The Plum Pine (Podocarpus elatus) has such an interesting odd-looking fruit but sweet like a grape. It's also known as Illawarra plum, Brown Pine, Australian Plum.
It is a native Australian fruit that I've heard was quite popular with Aboriginal people in SE Qld and NSW. Not surprisingly they were very tasty and very high in vitamin C. These fruits though are actually a seed sitting on top of a swollen stem. They are harvested around March-July.
I have a few of these planted in my garden, and I also know where there's lots of others around my streets. I love to go foraging for them.
What's drawn me to notice it at the moment in particular are it's gorgeous lime-green new growth with a tinge of red. It looks so full and heavy that the whole plant seems to be in a weeping form.
There are lots of things you can use plum pines for.
- Eat the fruits fresh.
- Make jams and sauces
- Cook it in sweets or savouries
- Plant it as an attractive edible screen or hedge - but tip prune it from a young age.
- Plant it in a pot.
- Plant it in your woodlot (if you have space). It is great for furniture and boat making.
- Plant it in your windbreak - the sturdy form and dense foliage makes it a good windbreak
- Being a rainforest plant, it's flammability is very low. My fire sector and high wind sector are the same, so it is ideal here as a fire retardant windbreak.
Happy gardening. Feel free to share this post.
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Labels: a good life, food, food forest, foraging, fruit, gardening, permaculture