What do we have here? Why it’s a delectable summer sensation that is sure to bring festive vibes to the table this holiday season! Midyim berries are the fruit of Austromyrtus dulcis, a native nicety that likes to hang out near the coast from northern NSW to south-east QLD in lush rainforest gullies and heath. The berries are revered as one of Australia’s tastiest bush tucker foods, with a sweet and tangy flavour that has a delightfully subtle hint of spice. Is anyone else already thinking about fruit salad and vanilla ice-cream on a hot summer afternoon?
In the garden, this plant makes for an attractive edible hedging option. Propagation can be achieved by taking cuttings from an established plant, while new seeds tend to germinate in about 3 to 4 weeks. Being an Aussie battler at heart, the Midyim can tolerate a range of less-than-ideal soil conditions. However, having said that, it is a naturally responsive creature and it deserves to be looked after for its gifts. Therefore, it is advised to provide for it with soil that is well drained, well mulched and well watered. Your taste buds will thank you later.
When it comes to location, an area with either full sun or part shade will do the trick. In the wild, Midyim is known to grow up to 2m tall, however depending on your local climate it may grow wide and bushy or narrow to a height of around 1m. The new leaves are a plush burgundy while early summer brings a style-change to white star-shaped flowers and waxy green leaves. The berries bare a beautiful white and mauve colour scheme that is perfect for cooling vibes when the temperature soars. Harvest time is typically late summer and autumn, after which a bit of a trim is recommended. This will encourage new growth and improve your chances of a bumper crop next season.
Midyim is a darling of the natural world, with not only humans but also native fauna such as birds and bees shimmying over to show their appreciation. Having said that, it knows how to look after itself and is fairly pest resistant. It is however still susceptible to the dreaded myrtle rust, a plight that it certainly never asked for nor deserved. Myrtle rust is a sadly contagious pathogen that has spread through the country and shows itself early on as brown to grey bumps, developing into masses of yellow to orange spots on the leaves and stems. The presence of myrtle rust should be reported to local biosecurity authorities as soon as possible.
The good news is that we can all do something about myrtle rust by looking out for our wonderful flora and speaking up when we see something that looks a bit dodgy. You can do your part by setting up a sentinel site to monitor any potential myrtle rust outbreaks, simply email [email protected] to register a site.
Want to find out about some more tasty Aussie edibles? Check out this list of Ten native Australian foods for your kitchen – your taste buds will love you for it!