Herb: Cranberry Heath


Latin name: Astroloma humifusum


Family: Epacridaceae



Edible parts of Cranberry Heath:

Fruit - raw. A sweet viscid pulp. The taste is somewhat like apples. The fruit is a drupe about 7 - 11mm wide.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Evergreen
Shrub

Height:
10 cm
(4 inches)

Flovering:
May to
June

Habitat of the herb:

Sandy loams in the mountain zone. In heathland and open forests. Also found on cleared land in a range of soils including sandstone, shale and heavy clay.

Propagation of Cranberry Heath:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed has a hard coat and some form of scarification is necessary or the seed can take up to 5 years to germinate. Two or three periods each of 4 - 6 weeks cold stratification can reduce the time taken to germinate. As soon as they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. When large enough, plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of firm young tip growths. It is very difficult to obtain suitable wood and the cuttings are slow to root.

Cultivation of the herb:

Sandy loams in the mountain zone. In heathland and open forests. Also found on cleared land in a range of soils including sandstone, shale and heavy clay.

Medicinal use of Cranberry Heath:

None known

Known hazards of Astroloma humifusum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.