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5 Bush Tucker Plants to Grow in Your Backyard

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by Jennifer Muirhead (subscribe)
I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma. ~ Eartha Kitt www.femlitica.com jennifermuirhead.wordpress.com/
Published February 17th 2018
Bush foods you can grow at home
Have you ever wanted to try some bush tucker? These 5 plants are food producing Australian natives that you can grow in your own backyard.

1. Native Raspberry


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Rose Leaved Raspberry. Photo by John Moss, via Wikipedia, Public Domain.


There are several species of native raspberry. Rose Leaved Raspberry (Rubus rosifolius) is a small native groundcover that produces sweet fruits in spring and late summer. They can be eaten fresh or made into cordial or raspberry cider. They grow up 1 to a meter tall and fruit within the first year. The bushes are very thorny and can provide shelter to small native birds.

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Atherton Raspberry. Photo by John Moss, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain.


The Atherton Raspberry (Rubus probus) is native to Far North Queensland and can be grown in very warm, humid conditions which may not suit European raspberries. It grows in upright canes, 2-3 meters tall. It takes a bit of maintenance because the suckers will spread through your garden if not cut back or mowed over. The fruit has a milder flavour than that of European raspberries. It can be eaten fresh or made into jams.

2. Finger Lime (Microcitrus australasica)


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A red finger lime. Wikimedia commons, public domain.


Finger Limes are a native citrus with fruit shaped like a cucumber, filled with little round vesicles full of juice. They can be used in salads, marmalades, chutneys or drinks (the little round brightly coloured pieces look striking moving in a gin and tonic or anything with bubbles). They may be bright green, pink or red and taste similar to limes. They are also a host plant for Orchard Swallowtail, Fuscous Swallowtail and Dainty Swallowtail butterflies and attract both native and European bees.

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A young Finger Lime seedling.


The leaves and stems are very prickly, making them good shelter for small birds.

Midgen Berry (Austromyrtus dulcis)


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Midgen Berry fruit. Photo by Zaareo, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0.


The Midgen or Midyim berry is a small shrub native to Eastern Australia that produces a fluffy white flower in spring followed by small white berries which can be eaten or made into jam. They are hardy and drought resistant.

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Small Midgen berry seedling (less than one year old). Own photo.


4. Native Tamarind.


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Small Leaved Tamarind fruit. Photo from the Office of Environmental Heriatge Threatened Species web site, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australian licence.


There are two types of Native Tamarind, and both are very different from the Tamarind (Tamarindus indica) often used in Indian cooking. The Small Leaf Tamarind (Diploglottis campbelli) is an eye-catching ornamental tree that can grow 7-8 meters tall. It has fruit with bright red-coated seeds which can be eaten raw or used in sauces or chutneys. It is native to NSW and is an endangered species with only about 30 trees left in the wild.

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Large Leaf Tamarind seedling, own photo.


The Large Leaf Tamarind (Diploglottis australis) is a rainforest tree that can grow up to 10 meters tall. It has large, velvety leaves and bright yellow fruit that is sour tasting but can be used in jams.

5. Greg's Wampee (Clausena smyrelliana).


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Greg's Wampee seedling. Own photo.


Greg's Wampee is a shrub growing to approximately 6 meters tall which produces attractive white flowers followed by small edible berries that have a citrus flavour. It is native to Eastern Australia but there are very few left in the wild.

Seedlings and seeds for these bush tucker plants can be purchased in nurseries or online.
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Why? To grow your own delicious bush tucker
Your Comment
A great pity that backyards and gardens are being demolished to build apartment towers with no gardens, no trees, no playgrounds.
by fluffynut (score: 2|867) 270 days ago
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