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Top 5 edible native plants to grow at home

Thursday 05 May 2022 | 2 min read

Planting natives is good for the environment and good for you too. Here’s 5 top edible plants that you can grow at home.

Many of Australia’s native edible plants are full of antioxidants. There many native herbs and fruit plants that can fit nicely as alternatives in your weekday recipes. Plus, they are easy to grow and perfectly suited to the South Australian climate. You can plant them outdoors or in pots inside your place.

Planting natives outside also helps our ecosystem. They provide food and shelter for important animals.

Autumn in Adelaide is the perfect time to plant natives so they can enjoy the winter rain and get established the cooler months before the hot summer sun comes back again.

Here’s 5 top edible natives you can grow at home:

Sea Celery - credit: Kym Ormond, Port Adelaide Food Gardening

1. Sea celery

    Sea celery (Apium annuum) is a native herb which looks like young celery shoots and can be eaten raw or cooked.

    Use the leaves as a garnish or the stem and leaves to flavour soups, salads, and other dishes. This native plant will give your cooking a little hint of the ocean.

    2. River mint

      River mint (Mentha australis) is a native mint from the east coast.

      This popular herb is related to other mints like peppermint and spearmint.

      It loves lots of water and shady areas. Perfect in salads and making into tea.

      Warrigal greens - credit: Aaron Noble, Crikey Tucker Regenerative Farm

      3. Warrigal greens

      Warrigal greens (Tetragonia tetragonioides) is a native spinach which grows as a lush groundcover.

      It has juicy leaves packed full of antioxidants. The leaves contain oxalates which, in high quantities, can have adverse effects but this is easy fixed by blanching (i.e. scalding vegetables in boiling water or steam for a short time) for 10-15 seconds or cooking as you usually would spinach.

      It also makes an excellent living mulch (i.e. plant that is used to cover an area of soil and adds nutrients) to help keep the weeds at bay and will stop your soil from drying out. Your chickens will also love these super healthy greens.

      4. Native lemongrass

      Native lemongrass (Cymbopogon ambiguous) is a hardy, drought tolerant plant with a beautiful citrus aroma.

      This native grass makes an excellent addition to any tea garden. Dip some in hot water for a delicious hot drink, or you can use to flavour curries, soups, marinades and cakes.

      Muntries - credit: Malcolm Haines, Ligaya Garden

      5. Muntries

      Muntries (Kunzea pomifera) is a bushy, ground-hugging native fruiting plant with delicious and versatile fruit that can be eaten fresh or used in sweet and savoury dishes.

      You can try using them in jam, chutney, pies, desserts, and sauces.

      Go to our native nursery listing to find a nursery near you to pick up these delish natives.

      Find out more local gardening tips

      Just beginning your gardening journey? Head to our gardening hub for more tips and tricks.

      Or, watch Clem Newchurch’s free online talk about sustainability, native plants and bush tucker through our Grow It Local food gardening resource.

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