Tanami Apple

A native to the central and western deserts of Australia. This robust and spectacular member of the Bush Tomato family can reach 1.5 meters high and 2.5 meters in diameter, with bright silver-grey leaves 3-5 cm wide and 8-10 cm long. The flowers are a dazzling show of bright purple/blue, with many hundreds of flowers on each bush at a time.

The large, golf-ball sized fruit hang from the bush on spiny stems sometimes up to 15cm long. When the fruit ripen in autumn, they turn a pale cream colour and will easily be twisted from their calyx. When the ripe fruit are cut in half, they reveal a large number of black bitter seeds which take up all but a 4-5 mm outer layer of pale green flesh.

Tanami Apples taste somewhat like a melon or zucchini and are a favourite of the indigenous people of the centre. Indigenous people of the desert cut the fruit and remove the bitter seeds with a flat stick, placing the half fruits inside each other and threading them onto a stick to dry. In this way the fruit could be stored or carried for long distances as a convenient travelling food.

Sadly they are not readily available at present.