I suppose wombats (in those parts of Australia where wombats live) must eat the tubers of this plant. People can eat them too, and they are said to be sweet and delicious. If you want to try, you’ll need a good digging stick, as they might be half a metre underground.
You can also eat the crisp white arils which partially surround the seeds. There’s not much of them, so they are hardly worth the trouble - but if you are desperate for fruit, it’s there!
Each fruit has developed from a summer flower which looked like this - three pale pink sepals, and three fluffy white petals.
The plants are fruiting beautifully all around the district at present. They do it each year, but our summer of rain has given them an extra healthy glow. When they have finished, the plants will die back for the winter. These light climbers are suitable for garden use, but are best cut back to the ground each winter, and allowed to regrow in spring. They are also suitable as pot plants for porches and balconies. They grow in heavy shade, so can even be used indoors (but don’t expect flowers or fruit in that situation).
Here is a closer look at their leaves. Note that they have no stems, and no obvious mid-vein on the upper surface, though on some plants you can distinguish one on the underside.
This helps to distinguish them from a similar-looking local plant, the scrambling lily Geitonoplesium cymosum. In both plants, the leaves vary a good deal in size and shape, being bigger in damper climates and smaller in the dry places west of the Great Dividing Range.
The scrambling, lily, however, has a short but obvious little stalk to its leaves. If you look closely you can see that it is twisted. And it has an upstanding central vein on the upper side of the leaf.
Its spring flowers are pure white, and lack the little beards on the their petals which distinguish the wombat berry flowers.