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Microcachrys tetragona is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 0.20 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Australia - Tasmania.
Mountains in the alpine and sub-alpine zones[
]. Habitat ranges from exposed rocky ridges to wet moorlands; usually grows above 1000 metres[
Requires a moist soil and very high humidity with plenty of rain[
]. Succeeds on a north facing slope[
This species is fairly hardy in Britain, succeeding outdoors in all but the coldest parts of the country[
A slow growing plant[
Plants are usually dioecious but monoecious forms are sometimes found. Female plants can set fruit in the absence of a male but male plants must also be grown if fertile seed is required[
Fruit - raw[
]. It is rather small, about the size of a small blackcurrant, and does not have much flavour[
]. The female cones are ovoid, 6 - 8 mm long, comprising 20 or more fertile scales which become fleshy and scarlet at maturity[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed can be very slow to germinate, stored seed often requiring 12 months stratification[
]. When 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. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Bird-sown seedlings, if they can be obtained, are the best way of propagating this plant[