Apple berry

Billardiera scandens

''Billardiera scandens'', commonly known as apple berry or apple dumpling, is a small shrub or twining plant of the Pittosporaceae family which occurs in forests in the coastal and tableland areas of all states and territories in Australia, apart from the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
Apple berry fruit - Billardiera scandens  Apple berry,Australia,Billardiera scandens,Geotagged,Winter

Appearance

It has a silky touch and appearance that becomes more brittle as the dense growth matures. The inflorescence consists of single or paired yellow flowers, pink-tinged yellow sepals and bright yellow petals and is attached to a hairy drooping peduncle. The summer flush produces fruit of oblong berries up to 30 mm long, initially green in colour and covered in fine hair - somewhat akin to a tiny kiwifruit in appearance.
Apple berry ( Billardiera scandens )  Apple berry,Billardiera scandens

Naming

''Billardiera scandens'' was first formally described in 1793 by James Edward Smith, and the description was published in his book ''A Specimen of the Botany of New Holland''. In 1819 the genus was renamed ''Labillardiera'' by Josef August Schultes, but this was later declared illegal under the laws of botanical nomenclature. A cladistic analysis of the genus in 2004 resulted in an expanded circumscription of this species, encompassing material that was previously placed in ''B. angustifolia'', ''B. brachyantha'', ''B. daphnoides'', ''B. latifolia'' and ''B. canariensis''. All of these names are now considered taxonomic synonyms of ''B. scandens''.

There are two varieties:
⤷  ''Billardiera scandens'' var. ''scandens'' - Leaves linear to ovate with lower surface glabrous pubescent;
⤷  ''Billardiera scandens'' var. ''sericata'' - Leaves elliptic to narrow-elliptic with lower surface silky-villous.
Apple Berry - Billafdiera scandens  Apple berry,Australia,Billardiera scandens,Geotagged,Summer

Uses

The flowers and fruit of apple berry are attractive to both birds and people. The fruits, which only ripen after dropping to the ground, are valued as an Australian bush food and are variously described as tasting like stewed apples or kiwifruit. They were eaten by Australian Aboriginals either in their ripened state or by roasting the unripened fruit. Botanist Joseph Maiden noted in 1898 that children of European settlers in the Port Jackson area, where it is commonly found, had been eating the berries since the foundation of the settlement in 1788. He also noted in 1889 that it was commonly referred to as "Apple Berry" and that "The berries are acid and pleasant when fully ripe. From their shape children call them "dumplings." When unripe, a small quantity of the juice produces very disagreeable and persistent heartburn."

References:

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Taxonomy
KingdomPlantae
DivisionAngiosperms
ClassEudicots
OrderApiales
FamilyPittosporaceae
GenusBillardiera
SpeciesB. scandens
Photographed in
Australia