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Austromyrtus dulcis (MYRTACEAE) - Midgen, Midjim, Midyim

Image: Foliage and flowers

Midyim
PHOTO: Robert Whyte

If there were ever a plant to include in the Enoggera Species list which isn't reliably known to be here, this is one. A popular bush tucker plant, Midyim Berry grows well in exposed coastal areas, especially the Bay Islands. It can be seen growing wild on Cylinder Headland, North Stradbroke Island. Can be found on the margins of littoral rainforest,

Not recorded in Brisbane Forest Park, but may have occurred further down the catchment which in pre-settlement times extended to the sea. The catchment is now divided between fresh and salt at Newmarket.

Leaves are glossy dark green, lanceolate arranged in opposite rows. The undersurfaces of the leaves are hairy, appearing paler. New shoots are silky hairy, coppery coloured. The leaves have dense translucent oil glands.

The berries are usually quite sweet, sometimes a little aromatic. It is a Myrtcaeae which have aromatic oils.

Flowers are profuse in Spring and Summer, and the attractive foliage is often fringed with red new growth.

Image: Fruit


PHOTO: Matt Tomkins

Berries to 8mm are globular, white speckled with dark spots. The fruit carry 3-9 pale brown seeds.

Austromyrtus means southern myrtle, referring to Myrtacea In the Southern Hemisphere. Dulcis comes from the Latin meaning sweet.

Propagation from seed can be slow, but usually reliable. Fresh cleaned seed takes 4-5 weeks. Although the outer coat of the seed is hard no mechanical scarification is necessary.

Can be a useful rockery or tub plant as when young tends to drape almost acting like a ground cover. When mature can reach 1.5 high and wide. Will tolerate the cold.

Because of the fruit, a bird attracting plant. Small birds are likely to be free to forage safely in its dense, intertwining form.