Dotberries

Pointilla (dotberries) are spot on

Dotberries
Yellow and red dotberries

I was convinced the two Pointilla, or dotberry bushes, (also known as umbellate oleaster) had failed in their first year. Their tiny white flowers (which are slightly scented) looked like they’d all dropped off and I left them to it.

However, when clearing out the sweet peas in autumn, peeping out from under the leaves was a crop of golden and red berries.

Pointilla Fortunella
Pointilla Fortunella

They’re packed with nutrients, but I can’t imagine them being available at the supermarket, as they’re fiddly to pick. They look good enough to be planted in a border but do grow quite large (you can prune them) and they have good autumn colour.

Pointilla Sweet 'n' Sour
Pointilla Sweet ‘n’ Sour (terrible picture, sorry)

They are not self-fertile, so grow two together – I have Sweet ‘n’ Sour, (coral red berries with white dots). The fruits have a prickling, sweet/sour flavour (advertised as being a bit like popping candy) from mid-October to early November, so a welcome crop at a lean time of year.

Pollinator Fortunella has amber yellow berries with white dots, a sweeter flavour, and larger berries.

They taste great with boring breakfast cereal and fat-free yoghurt.

Pointilla shrubs, in a 5l pot, cost £17.40 each, for more details, log on to www.lubera.co.uk – delivery is £4.99.


potted-guide-logoPotted guide: Pointilla (dotberries)

  •  YIELD: Mid-October to early November; approx. 4 kg is possible by the third year.
  •  HEIGHT: Can reach 3-4m high, limit the height by pruning to 2-2.5 m – cut out shoots regularly that are 4-5 years old or older.
  •  ASPECT AND SOIL: Full sun, slightly acidic soil (although mine is neutral and they’re doing fine).
  • HARDINESS: Hardy.
  • PLANTING DISTANCE: 1.5-2m (mine are planted closer, as I willfully ignore instruction).
  • FERTILISATION: Don’t self-pollinating plants, you must plant either Fortunella or Amoroso with Sweet ‘n’ Sour as pollinators.
  • DIFFICULTY: Easy.