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Common apple-berry

Introduction of Common apple-berry

            Scientific name - Billardiera scandens

Apple berry scientifically known as Billardierascandens, is a fruit native from Australia. Known as a hardy climber apple berry is an evergreen sprawling groundcover or climber, with wiry, red to brown-grey stems growing up to 3 meters long. In an open yard or a field this tree may grow up to be a small shrub up to 1.5 m high. Apple berry appears to be similar to that of a peach fruit on the outside with hairy outer skin.

It appears fleshy green and purple in color and the fruit turns yellow when ripe. The skin is hairy and similar to peach and the sweet astringent flavour similar to kiwifruit making it a mix of both.The fruits of the apple berry tree are edible having said that they do not ripen on tree but they start to ripen only after falling down from the trees. The fruits are then collected and induced to ripen.

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Nutritional Value of Common apple-berry

Carbohydrates 9.61 g 7%
Protein 1.39 g 2%
Total Fat 0.49 g 2%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 5.3 g 14%
Folates 25 g 6%
Niacin 0.646 mg 4%
Pantothenic acid 0.276 mg 5.5%
Pyridoxine 0.030 mg 2%
Thiamin 0.020 IU 2%
Vitamin A 214 IU 7%
Vitamin C 21 mg 35%
Vitamin E 1.17 mg 8%
Vitamin K 19.8 g 16.5%

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Health benefits and Consumption

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Cure heart disease
Preventing skin cancer

Ripe fruits have a pleasant sub-acid taste similar to stewed apples or kiwifruits. The unripe fruits are edible too but just now raw, the unripe fruits are roasted and eaten.

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Apple berry thrives best in the given climatic and right soil condition. This plant requires a moist, well-drained, humus-rich, lime-free soil in sun or semi-shade with a cool root run. They tolerate temperatures down to at least -7 C in Australian gardens. If these plants are grown in harsh weather conditions such as in Britain, it will require greenhouse protection during winter months.

While the propagation of the plant is done easily by seed, one can switch to multiplying it by cuttings of half-ripe wood. The cuttings should be 10-12 cm long and if possible with a heel. The cuttings are planted in July-August. Layering is also practicable. Apple berry is a hardy climber that will grow in full sun to dense shade and in sandy to clay soils. It's even possible to grow this plant underneath established eucalypts, as long as they are given a little extra fertilizer. Due these characteristics, Apple berry soon gained popularity where ever it was introduced as a garden plant.

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Propagation of Apple berry

The best and the most sought after method of propagation of apple berry plant is through the seed. It is best sown in a warm greenhouse as soon as it is ripe. One should only cover the seed and let it germinate. The ideal time to sow stored seed is in early spring in a warm greenhouse. The germination of fresh seed is usually productive, but stored seed can take a year to germinate.

When the seeds have grown up to be large enough to handle, the cultivar should prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Post their first winter they should be planted out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.

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