Friday, March 27, 2009

Austromyrtus dulcis. Midyim Berry

Austromyrtus dulcis 
 Midyim Berry
  growing as a low hedge in Hunter Region Botanic Gardens ,New South WalesMottled purple and white berries of Austromyrtus dulcis

Of all the native edible plants, the fruit of the Midyim Berry is the most pleasing to eat straight off the bush by the handful. It is sweet and just mildly aromatic with the small seeds adding a nice crunch. It made a brief appearance on the supermarket shelves as a 'bush food' flavour of jelly crystals about ten years ago and then disappeared without a trace. It impressed the 19th century Quaker missionary James Backhouse, who came across the bush growing in coastal sand-dunes in Queensland and wrote in his journal 'These are the most agreeable native fruit I have tasted in Australia; they are produced so abundantly, as to afford an important article of food to the aborigines.' Austromyrtus is easy to grow in any garden and quite ornamental .New leaf growth is silky pink and the small star shaped flowers are quite appealing. It grows to about a metre and can be used as a ground cover or kept trimmed to a low hedge.
2017 update: still a favourite though I no longer propagate for sale.

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