Quandong | Blue Quandong – Elaeocarpus grandis
Quandong, Elaeocarpus grandis, also known as >Blue Quandong or blue fig, is an Australian native fruit tree, frequent in riversides and sea-level subtropical rainforest and by streams of North NSW and Queensland. Quandong is a member of the Elaeocarpaceae, family grown for ornamental flowers, fruit and foliage.
The generic name of this species comes from Greek elaia, olive tree; karpos, fruit in regard to the fact that the fruit is olive like in appearance. It’s a close Australian relation of the Sandalwood.
The Quandong is a large tree, up to 35 meters in height and of 5-10meters wide. It favors a moist, well drained soil in total to partial sun. It actually has high moisture requirements, 1250-2000 millimeters of rainfall. The trunk of the quandong is somewhat wrinkled, the bark is gray color and the under bark is yellow. The blue Quandong is a good timber tree.
Leaves are simple, alternate, generally oblong-elliptic, shiny, dark green, about 8-20 cm long, 1- 4 cm wide, hairy, with fine serrated margins. Leaves more or less are bunched at the ends of the twigs. Old leaves become bright red to ruby-red in color prior to falling. Flowers are greenish white, about 15 mm long and appear early in wintertime. They are followed by one-seeded shiny blue fruit.
Quandong fruit is ripening in the coming year from late autumn to early spring. Fruit is edible, ball-shaped, 20-30 mm diameter with 5 superficial grooves. Aboriginals mix fresh fruit with water to make an edible spread. The fruit can be used to produce jams, pies and jellies. The nuts are actually good eating if slightly roasted.
Quandong Propagation Methods
Propagation is by seed. It might be dispersed by birds or bats. However, as member of the sandalwood family, being parasitic is difficult to propagate.
Quandong, Blue Quandong, Elaeocarpus grandis
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