Stenanthera pinifolia R.Br.
Styphelia pinifolia Spreng.
Common Name: Pine Heath
Astroloma pinifolium is an erect to spreading, evergreen shrub growing 50 - 100cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. Although difficult to cultivated, the plant is sometimes grown as an ornamental[
Australia - Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania.
In heathland and open dry sclerophyll forests on sandy soils[
]. Dry heath or sclerophyll forest on ridges and slopes on sandy soils over sandstone[
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Astroloma pinifolium is found in the warm temperate zone of southeast Australia, where it can be found at elevations up to 1,000 metres. It grows in areas with a mean annual rainfall in the range 900 - 1,600mm and experiences frosts. It can be grown in cooler climates, but will need protection from winter cold, especially if it is also wet[
Succeeds in most well-drained soils[
]. Often found wild on nutrient-poor, acid soils[
]. Established plants are moderately drought tolerant[
The roots are prone to fungal infection, so the plant must be grown in a well-drained soil[
The plants have a very fine root system which makes transplanting difficult[
Fruit - raw. Sweet and succulent when fully ripe[
]. The fruit is about 5mm in diameter[
]. The ovoid to globose fruit is 10 - 15mm long[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed has a hard coat and some form of scarification is necessary or the seed can take up to 5 years to germinate. Two or three periods each of 4 - 6 weeks cold stratification can reduce the time taken to germinate[
]. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. When large enough, plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer.
Cuttings of firm young tip growths[
]. It is very difficult to obtain suitable wood[
] and the cuttings are slow to root[