Another tree identified when our friends from the local Botanical group visited is the Pouteria Australis, also known by the synonym Planchonella australis and commonly known as the Black Apple, Wild Plum or Black Plum tree.
This is a tall rainforest tree with thick green glossy foliage and a milky sap when twigs are removed.
The Black apple fruits from September – November and will fruit heavily every couple of years, with masses of black, plum-like fruit containing red flesh and attractive shiny brown seeds. The fruit is edible, has a sweet and fibrous flesh and is said to make wonderful jam. iT can also be used to make pies fruit juice, vinegar and cider.
The Black Apple tree can be grown domestically in full sun or part shade and will reach a height of 10-12m. It is tolerant to moderate frosts and for quick growth, add fertiliser and keep well-watered in dry weather. Eliminate grass competition from base of plants. In a rainforest like Booyong it can grow 12-30 metres high.
Propagation can occur by seed or cuttings.
This tree attracts, birds (green catbird eats the fruit) and insects.
It has historically been grown for its hard wood which is used for cabinet making and the yellow patterned wood has also been used to make rulers.
We’ll be sure to look out for the fruits on the forest floor this Summer.