharge winged seeds.
Seed germinates without pre-treatment, although this may take several weeks. Also cuttings.
Flowers are often present year-round but may be more common in autumn and winter.
Locally extinct. Old herbarium records from Narrandera and Carabost exist, but the original extent of the Wagga Wagga form of B. marginata is unclear.
The branches of berre were carved by some groups to make boomerangs.
There are records available to show that the dried flowerheads were used as tinder, as well as used to carry fire between sites.
New flowerheads were used by some western Wiradjuri groups in the application of ceremonial makeup and for painting.
The berre was used in cooking to make a sweet nectar tea and to sweeten other foods. Flowers needed to be soaked in water to remove the nectar and then the tea drunk. Flowerheads should be removed before drinking.
There is some anecdotal evidence that sweetened water was added to other seed based meals to sweeten breads.
* The critical factor in using plants for food is to avoid accidental poisoning. Eat only those plants you can positively identify and you know are safe to eat. All food details on this website are not based on toxicology reports or scientific knowledge, we make no claim to advice on bush survival in these information bites, only to represent the common perception.
A tea made from the flowers was considered to provide an energy boost.