Fruit rich in
From the National
Issue 61 - 04 Aug
triflora var. triflore. Family Elaeagnaceae. See
botanical notes below.
The term 'antioxidant' appears
frequently in media coverage of health and nutrition.
Antioxidants refers to several groups of naturally
occurring food components which protect the body by
neutralising so-called ‘free radicals’ which damage
certain cells and the immune system.
happens that many of the bushfoods traditionally used by
Indigenous Australians are rich in antioxidants,
especially the fruits.
One such fruit, Eleagnus
riflora, unofficially called Millaa-millaa, contains
four times as much lyeopene as any other plant in the
Lyeopene is the antioxidant which gives
the reddish colour to tomatoes and capsicums, and by
coincidence the Elaeagnus fruit has a taste of tomato
that is quite sweet.
Millaa-millaa can be grown
in a home garden in semi-shade, with mulch and
reasonable moisture. It sprawls, arches and climbs,
ascending to the canopy in rainforest.
the vernacular name is taken from the Aboriginal
language of the Atherton Tablelands, the plant is not
restricted to that area, occurring in various types of
rainforest from North Queensland to the Mary Valley in
South Queensland, as an under story
Eleagnus may flower several times a year
but usually does so between July and December, with
fruits ripe from October to January.
the fruits fresh, saving the large hard seeds for
planting. Germination takes 6-10 weeks.
recipe, try this simple sauce:
Place 30g fruit in a saucepan with a little
water. Add 150g sugar, bring to the boil and simmer
while stirring for five minutes or until tender.
Transfer to a colander over a bowl, force the flesh
through, rinse with a little water, mix the collected
pulp and store in a jar in the refrigerator. Use for
dressing any dessert, garnishing with a few whole
Eleagnus triflora var.
triflore / Family Elaeagnaceae. A sprawling, climbing
woody shrub with distinctive alternate ovate leaves
showing a silvery under surface. Numerous cymes of three
flower (triflora) are borne in the leaf axils along the
stems. The fruits are ellipsoid red drupes (10-17 long
mm), with surface dots, sweet succulent red flesh and a
large, grooved seed. The variety brevi limbata occurs in
the Atherton Tableland area above about 600 metres in
elevation. This group of plants occurs also in New
Guinea, S.E. Asia and elsewhere.