Native raspberry is a slightly paler red than an English raspberry and has a tarter taste and softer flesh. It has a very short season and shelf life so is best eaten fresh but can be frozen too.
Atherton Raspberry is a tropical raspberry native to Australia and Papua New Guinea. Unlike the exotic raspberry, this delightful bush tucker fruit can thrive in our warmer climates, and can be found in the wild throughout tropical, subtropical and warm temperate QLD.
The secret to taste is timing — these berries may turn red long before they’re truly ripe. Wait until the fruit practically falls off its stem when touched. This could take weeks to start with, but once they get going, be prepared for frequent harvests!
The native raspberry has the potential to be propagated and grown into a commercially viable product, with the biggest advantage being that these fruits grow in natural soils without any addition of fertiliser or chemicals, making them nature’s organic fruit that is right at Australia’s doorstep.
◎ Common Name: Native Raspberry, Atherton Raspberry
◎ Scientific or Latin Name: Rubus probus
◎ Comparison: Tart raspberries
◎ Seasonality: Rare
◎ Region: Tropical
◎ Taste Profile: This species produces bright red berries, slightly larger in size and milder in taste than the more commonly known raspberries.
◎ Types: Australia has 8 indigenous raspberries in the true sense that they bear red raspberries on mostly prickly bi-ennial canes.
- The leaves can be made into tea, which can be helpful for painful menstruation, childbirth, flu, morning sickness, and as a treatment for diarrhoea.
- The fruit is a mild laxative if eaten in large quantities.
Traditional Aboriginal Food and Uses
The red berries have a very similar taste to that of the commercially grown raspberries and were eaten raw by native Aboriginal people.
Western & Modern
The sweet red berries can be gathered and eaten raw. Great for cakes, jams, jellies, syrups and sauces.
You can also use the leaves to make tea which is said to be good for diarrhoea and digestion-related issues.
Recent research suggests the berries have extremely high anti-oxidant activity and that the berries could be developed for their anti-bacterial properties. The antimicrobial activity of native raspberry juice and dried berries were found to significantly reduce the growth of several species of bacteria.
There are no current known medicinal uses for this plant.
Note: The term 'Bush Tucker' and 'Bush Food' are not Warndu's preferred terms for Australian Native Ingredients or Australian Botanicals.
Images: © Luisa Brimble