Appleberry | Purple Appleberry – Billardiera longiflora
Appleberry, Billardiera longiflora, also known as Purple Appleberry and Tasmanian Climbing Blueberry is an evergreen fruit bearing vine, indigenous to South-Eastern Australia that will twine its way up to 3 meters, at a slow rate, on rocks, plants, walls, fences or any other support. Billardiera longiflora is a member of the Pittosporaceae family the genus Billardiera.
Leaves are dark green, tiny, narrow and the stringy vines age to semi-woodiness. In summertime Billardiera longiflora produces greenish yellow, tubular, convex, pendulous flowers, carrying a sweet perfume. The flowers become pink or purple with age. Flowers are followed by highly unusual deep blue, edible, fruits that somewhat resemble apples in shape and texture, 2.5cm long, that in themselves make an fascinating feature.
Appleberries bear fruits copiously. Fruit is large fleshy electric-blue, occasionally white, berries that hang weeping amongst the shiny dark green foliage. The berries mature from late summer through to Mid-Autumn and make a delicious, mild aromatic dessert eaten raw out of hand. Appleberry fruit should be harvested right away when ripen as they become spongy and seedy inside, with age, and will shortly have no taste.
The Appleberry prefers a neutral or acidic type of soil, productive, moist but well-drained and humus rich. Full sun or partial shade and a protected site from frost and high winds are the preferred position. If minimal pruning is ever needed to restrict size or to regenerate the vine, this is done soon after fruiting is completed late in autumn or early winter.
Appleberry Propagation Methods
The plant is propagates easily by seed, best sown as soon as ripe but also from half ripe wood cuttings, 10 – 12cm with a heel. Billardiera longiflora is cold hardy plant to about -3°C but also drought-hardy when established. Red spider mites could become a problem pest.
Appleberry, Billardiera longiflora
Fruit and Nut Trees