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Midgen berries are available in the autumn months.
Midgen berries, also known as Midyim or Sand berries in their native Australia, are botanically known as Austromyrtus dulcis. They are small berry in the Myrtle family and a cousin of the lilly pilly berry. Commonly grown cultivars include, Aurora, Bush Snacks and Coppertop.
Midgen berries grow on low shrubs approximately two meters tall. The ovate leaves are dark green with a glossy sheen due to their rich oil content. The spherical berries average eight millimeters in diameter and have a hairy pinkish-brown calyx opposite their stem-end. The small whitish berries are covered in blue-gray spots, giving them a mauve-like tint. Midgen berries have a dense crunchy flesh and contain three to nine pale brown, edible seeds and. Their overall flavor and aroma is quite mild, with sweet blueberry notes and mild hints of ginger, eucalyptus and nutmeg.
Midgen berries provide calcium, iron, vitamin C and dietary fiber.
Midgen berries are often consumed raw. After washing, toss whole Midgen berries into fruit salads or add to apple pies for nice flavor contrast. Midgen berries are highly perishable. Native Australians use Midyim berries to make a flavorful jam.
Midgen berries are considered “bushfood” and are a favorite among local Aboriginal tribes.
Midgen berries are native to the Eastern Australian coast. Outside of Australia they have can be found growing in central Florida and Southern California in the United States. Their natural habitat consists of mild rainforest gullies, but may also be grown and pruned into a low hedge. The Midgen berry prefers full sun or part shade, best located under some overhanging tree branches to give some protection from frost.