Monday, December 8, 2014

The Blue Quandong Tree

Blue Quandong (Elaeocarpus grandis)
The blue quandong is one of our taller buttressed trees, growing up to 35 metres. Seen here as a tree in a park, it has been trimmed occasionally of dead branches. I presume to prevent nasty accidents falling from great heights. Though this tree is nowhere near its full height yet. Park trees often don't have to strive for sunlight the same way that trees growing in forests do.

This species of tree often grows along watercourses in the East-coast Australian subtropical rainforest. Flowers are white, sometimes pink, about 15 mm long, and difficult to see. Flowering happens from autumn to winter. The blue edible fruit, the size of greengage plums, are falling now, in December, while spent red leaves drop at any time of the year. 

Possums love the blue quandong fruit. They are said to be edible by humans but I have never met anyone to give them a try.

Blue Quandong fruit and spent leaves.