Leave the berries for the birds and relieve your cough with the leaves!

Australian Bush Tucker Bites presents Bandicoot Berry (Leea novoguineensis).

This luscious green pioneer plant produces flowers and berries all year long. The tiny nectar-rich flowers are enjoyed by honeyeaters and stingless bees before the development of gorgeous berries that the rainforest birds love.

Aside from biodiversity benefits, the plant has many historical medicinal uses in its range from Australia across South-east Asia to India. Despite this, there doesn’t seem to be any record indicating that the berries themselves are edible. Instead it is the leaves and roots that are used to treat a variety of ailments from malaria to digestive complaints and coughs.

First Nations people in Australia harvested the long straight stems for spears to use when hunting.

Modern day uses in Australia include bush rehabilitation and as a screening plant.

This post was originally published on Medium as a part of the “Australian Bush Tucker Bites” series which is also available as an eBook introducing 52 bush food plants from around Australia.

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