Muntries (Kunzea pomifera) - also known as emu apples, native cranberries, munthari, muntaberry or monterry - are low-growing plants found along the southern coast of Australia. The berries produced by these plants are about 1 centimetre (0.39 in) in diameter, green with a tinge of red at maturity and have a flavour of a spicy apple. Crunchy in texture, muntries contain up to four times more antioxidants than blueberries and provide natural waxes that are good for skin nourishment.
Kunzea pomifera was grown in England in 1889. It was one of the first species of Australian plant introduced into cultivation in England.
While muntries are a groundcover in the wild, commercial growers have successfully managed to trellis the plants. Trellised muntries allow easier access for harvesting and management. It also allows a more efficient use of orchard space.
Muntrie plants can be trained quite easily through weaving the growing plant through and along trellis wires, using plant ties to secure them.
Muntries seem to prefer well drained soil of a moderately acid to strongly alkaline pH (6.0 - 8.0).
Natural rainfall levels of wild populations range from 500–800 millimetres (20–31 in). For cultivation it is suggested that waterlogging and extremely dry soils should both be avoided. Moderate restriction of water in the early spring may be beneficial in stimulating flowering and reducing competitive vegetative growth.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that overwatering muntries may result in a dilution of flavour in the muntrie berries.
- Gott, Beth (1982). "Kunzea pomifera - Dawson’s ‘nurt’". The Artefact 7: 13–17.
- Graham, C. and D. Hart (1997). Prospects for the Australian native bushfood industry. RIRDC.
- Schultz CJ, Apps DJ, Johnson TE and Bastian SEP. 2009 Testing consumer acceptability of new crops: an integrated sensory and marketing approach using the Australian berry muntries. Food Australia. 61: 335-341. Pdf copy of paper available at https://www.adelaide.edu.au/directory/carolyn.schultz.
- Meet the Muntries: A "Super Fruit" of the Australian Bush published by thefoodpaper.com
- Elliot, Rodger W.; Jones, David L.; Blake, Trevor (1993). Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants Suitable for Cultivation: Volume 6 (K-M). Port Melbourne: Lothian Press. p. 15. ISBN 0-85091-589-9.
- Hele, A. (2001). Muntries production. Australian Native Produce Industries Pty Ltd, Primary Industries and Resources SA.