APPLE BERRY Billardiera scandens Also known as 'Apple dumpling' or ‘Garawang’ (Wurundjeri). A small native climber which is very hardy. Clusters of bell-shaped pink and white flowers in Spring. Nectar attracts honey eaters. A traditional bush tucker plant.
Grows in a wide range of soil, not fussy about pH. Tolerates light frost. Long life (20 – 80 years). A very useful, attractive plant and makes a great garden and landscape plant.
The fruits are edible through summer and ripen from purple to yellow. The flavour has been likened to kiwi fruit or stewed apple. It is eaten raw when fully ripened, or roasted if still green.
Special uses: * Edible * Decorative fruit * Honey producing plant * Pollution tolerant * Fast growing * Playground friendly * Attracts bees, nectar eating birds, butterflies and other insects.
WOMBAT BERRY Eustrephus latifolius Another climber with bamboo-like leaves, orange berries, containing black seeds through winter. White to pink small flowers – fringed petals, in Spring. Adaptable, fast-growing twiner, or ground cover. Birds like the berries and the tuberous roots are eaten by humans or other creatures like Wombats, hence the name.
Will grow in sun but best in shade. Tolerates light frost and most soil types. Will also grow in containers quite well and especially good in hanging baskets. Attracts seed-eating birds and mammals.
The tuberous roots can be eaten either raw or cooked and have an earthy taste. The fruit, although edible, aren’t very palatable. The tubers are reported to have a sweet earthy flavour when eaten raw. The sweetness is mild and not unpleasant to eat.
Propagate by seed.
Author: Di Powell