Sweet apple berry is a small climbing plant native to Australia. It has oval pointed leaves and produces tubular blooms that range from light pink, to bluish-white. Apple berry blooms mature into tasty apple berries.
Aborigines and early European settlers ate it , and in recent years it has been making a comeback as a popular bush food. Eaten off the bush , it has a licorice or anise like flavor, however it ripens fully off the bush and develops a stewed apple flavor when over ripe.
It will grow well in North America in USDA Zones 8 and 9 but should be sheltered from winter winds and mulched well to protect root systems. It can also be grown indoors, but like most vining plants – this is not always feasible.
It is a vining plant which in the wild requires a host to climb – domesticated it will grow well on a trellis. It will also grow as a matted ground cover , but fruit production will be diminished.
Fresh seeds will germinate rather quickly generally within a few weeks, however, if allowed to dry out, the seeds have been known to resist germination for up to a year, or simply not germinate at all.
Acidic soil with a pH of 5.6-6.5 is optimal. Light applications of slow release fertilizer are advantageous.
Avoid full sunlight, partial sunlight is best, in its native habitat this plant grows in forests and benefits from the partial shade provided by its host trees. Irrigate well, drip irrigation is best , especially during drier periods.
Prune apple berry in the early spring prior to flowering. Remove any dead or damaged branches and lightly thin out any overgrown portions.