by Paul Alessi
more issues of the Windellama news before the summer
bush tucker is about, here are some of my favourites.
strictus (Pale Fruit Ballart) (Wild Cherry)
This species of Exocarpos is a bright green shrub mostly found
near streams in undisturbed bushland. The small fruits are ripe when they are pink
and succulent, they are a bit tarty when unripe, but very nice when they are ready.
The plant does not have any leaves, is broom like in appearance
and is hard to spot in the bush unless you are familiar with it.
The unusual thing about Wild Cherries is that the seeds are on the outside of
the fruit hence the botanical name exo and carpos.
Astroloma humifusum (Ground Berry)
A common groundcover in semi open woodland in most parts of Windellama,
the berries are hidden underneath the almost prickly foliage and you have to
lift up some of the plant to find them. Kids love to go looking for them as it is a bit
like a treasure hunt, the berry is well worth the find and best in December.
Astroloma flowers around winter time with bright red tube
like flowers held tight in the leaves and close to the ground..
Persoonia linearis ( Geebung)
My personal favourite, Geebungs are represented in our area by 3 species,
but P.linearis is the best I've tasted, the fruit is ripe from about 12th December onwards.
They grow as a small tree with dark, papery bark and very narrow flat leaves, the branches
weep downwards quite attractively especially when loaded with berries.
The flowers are horn shaped and yellow and the fruits start out green and develop dark
or red stripes on maturity and look just like a marble sized apple.
They are tarty when unripe but fall off the tree easily when they are ready so a
quick shake of the tree is all that is needed to find the ripe ones.
There is a large seed inside and the flesh is a bit stringy
but it is a taste all it's own and one which most people find very pleasant. When I
find a good tree I always put a few in my pocket to nibble through the day.
This species of Geebung is very common in our Stringybark forests and hilltop areas.
Here Skip !
Somewhere in Windellama is a Kangaroo that stole our skipping rope, the skipping rope
was hanging off our trampoline last week and the roo came up underneath and hopped away
with it over his shoulders. A bit like the plot of the movie Kangaroo Jack perhaps
but truth can be stranger than fiction, we haved named him Skippy of course.
The skipping rope is yet to be found.
Paul Alessi 2005
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