Known as the Native Cranberry, Astroloma humifusum, is a prostrate, mat-forming heath with attractive flowers from December to July. The flowers, which are often hidden by the foliage, are followed by small, edible very sweet fruit. They prove you don't have to bold to be beautiful. It is also known as the Cranberry Heath. Though our continuing reliance on these Old World names for Australian plants is a bit irritating, I suppose they are easier to remember than Latin.
This discrete charmer often grows in association with our local Eucalyptus sideroxylon, the Mugga Ironbark, and is found in south eastern Australia from Newcastle through to South Australia. We are therefore located at the northern and western extremities of its range.
Natural regeneration is resulting in increasing numbers of this plant on the rocky slopes here at The Drip. It would be a great addition to The Hill Garden, in the zone which features plants endemic to the Munghorn Gap. An area of this windy hillside could be developed as a "Munghorn Heathland Garden", featuring the various local "Heaths", such as Epacris longiflora sometimes rather strangely called Native Fuchsia, Melichrys urceolatus - the "Urn Heath", Styphelia tubiflora -"Five Corners" and of course Astroloma. No doubt there are other local "Heaths" as well. But wouldn't it be so much better to use the original Australian Aboriginal names for plants such as these? To see more about The Hill Garden click here