* Wombat berry *
Common Names: Wombat berry
Taxonomy: Kingdom: Plantae; Angiosperms; Monocots; Asparagales; Asparagaceae; Lomandroideae; Geitonosplesiaceae; Eustrephus laifolius.
Native to Malaysia, Eastern Australia (especially Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria), New Guinea, New Caledonia, and the Pacific Islands. Common in sclerophyll dry or wet forests, woodlands, heaths, marginal rainforests, and gallery forests.
Coming from the Greek “Eustrephus” meaning “to twist” and describing its twining habit of the vines. Latifolius meaning having broad leaves. A monotypic genus of the Asparagaceae and Lomandroideae families it is a sole species that is an evergreen vine that vigorously twines and scrambles as ground cover. Vine gives sprout to lamina variable shaped elliiptic, lance-shaped, to linear leaves ranging from 3-10 cm in length and 3-35 mm in width. The veins of the leaves are equally distinct. The leaves in the Spring give blossom to 15 mm diameter pink, mauve, and/or white flowers with 1-2 cm diameter yellow-orange globose capsules with black seeds set in a white aril. The fruits remain on the plant for several months.
Propagated best from fresh young seed.
Fleshy roots are edible. Tubers are baked and eaten. They are notable to have an earthy sweet flavor.
Folklore and Magic:
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