Australian Native Plant Profile: Muntries (Kunzea Pomifera)

Updated on May 2, 2019
TheNerdyGardener profile image

I like to write articles containing handy gardening tips, secrets, and general botanical and horticultural nerdiness.

Common Names: Muntries, Emu Apples, Native Cranberries, Munthari, Muntaberry, Monterry
Scientific Name: Kunzea pomifera
Synonyms: None

Muntries (Kunzea pomifera) are evergreen, prostrate, woody, perennial shrubs growing up to 0.3m high by 2m wide.

Characteristic Features of Muntries

Muntries (Kunzea pomifera) have dense, glossy, circular leaves 5mm across on radial stems that form thick mats. In spring, these plants produce attractive, fluffy white flowers that are followed by edible succulent red and green berries about 1cm in diametre. The berries have a spicy, stewed apple-like flavor. The berries or products made from this plant are becoming more popular and are seen often in Australian bushfood markets.

The white flowers of Muntries (Kunzea pomifera)
The white flowers of Muntries (Kunzea pomifera) | Source

Horticultural Uses

Due to its dense growth habit, Muntries can be used as an effective weed-suppressing ground cover. It would make an attractive addition to rockeries with similar native plants or alternatively planted as a member of a mixed border garden. These plants have been successfully grown upright on low trellises, and this is how some commercial growers choose to cultivate them.

Cultural Uses

Muntries hold significance in the traditional diet of the Narrindjeri people of the Coorong in the southeast of South Australia. The fruit were eaten both fresh or alternatively formed into a dried paste that could be traded with other tribes or stored for consumption over winter. Early European settlers also incorporated the berries in pies, jellies, preserves, chutneys and relishes. Interestingly, Kunzea pomifera was one of the earliest species from Australia to be introduced into cultivation in England in the late 1800s.

The edible red and green fruit of Kunzea pomifera.
The edible red and green fruit of Kunzea pomifera. | Source


Muntries requires a soil that is free draining, otherwise it may experience root rot resulting in plant death. It also requires planting in a sheltered location to avoid wind damage. As they are compact plants, you will need to protect any plants you grow from possible trample damage from pedestrians or livestock. Keep them pruned back from footpaths.

Ideal Growing Conditions

Muntries is native to the southern coast of Australia from Portland in Victoria to the Kangaroo Island in South Australia with inland incursions. It can be naturally found in lighter sandy soils. Natural levels of rainfall across wild populations vary between 500 and 800mm annually, concentrated in the cooler months. Commercial crops on Kangaroo Island experience approximately an average minimum temperature of 15°C and a maximum of 24°C during January and an average minimum temperature of 8°C and maximum of 15°C during July, with rainfall above 1mm occurring on average 77 days of the year.

Muntries Plant Culture

Propagation is typically done from cuttings, but they can also be grown from seed. The plant will cope with both dappled shade and full sun. Muntries possess some frost tolerance; however, a moderate climate without frosts is preferable. This plant grows well in a variety of soils with a pH range from 6.0 to 8.0; however, as it seems to do best at the higher end of this range, the addition of lime to raise the pH to around 8.0 may be beneficial. Avoid exposing your plants to significant periods of both waterlogging and drought. Reducing the amount of water you give it during spring may help to promote flowering, and there are suggestions that overwatering when the fruit is forming may weaken the flavour of the fruit.

Muntries should be transplanted during late autumn or winter. Tip-prune them during winter to thicken stems and prevent the stems from becoming leggy. If the plant becomes too dense, removing some of the stems at the same time will open up the bush. Under strong winds, the branches of your plants may snap, and fruit set is reduced, so choose a planting site behind a wind break, either vegetative or artificial.

For best fruit production, Muntries can be fertilized with a low phosphorus native garden fertilizer on planting with two additional smaller applications in both spring and summer of each year. Mulching between plants may be beneficial in reducing weeds. No particular pest or disease problems commonly afflict this plant.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)