The Temperate Database is in the process of being updated, with new records being added and old ones being checked and brought up to date where necessary. This record has not yet been checked and updated.
Common Name: Carpet Heath
Pentachondra pumila is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 0.10 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Australia - New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria. New Zealand.
Boggy and peaty ground[
] on heaths, tall alpine herb fields and sod-tussock grassland in the alpine and sub-alpine zones of Australia[
Requires an open position in a moisture-retentive gritty peaty pocket of lime-free soil in a rock garden[
]. Plants are intolerant of drought[
]. Prefers mild winters and relatively cool moist summers[
]. Plants are difficult to grow in cultivation, especially in hot dry areas[
This species only succeeds outdoors in the mildest areas of the country, it is hardy to about -5°c[
In Australia the green fruit hangs on the plant overwinter and ripens in the following early summer[
]. Plants rarely fruit in Britain[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. Sweet and watery[
]. The fruit is a fleshy drupe about 12mm in diameter and comprising about 5 - 10 one-seeded nuts[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. Seed can be very slow to germinate, sometimes taking 5 years. Stored seed and perhaps also freshly sown seed is best scarified[
]. Sow stored seed as soon as it is received. Two or three periods of 4 - 6 weeks cold stratification can also help to reduce the germination time[
]. 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. Consider giving the plants some protection from the cold for at least their first winter outdoors.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, mid summer in a frame[
]. Subsequent growth is slow[
Division of rooted offsets[