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Lollies of the Bush

Austromyrtus dulcis

One of the best bush tucker plants, commonly called Midyim, Midgem, or Midgin berry or Sand berry. The berries are considered bush lollies by Arakwal Elders.

Compact-growing small heath land native plant suited to well-drained soil and coastal planting. Flowers late spring through summer with small star-shaped blossoms followed by sweet, gingery edible fruit late summer through to autumn. Some people say they taste like a blueberry with a hint of spice. They like autumn water and this years' crop certainly confirms that, the bushes are prolific with berries.

Uses: Edible berries, ideal shrub for low edible hedging and borders in coastal gardens and rockeries. Attracts Native wildlife like bees, seed eating birds, butterflies and mammals.

Planting Notes: Plant in full sun to partly shaded position in free-draining soil. Occurs naturally on sandy soil but pretty adaptable wherever you plant it. Mulch and water regularly until established - about 3 months - and in the autumn when the berries are ripening. Tolerates dry conditions, humidity and light frost once established. Can also grow in containers.

Care: Prune after fruit has finished to encourage a dense growth habit and a bumper crop of berries next season.

Growing size: 0.5m - 1m high x 1m wide

Distribution: From NSW to Fraser Island QLD. It is a close relative of the Lilly Pilly.

Propagation: From seed or cuttings. Find a member who grows this most versatile plant to glean seeds or cuttings. Available from native plant nurseries.

Nutritional Value: High in iron and antioxidants. It's anti-microbial and anti-bacterial.

Uses in the kitchen: Tasty in fruit salad, savoury salad or ice cream and yoghurt or in desserts or jams.

Author: Di Powell

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We are gardeners, farmers, and first time producers of our own backyard fodder, who meet monthly to learn about living and growing sustainably in the Hunter Valley and surrounds.

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