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Plant identification guides:
Bush tucker food forest

Information about medicinal qualities of plants, or about their use as medicines, is for interest only, and is not intended to be used as a guide for the treatment of medical conditions.


As with all medicinal applications of Australian bush foods, please do your due diligence and consult with First Nations or other Australian herbal specialists before utilising as a remedy for any condition.


Some parts of the plant may not be edible or some may need preparation before they are safe to eat or use in any way. We do our best to describe their traditional & modern uses. It is the reader’s responsibility to ensure they are fit for their intended use.


We can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Sour cherry

Scientific name:

Other Names:

Syzygium corynanthum

Kilarney satinash, Normanby satinash, watergum


Myrtaceae (same as myrtle, clove, guava and eucalyptus)

Sour cherry

Basic info:

A type of lilly-pilly, this is a medium size tree, which can reach 30 metres in height and a 90 cm in trunk diameter. The bark is grey and scaly, with numerous depressions caused by the shedding of bark scales; the trunk is slightly buttressed at the base.

The leaves are opposite, simple and entire with numerous oil dots, about five diameters apart of different sizes. Leaf stalks are 6mm long. Flowers are in short dense panicles. Petals are cream, four in number and appear from April to July.

The fruit matures from September to December, being a red berry, broader towards the tip than at the base.

When in fruit both the tree and the ground below are bright red. The tree is highly attractive and forms a very dense crown making it an ideal shade tree. Unlike other lilly pillies the new growth is a pale green.

This tree occurs on the richer rainforest soils from the mid-north coast of NSW to the Conandale Range inland from Nambour in Qld. Another occurrence is seen in granite soils in north QId.

Uses and Interesting Information:

The fruit is tart and refreshing, like a Granny Smith apple, and makes excellent jams. The taste of the fruit is not particularly sour, as the common name might suggest.

Fruit dispersal is interesting, in that there is some bird dispersal of the seed by their eating and passing of the glossy purple fruits, but they also have a backup plan as the fruit are very buoyant and can float along creeks and rivers, spreading downstream and in life it’s always good to have a backup plan![1]

This species produces millable logs and the timber has been marketed as Killarney Satinash for many years in southern Queensland and northern New South Wales, a useful general purpose structural timber.




  • Recipes to come

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