Billardiera angustifolia DC.
Billardiera brachyantha F.Muell. ex Klatt
Billardiera canariensis J.C.Wendl.
Billardiera daphnoides Knowles & Westc.
Billardiera grandiflora Putt.
Billardiera latifolia Putt.
Common Name: Common Appleberry
Photograph by: Cas Liber
Billardiera scandens is a much-branched, evergreen shrub usually growing around 50cm tall, though some branches eventually grow longer and adopt a somewhat climbing habit[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental.
Australia - New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria
By mountain streams or scrub country in forests, by coasts and on tablelands[
]. Common in open eucalypt forest and woodland, particularly at higher elevations[
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Billardiera scandens can tolerate occasional, short-lived frosts with temperatures as low as -7°c in Australian gardens[
], though this does not relate directly to moister regions of the temperate zone due to their cooler summers and longer, colder and wetter winters. Mulching the roots in winter can provide extra protection for the plant and even if the top is cut back by the cold it might resprout from the base[
Species in this genus generally prefer a moist, well-drained, humus-rich, lime-free soil in sun or semi-shade with a cool root run[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. Unripe fruits can be roasted, whilst fully ripe fruits are very acceptable raw[
]. A pleasant sub-acid flavour akin to dried apples[
]. A sweet, astringent flavour somewhat like kiwi fruits (Actinidia deliciosa)[
]. The skin is hairy, somewhat like a peach[
]. The fruits are up to 2.5cm long[
Seed - best sown in a warm greenhouse as soon as it is ripe. Only just cover the seed. Sow stored seed in early spring in a warm greenhouse. The germination of fresh seed is usually prolific, but stored seed can take a year to germinate[
]. 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.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10 - 12cm with a heel, mid summer in a frame. Fair percentage.