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Native Mulberry

Hedycarya angustifolia
Native Mulberry
Very Common

This is a shrub or small tree, growing to about 6 m, usually with several pale-grey trunks coming from the base. The pointed leaves are shiny on the upper surface, with toothed edges and distinct yellowish midvein and lateral veins. When crushed, the leaves have a light, spicy smell, quite distinct from that of Sassafras leaves.

The male and female flowers are carried on separate plants and are small, green and inconspicuous. More noticeable, are the round, yellow, aggregate fruits (a bit like mulberries) that are found on the female trees from January to March. The fruit is not edible but is food for native birds.

Needing some shelter to start with, this is, nevertheless, a hardy plant, well worth trying in a regeneration area that is not too exposed, e.g. gullies. It can be propagated either from seed or from cuttings. The ripe, yellow fruit should be soaked in water to remove the flesh. The little grey seeds should be planted within the year and will take 3-6 weeks to germinate.

Distribution: King Island (Tas) to Conondale Range (Sth Q1d).