Rare & Unusual Edibles

Here is a list of plants for those of you who like to do things a little differently. The edible plants listed below are either rare (they can sometimes be difficult for us to source) or uncommon (they are not commonly grown in Melbourne gardens). Due to the nature of these plants some of them may not be in stock at all times.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Aniseed Myrtle – Aniseed Myrtle is a rare subtropical rainforest tree from northeastern NSW. It makes an excellent tub specimen that looks great if tip pruned regularly. It has white, scented flowers in spring.

Photo from Wiki Commons
Bush Tomato – The fruits of these plants were eaten by Indigenous Australians, but only when ripe. This is an important point, as the fruits are poisonous when green.

Photo from Wiki Commons
Carob – Carob trees feature edible pods, the seeds are not consumed. They grow to become quite large trees when mature, as large as 10m x 10m.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Cinnamon Myrtle – Cinnamon myrtle is a subtropical tree from Eastern Australia. In the wild it can grow to 30m, but in cultivation it could grow to 7m. Cinnamon myrtle leaves produce a cinnamon–like aroma when crushed.

Photo © Sheeba Drummer https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hylocereus_costaricensis.jpg
Dragon Fruit (Pitaya) – These are a member of the cactus family and, like so many cacti, have spectacular flowers. In this case the flowers are followed by equally spectacular fruits.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Finger Lime – Finger limes are native to the rainforests of SE Queensland and northern NSW. A naturally thorny 6m tall understory tree producing the highly desirable 6-12cm long finger shaped fruit; they are highly adaptable and commercially are grown in poor soils.

Photo from Wiki Commons
Illawarra Plum – An ancient tree originating 245 million years ago, Podocarpus elatus has been around since the dinosaur age and is from the same family as pine trees. It occurs naturally in subtropical rainforests of NSW and QLD, and as far south as the Victorian border.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Lemon Myrtle – A favourite with chefs these days, Lemon Myrtle has moved past the novelty stage and is now widely used due to its outstanding lemony characteristics. The leaves have an exceptionally powerful lemon taste and aroma – “more lemon than the lemon”.

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden
Old Man Salt Bush – The attractive silvery grey leaves are variable in shape and size, and when dried and crumbled are sought after as a salty flavouring for many foods.

Water Chestnut
Water Chestnut – An annual sedge growing in water margins and bogs with erect, narrow, tubular leaves half a metre to a metre tall. The sweet corms have a crisp white flesh and a nutty flavour and are highly valued as a nutritious food.