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Midyim berry — an Australian bush food ready to eat

Midyim berry — an Australian bush food ready to eat

Photo and story by Russ Grayson

Common name: Midyim berry
Botanic name: Austromyrtus dulcis

Growth form: Low perennial shrub to around 80cm in width and around 60cm in height with pointed leaves around one to three centimetres in length. New leaf growth can be reddish-pink in colour. Fruit to around a centimeter in diameter. Tolerant of open shade and a range of soil types. Small white flowers in Spring. Fruit ripens January to March.

Centre of diversity: Australia. A species of the subtropical heathland with an  ecological range from coastal northern New South Wales to south east Queensland.

Useful part:  Fruit. Soft-skinned mauve to white fruit speckled with dark spots when ripe. The small seeds are edible. The  soft fruit does not keep well.

Uses:

  • forage food for gardeners
  • edible landscaping
  • can be planted as a low hedge
  • a specimen planting in educational bushfood gardens. 

Reproduction: From seed. 

Notes: Fruit has a mild sweetness and is slightly aromatic in flavour. A ‘bushfood’, midyim was eaten by Australian Aborigines. 

The midyim berry in the photo is growing in partial shade in sandy soil in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.

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