Habitat: Coastal heathland and dunes
Description and uses:
Coast Bearded Heath (Leucopogon parviflorus) is one of my favourite bushfoods. It is also called ‘Native Currant’. The ‘Bearded’ part of the name comes from the flowers, which look quite hairy close up. Plants can flower year round but most of the fruit comes from those in November.
The bush grows to to between 1.5 and 5 metres high (never seen one that tall though) and can be distinguished, when not flowering, by leaves that have a curved tip. and are lighter underneath than on top.
During their long summer fruiting period, after August, Coast Bearded Heath bushes produce prodigious amounts of small, white, berries that have a taste reminiscent of apples. Picking these little berries can be time consuming, but we’ll worth the effort. It’s quite an addictive in fact! A slight downside to the fruit is a hard stone. Don’t bite too hard!