Lemon Aspen

( Acronychia acidula)

The name lemon aspen has commonly been used in the native bush-food industry to refer to two species which have a yellow fruit
approximately 20-25 millimetres in diameter, characterised by a star shaped core with small dark seeds encased in husks as in apples.
Widely regarded as the ‘true’ lemon aspen, Acronychia acidula is native to tropical north Queensland and the Atherton Tablelands where it is also known as ‘pigeon berry’. The majority of research has been conducted on this species. Lemon Aspen is a richer source of Zn, Mg, Ca, Fe and Mn than Blueberry.

Wild harvested in the rainforest of Queensland and northern New South Wales, Australia. Often referred to as ‘pigeon berry’, the small edible fruits have an intense flavour with herby tones reminiscent of eucalyptus and honey and has been a significant food source for Indigenous communities in north-eastern Queensland. This unique fruit has superior antioxidant capacity compared to blueberries, renowned worldwide as the ‘health-promoting fruit

Lemon aspen grows naturally in a tropical climate, usually in well-developed upland and mountain rainforest, and is common in rainforest regrowth after disturbance. It is found naturally in coastal areas from central to northern Queensland.

Lemon aspen was regularly consumed by Indigenous communities in north-eastern Queensland, although details are scarce. Today, there is some continuing involvement in its cultivation in far north Queensland.  Wild harvest has been an important source of supply but is gradually being replaced by cultivation, which largely takes place on the Atherton Tablelands.  Lemon aspen has higher anti-oxidant capacity than blueberries and is a very good source of folate, zinc and iron.

 

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