Have you heard about the weird-sounding Lilly Pilly fruit? This mystifying, fragrant, fleshy, and vivid fruit is a berry that bags a lot of benefits.
Although the Lilly Pilly plants blooms during spring and summer, their flowering season depends on the climatic conditions.
Let’s learn more about the Lilly Pilly plant, its fruits, harvesting methods, and more!
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Lilly Pilly Fruit [Facts & Information]
The Lilly Pilly fruit comes from the perennial evergreen Australian tree, Syzygium species, which belongs to the plant family Myrtaceae.
Generally, the Lilly Pilly plant bears fruits throughout the fall and winter in the Northern Hemisphere, while it may show early flowering and fruiting throughout summer to fall in the Southern Hemisphere.
Besides, the fruits of the Lilly Pilly are available in many vibrant shades depending on the variety, such as white, pink-red, violet, to magenta.
Usually described as a tree, the Lilly Pilly plant is popular as a hedge with a bushy overgrowth and bears fruits in clusters.
Additionally, each fruit is about 1-2 centimeters long, and the plant can live for about 20 years with seasonal flowering gaps.
Can You Eat Lilly Pilly Fruit?
All varieties of Lilly Pilly fruit are edible, but some varieties are better in taste than others.
The taste of the Lilly Pilly fruit is generally sweet, but some describe it as tarty in flavor with a clove-like aroma.
However, the taste may also depend on the variety of the Lilly Pilly plant. Hence, people fancy their taste in jellies, jams, and chutneys!
Do You Know?
Alone in Australia, where they are native, there are about 60 species of Lilly Pilly plants, and all are edible!
Furthermore, to counter their tarty taste, people infuse the Lilly Pilly fruits in sweet syrups and serve them over ice creams or as a tangy sauce over meat dishes.
Additionally, the Lilly Pilly fruits are safe for pets, including cats and dogs. However, you may observe some gastrointestinal upsets in your pets if they eat too much!
How To Harvest?
The Lilly Pilly fruit is ready for harvest when they adorn their final bright colors, but this depends on the species.
After the fruits become soft, shiny, and vibrant, you can manually pluck them off the plant.
Then you can store the unwashed fruits in the fridge for 2-3 weeks or store them frozen in airtight jars where they will stay viable for 2 years.
Health Benefits of Lilly Pilly Fruit
Lilly Pilly fruit has many culinary uses, but it also carries medicinal properties.
- The Sygizium genus, from where Lilly Pilly fruit also comes, bears neuroprotective properties.
- According to native Australians, they serve as superfoods with anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties.
- These astringent fruits are also rich in vitamins and serve as skin protectants.
- Additionally, the fruits of Lilly Pilly have anti-cancer properties and are noted to protect against many forms of cancer.
Since Lilly Pilly fruits have many species, not all have been medicinally explored, and more research is yet to be done.
From Editorial Team
How to prepare Lilly Pilly jam?
To about 1 kg of fruit, add 2 cups of water and cook for an hour until tender. Add one lemon cut in half to settle the jam and a kg of sugar.
Then, store the jam in air-tight sterile mason jars in the fridge until use.