Ventenatia humifusa Cav.
Astroloma humifusum was initially described as Ventenatia humifusa by Cavanilles in 1797, before being given its current binomial name by prolific Scottish botanist Robert Brown in his 1810 work Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae. Common names include cranberry heath and native cranberry, as the fruit were eaten by early settlers. An old name is juniper-leaved astroloma.
Astroloma humifusum grows as a spreading mat-like shrub up to 50 cm (20 in) high and 0.5 to 1.5 m (20 in to 5 ft) across. Its hairy stems bear blue-green pine-like acute leaves 0.5-1.2 cm (0.2-0.5 in) long. The tubular flowers are up to 2 cm (0.8 in) long and appear from February to June, and are all red, unlike the red and green flowers of A. pinifolium. Flowers are followed by green globular berries around 0.4-0.6 cm (0.2 in) in diameter, which become reddish as they ripen.
The range is in southeastern Australia, from Newcastle in the north in eastern and central New South Wales, into Victoria, south-eastern South Australia and Tasmania. It is generally found in open woodland, both on sandstone and clay soils, as well as upland bogs. Associated plant species include Eucalyptus fibrosa, Eucalyptus sideroxylon, and Kunzea ambigua.
Requiring good drainage in the garden, it can be grown in rockeries. The juicy berries are edible, although they are mostly made up of a large seed. They can be used to make jams or preserves. The flavour of the berries has been described as "sickly sweet".
- "Ventenatia humifusa Cav.". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government.
- "Astroloma humifusum (Cav.) R. Br.". Australian Plant Name Index (APNI), IBIS database. Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian Government.
- Elliot, Rodger W.; Jones, David L.; Blake, Trevor (1985). Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants Suitable for Cultivation: Vol. 2. Port Melbourne: Lothian Press. p. 248. ISBN 0-85091-143-5.
- Bennett, George (1860). Gatherings of a naturalist in Australasia: being observations principally on the animal and vegetable productions of New South Wales, New Zealand, and some of the austral islands. John Van Voorst. p. 370.
- Fairley A, Moore P (2000). Native Plants of the Sydney District: An Identification Guide (2nd ed.). Kenthurst, NSW: Kangaroo Press. p. 87. ISBN 0-7318-1031-7.
- New South Wales Flora Online: Astroloma humifusum by J. M. Powell, Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Sydney, Australia.
- "Astroloma humifusum". Electronic Flora of South Australia Fact Sheet. State Herbarium of South Australia. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
- Benson, Doug; McDougall, Lyn (1995). "Ecology of Sydney Plants 3: families Cabombaceae to Eupomatiaceae". Cunninghamia 4 (2): 217–429.
- Hume, Ian D. (1999). Marsupial nutrition. Cambridge University Press. p. 319.
- Gray, Marilyn (2010). "Astroloma humifusum". Retrieved 15 August 2011.