Ever since Aborigines came to the shores of Australia they have harvested its flora. Aborigines soon learned which plants were edible and how each fruit, nut, root, stem or leaf had to be prepared and treated for safe consumption. Many plants were also used as bush medicine, and research into the active ingredients of these plants have yielded amazing results.
Red Planet Plants stock a large range of bush tucker plants, some of which are briefly described below. The availability of these plants may sometimes be seasonal.
- Australian or W.A. Bluebell - Sollya heterophylla
A shrub up to 1.5 m high with stems that twine around themselves and other plants. The leathery leaves are up
to 5 cm long. The flowers possess blue petals and the edible fruit that is produced can be up to 2.5 cm
long with many seeds embedded in the pulp. Flowers October to February.
- Brown pine Podocarpus elatus
Evergreen, medium tee, usually less than 10 m in cultivation. Leaves oblong, dark green to 10 cm.
Edible fruit purplish-black to 25 mm diameter. Tolerant of mild frosts but needs summer watering.
Fruit can be eaten raw or made into jam.
- Brush or scrub Cherry Syzygium australe
Medium tree which produces pink to red fruit about 2 cm long. The round seed is easily removed and the
tart pulp makes an excellent jam.
- Burdekin plum - Pleiogynium timorense
Tree to 4 - 5 m. Large purple-black fruit, with thin, apricot-flavoured flesh around a large stone.
Can be used in sauces, to make wine and whole plum can be pickled in vinegar. Separate male and female flowers.
Fruit normally kept a few days to soften them and make palatable..
- Emu plum or Kerosene bush - Podocarpus drouynianus
A large bushy shrub from the south-west of W.A. to two and a half metres, prefers shade and the large attractive
foliage is used for cut flower arrangements. The fruit is purple/dark blue in colour and is up to 4 cm length.
One end contains the seed part (green) which is discarded and the fleshy fruit (about the size of a grape)
is eaten. What is eaten is actually the fleshy stalk of the true fruit. Male and female plants.
- Flax Lily - Dianella revoluta variegata
This variety possesses evergreen, blue-green leaves with striking cream edges to 0.5 m.
Blue flowers and purple berry fruit are arranged on a tall (1 m) spike. Tolerant of most soils and climate
conditions. The fruit can be eaten raw, the roots can be pounded, roasted and then eaten while the leaves are
used to make string and cord. Dianella is also a waterwise native.
- Lemon-scented myrtle Backhousia citriodora
Bushy small to medium tree with dark green lemon-scented leaves. Leaves are used fresh or dried and ground to
make tea, or are added to cakes, sauces and meat dishes. Leaves contain the lemon-lime oil Citral .
- Macadamia Macadamia integrifolia and M. tetraphylla
Macadamia is Australia s only nut tree. The nuts are eaten raw or after cooking. These seeds have high energy
and fat content. Macadamia prefer a warm subtropical climate and a well drained soil. These trees are slow
- Maroon or Currant Bush Scaevola spinescens
Drought and frost resistant, prefers dry and well-drained soils. Height 1 m and 1 m spread. White flowers,
with purple streaks appearing in autumn and spring. Aborigines burned this plant and inhaled the smoke as a
treatment for colds. Edible berries, and has other medical properties.
- Midyim Berry - Austromyrtus dulcis
Small shrub that grows to half a metre in height.
New leaves have a pink tinge, and the flowers are white. The small, pea-sized berries are edible and are white
with purple spots.
- Muntries or Muntari - Kunzea pomifera
Low-lying shrub from the eastern states, useful ground cover with white flowers and small edible fruit (apple-like).
It prefers a well-drained soil and is found spreading over sand or rocks. The fruit is found on the underside of
- Quandong or Native peach - Santalum acuminatum
A small parasitic tree to four metres. The fruit are shiny red when ripe and about the size of a thumbnail.
The flesh has a yellow colour. The large pitted nut occupies much of the fruit and has to be cracked to extract
the kernel which is eaten raw. Oil from the seeds is used for cosmetic purposes. The kernel is high in energy,
protein and fat while the fleshy fruit is high in water and carbohydrates. Fruit used to make jam.
- Raspberry jam wattle - Acacia acuminata
A small tree up to 6 m. Seeds are collected and ground into flour, mixed with water and cooked as small cake in
the coals of a fire. Gum from wattles is also edible and often mixed with water to make a weak tea.
This is one of the host plants for quandong and sandalwood. A Waterwise Native plant.
- Riberry - Syzygium luemanni
Small pink berries, to 2 cm diameter, with a cinnamon and clove taste. Medium tree 6-10 m. prefers sunny position.
Fruit can be eaten raw or used in jams, sauces, to flavour ice-cream and to make soft drinks.
- Sandalwood or Bush plum - Santalum lanceolatum and S. spicatum
A small tree up to 6 metres high. The leaves are fleshy, bluish in colour and oval in shape.
The yellow-white flowers grow in clusters and the fruit produced vary from red to purple or black when mature.
The sweet fruit can be eaten raw. The bark is used as a bush medicine. Both Santalum lanceolatum and S. spicatum
are known as Sandalwood. The leaves and wood can be burnt to repel mosquitoes.
- Warrigal greens or New Zealand Spinach - Tetragonia tetragonioides
While young leaves can be eaten raw in salads, it is best to boil the leaves and then discard the water, as the
leaves contain oxalic acid. Warrigal greens is very hardy and is tolerant of drought, infertile soil and salinity.
- Weeping pittosporum or Native Apricot - Pittosporum phillyreoides
A small tree from the central desert which grows to 6 metres. The gum in branches is eaten and it is rich in
carbohydrates. The fruits are orange and about 2 cm, oval in shape. The seed can be ground to make an oily paste
which is used as bush medicine and rubbed on sore areas of the body. The red seeds are poisonous.
Print Friendly Version
Back to the  Products or Main page.