A Bush ‘Apricot’

Ok, so sometimes referred to as a bush apricot, due to its sweet orange flesh, this little beauty of a fruit is actually in Annonaceae- the family of custard apples, not apricots(which is Rosaceae). The botanical name of the fruit is  Meiogyne cylindrocarpa.

This native rainforest plant is usually found in monsoon rainforest and riverine margins in the Top End and Western Australian tropics. The plant itself is a pretty specimen, enjoying part shade, part sun and loves water all year around, reflected by its natural habitat as a lower story rainforest plant and growing to just over 2 meters.

meiyogyneThis plant makes a great ornamental specimen, having quite a symmetrical branch formation with glossy opposite small elliptical leaves and the intriguing looking fruit forms sporadically throughout the year. The fruit is one of the tastiest bush tucker fruits I have tasted with a long cylindrical orange to red seed pod containing a sweet fleshy inner and several small round seeds.

The skin of the seed pod and the fleshy inner can be eaten and the taste is said to be similar to an apricot. This can be eaten off the tree, or made into salad dressings or relish, as shown below and enjoyed with local banana cake, made by Grusha.

meiogyne cakesMeiyogyne relish The fruit for certain would sustain bats, birds and small mammals and would probably also have an indigenous history, but I cannot find an language names for the fruit.Jas and meiyogyne

It can be grown from the disc-like light brown seeds and is fairly easy to propagate, initially moderately slow growing- making a great pot plant too.

Below Jasmin Daly, from Daly River tries the fruit for the first time. She is a student on the Indigineous Learning and Education Program at Greening Australia and is learning how to propagate many different native plants.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Catherine says:

    This “bush apricot” looks intriguing. I’m sorry if will not grow in the 44’N climate of Oregon’s Pacific North West, USA.
    Thanks for the information.

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