Leptomeria pungens F.Muell.
Common Name: Leafless Currant Bush
Leptomeria aphylla is an erect shrub with rigid, branched stems; it can grow up to 200cm tall[
]. The leaves are very small, around 1mm long) and quickly deciduous, most photosynthesis being carried out by the green stems[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Australia - Tasmania (King Island), southeastern South Australia, western Victoria.
Occurs in open-forest, woodland, mallee and heath communities, but also in subalpine eucalypt woodland
Leptomeria aphylla is found in the temperate to warm temperate zone of southeastern Australia and is known to experience light frosts in its native habitat[
]. It is likely to require hot summers if it is to thrive, but should be capable of surviving occasional temperatures falling to at least -8°c[
Succeeds in full sun and in light shade[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
Fruit - raw[
].The greenish, fleshy, ovoid drupe ripens maroon, purplish or brownish-red; it is 5 - 8mm long[
Seed - sow in containers in light shade, using a rich, sandy compost and covering the seesa with 10mm of soil. The plants dislike root disturbance so seedlings should be potted up into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle[
]. Plant out in late spring after the last expected frosts and consider giving protection in winter for the first year or two[
Cuttings of the ripened wood will root readily in sand if placed in a frame with bottom heat, but, as a rule, better plants will be obtained from seed[