Leucopogon and the coast walk

These little berries are so yummy; even my kids were sold on them ūüôā

Last weekend I went for a camp and a walk with the Mummies. Needless to say, some of the daddies wondered why they weren’t invited but that is a whole separate conversation ūüėČ

We camped at Middle Beach and decided to walk from Mogareeka back up to Middle. No-one had actually walked the track before, the direction we were walking it, so it felt a little bit more exciting (?) for some of us.

I have been recovering from a recent bout of anaemia and basically hadn’t done anything much physical for months so I was ready for a bit of a horror show in terms of struggling on the walk, but it was actually a pretty easy walk. I even took the kids on part of it today; we walked from the north of Cowdroys all the way to Tathra!

There are 3 beach walks and a couple of hilly bits, including sections between Codroys and Gillard’s campground which had lovely tall trees. The trail is not clearly marked walking south to north, but it was manageable.¬†

I had a friend with me who always seems to know what you can eat in the bush. When I mentioned that my sister in law wanted to meet her after I related a story of eating seaweed with her on another jaunt she quickly located Leucopogon juniperinus which was covered in red and green berries.  We had a quick munch and shared some with the others on the walk. The berries are quite small, around 5mm diameter at the biggest and had a lovely sweet, slightly astringent flavour. 

My family and I found a Leucopogon juniperinus bush today as well, between Moon Bay and Mogareeka and the kids were very impressed at how yummy they were. They have a kitchen garden program at their school which includes an indigenous food garden and their teacher for that class encouraged them to eat pigface the other day. After trying an underripe pigface myself, I can understand why my guys were so impressed with the flavour of the Leucopogon berries.

The common name of them is Prickly Beard Heath and I could only find images of them with yellow berries, although ours were with red berries. Unfortunately (or fortunately) today I didn’t have my phone out to take pictures of them so I am sharing 2 images in this blog from¬†Matthew Stevens (http://portugal.inaturalist.org/taxa/321163-Leucopogon-juniperinus) and Neil Murphy (https://ppnn.org.au/plantlist/leucopogon-juniperinus/¬†). Maybe next time I see them I’ll remember to take a photo!¬†

I found some more information about them here: 

Leucopogon juniperinus, also known as   prickly beard-heath, is a common shrub found in eastern Australia. Found on a variety of soil types and habitats in eucalyptus woodland or forest. Often seen on more fertile sedimentary based clay soils.

A dense, small prickly plant usually less than a metre high. It features attractive long white flowers and sweet creamy yellow fruit. Flowers form from May to October, fruit mature in December and January. The sharp pointed leaves are 5.6 to 11.8 mm long, and 1.2 to 2.5 mm wide.


Have you ever encountered these or eaten them yourself? 

My guys reckon we need a heap of these at home now which is very exciting. They have big plans, so stay tuned…