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There is something wonderful about the idea of an edible garden and for most of us it means vegetables, fruit trees and herbs. The most neglected of the edible gardens in Australia is of the native variety. While you won’t find many mainstays of local or international cuisine in the Australian bush (apart from perhaps the macadamia) there are some great plants suitable for your Australian garden that you can eat. Remember, adding any type of Australian native to your garden also provides vital food to native birds and other animals (like that possum on the roof!) so try and have a good selection in your garden!

The benefits of native plant varieties are mostly to do with suitability to the environment and water conservation. While it’s nice to grow a vegetable patch they do consume a vast amount of water, so what Australian edible plants are on the menu?

Lemon Myrtle

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Acts as a wonderful lemon type flavour in almost anything and has some great commercial potential that is already being utilised by some businesses. For the home gardener this is a useful plant to have around to add some zest to your cooking.

Desert Lime

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Forget a lime tree! You can grow these native fruits and use all of them in your cooking (skin as well!) Can replace pretty much any lemons or limes in a recipe so this would be very versatile.

Native Ginger

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The “blueberry ginger” is a completely edible plant – you can eat the berries, leaves and even the shoots! It also looks great for decorative purposes and will survive well indoors.

Macadamia

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The only native Australian food that has made a massive impact worldwide. This delicious nut comes from the macadamia tree and grows well in most warmer climates in Australia.

On a side note I also have lilly pilly trees in my backyard that produce A LOT of little fruits. Apparently you can eat them but they don’t taste so great. I will eat some when I get really hungry one day perhaps but this does look like a good recipe 🙂

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