Kunzea pomifera – Native Cranberry, Munthari, Muntaberry

Kunzea pomifera is a low growing shrub in the Myrtaceae family, native to the southern areas of Australia, where it thrives in well drained sandy soils overlying sheet limestone. It grows in thickets about ankle deep with small attractive white flowers followed by pea sized green fruit with a slightly furry skin, and a taste resembling apple. Although its range is mainly coastal, it will extend many kilometres inland where conditions are suitable, and it grows particularly well in the South-East of South Australia.

The fruit is used for making jam, chutney, pies, fruit leathers, desserts and savoury sauces. It can also be used to substitute apples or sultanas, while fruit extracts have been used in cosmetic products.

The species has become an integral part of the Australian bush foods industry and is being grown commercially, under cultivation regimes that include trellising for more efficient use of  orchard space.

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