The lilly pilly (Riberry) is one of the most popular plants in Australia today, particularly for hedging and topiary. Lilly pillies are evergreen rainforest plants with glossy green leaves.
Many varieties have flushes of colourful new growth, ranging from brilliant pink to a red-brown. In spring to early summer most lilly pillies have fluffy white or greenish flowers followed by long lasting red, purple or whitish berries.
The fruit matures from December to February, being a pear shaped red berry, known as a Riberry, growing to 13 mm long, covering a single seed, 4 mm in diameter.
The tree commonly only reaches 7 metres in cultivation. The berry has a tart, cranberry-like flavor, that has a hint of cloves.
It has been popular as a gourmet bushfood since the early 1980’s, and is commercially cultivated on a small-scale basis.
The fruit is most commonly used to make a distinctively flavoured jam, and is also used in sauces, syrups and confectionery.
200gm packets of frozen Riberries can be purchased at the Taste Australia Bush Food Shop