Sweet Appleberry (Billardiera cymosa)

Sweet Appleberry
Sweet Appleberry

Common names: Sweet Appleberry

Taxonomic names: Billardiera cymosa

Family: Pittosporaceae

Habitat: Mallee

Form: Woody climbing vine

Flowering Time: Summer

Ngarrindjeri name:  Kunduwi

Description and uses: 

This is my all time favourite bush food! Sweet Appleberry (Billardiera cymosa) is a tough, wiry climber that grows well in many situations.

It’s a delight to find Sweet Appleberry in the wild, better too if you hold the brown fruit up to the light and see that its gone almost transparent.  This is the best time to eat the fruit and enjoy its apple-like, with a touch of aniseed, taste . The fruits can also be eaten dried, like Sultanas, straight off of the vine or from the ground nearby.  Green fruits are very astringent and horrible to taste.

Abundant fruit goes from green to transparent brown as they ripen.
Abundant fruit goes from green to transparent brown as they ripen.

The pretty purple or white flowers are around from July to November. It’s interesting that there are plants with white flowers or plants with purple flowers, often growing in close proximity to each other. The fruits are elongated and 1 – 1.5 cm long and turn purple or brown as they ripen. They do have seeds inside that are quite bitter, so just eat the flesh.

Sweet Appleberry fruit tastes of Apples, of course!
Ripe fruit is just delicious!