Herb: Appleberry


Latin name: Billardiera longiflora


Family: Pittosporaceae



Edible parts of Appleberry:

Fruit - raw. Aromatic, mealy and pleasant. Remove the seeds before eating the fruit. The fruit does not have a pulp and is dry and boring. The deep blue fruit is up to 25mm long.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Evergreen
Climber

Height:
2.4 m
(7 3/4 foot)

Flovering:
July to
September


Scent:
Scented
Climber

Habitat of the herb:

Damp forests and along the sides of streams.

Propagation of Appleberry:

Seed - best sown in a warm greenhouse as soon as it is ripe. Only just cover the seed. Sow stored seed in early spring in a warm greenhouse. The germination of fresh seed is usually prolific, but stored seed can take a year to germinate. When 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. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 10 - 12cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Fair percentage. Layering.

Cultivation of the herb:

Damp forests and along the sides of streams.

Medicinal use of Appleberry:

None known

Known hazards of Billardiera longiflora:

The leaves contain saponins. Although poisonous, saponins are poorly absorbed by the human body and so most pass through without harm. Saponins are quite bitter and can be found in many common foods such as some beans. They can be removed by carefully leaching in running water. Thorough cooking, and perhaps changing the cooking water once, will also normally remove most of them. However, it is not advisable to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.