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The conkerberry, or conkleberry, is also known as anwekety by the Anmatyerre people north of Alice Springs.
It is a sweet black berry that grows on the plant (Carissa lanceolata ) for a few weeks of the year, ripening from green to purple then black. The fruit looks very similar to a plum, which is why it is often referred to in English by the Anmatyerre people as bush plum. The Anmatyerre people collect the berries when ripe and store them dry, soaking them in water again before eating.
The plant of the conkerberry is a tangled, spiny shrub that can grow up to 2m high. Fragrant white flowers bloom after rain. The plant also has medicinal properties; the orange inner bark from the roots can be soaked in water and the resultant solution can be used as a medicinal wash. This is particularly favoured for skin and eye conditions. The thorns on the shrub can be used to cure warts. The wood of the stem is a bright orange colour and favoured by Australian woodworkers for it's bright colour, soft grain and ease of carving. ( See the wood grain in the left side bar of this webpage )
The conkerberry bush has proved to be both a hardy and versatile Australian plant.
We hope to live up to the name.