Plant Podocarpus elatus (Brown Pine)

Mickldo

Ray Mears
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Botanical Name: Podocarpus elatus

Family: Podocarpacae

Common Name: Brown Pine

Other Names: Illawarra Plum, Plum Pine

Distribution: McIlwraith Range NE QLD to the Illawarra area NSW and NT. *

Field Notes: Tree to 40m, with brown fibrous bark. Branchlets green, with longitudinal ribs. Leaves alternate, stiff, to 18cm long, with stiff point at apex, glossy and dark above, paler below. Only midvein prominent. Male and female "flowers" on separate plants, spring. Spherical seed to 12mm diamter, attached to fleshy blue black, plum like edible receptacle to 25mm diameter, autumn to winter. **

Uses: Edible fruit. Tastes plum like with a piney after taste when eaten raw. Tastes great when cooked into jams, chutneys, tarts, etc.

*Distribution from "Australian Rainforest Fruits - A Field Guide"
**Field notes from "Mangroves to Mountains"
 
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Mickldo

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Bark of the tree. Main tree is the older, rougher bark but it has sent up numerous suckers around the trunk which is the newer, smoother looking bark.
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Looking up at the top of the tree. For scale that is a big Queenslander house with 8' headroom under the house.
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Close up of the fruit
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View of the lower half of the tree
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Close up of the fruit cut in half. Note the hard seed attached. Leatherman Wave for scale.
 
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Mickldo

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This tree is in my in-laws front yard. We just harvested a couple of buckets full of fruit from it. We ate a few raw but cooked all the rest up into various jams, chutneys, tarts, and various other recipes. Very yummy.

A friend who consulted for the authors of "Mangroves to Mountains" ID'd the tree for the in-laws. According to him it should be called the Brown Pine rather than the Illawarra Plum as the "Bloody New South Welshman steal ownership of all of our good trees and claim them for their own"! Haha.

I still have a bucket full of seeds leftover from the harvest. I plan to try and propagate a couple of trees to plant in my permaculture food forest.
 

Aussie123

Never Alone In The Bush
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Great find Mickldo.

Do you think the fruit would work to make a "sloe gin" ?
 

Mickldo

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Great find Mickldo.

Do you think the fruit would work to make a "sloe gin" ?
Honestly, I don't now. I have never made a "sloe gin" before but the sugar content is pretty good so it may work. The Mother-in-law (who owns the tree) likes gin so I reckon she would probably go for the idea. I am not sure how much fruit is left on the tree, we have used all of the other fruit already. If we don't have any left I betcha it will be the first thing we try next season.
 

Mickldo

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Just found a reference to the Brown Pine in the book "Australian Timbers - Vol 1" by Ashley J. Sewell.

"Derivation: Greek pous, podos, a foot; karpos, fruit (in reference to the fleshy seed raised on a 'footstalk'), Latin, elatus, tall."

"USES
Construction plywood
Decorative funiture, turnery, carving, musical instuments"
 
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