So the seasons are changing, and as the wet season nears its end, various bush tucker and other wonderful native plants start to fruit, putting their energies into reproduction ready for the dry spell.
One of these amazing bush tucker fruits is Terminalia ferdinandiana. This is also known as Kakadu plum or Gubinge or Billy Goat plum and various indigenous names inlcuding Nghul Nghul, Murunga, Marnybi and Manmohpan. The fruits of this tree reportedly are the highest natural source of vitamin C. The fruits are often made into powder and sold for large amounts at health food stores! We are lucky enough that right now this common tree is fruiting in our back yard. It is a slender tree (up to 25m) found in savanna woodland, our most common landscape type across Northern Australia.
The fruit are small, about 1 cm long, oval with narrower ends and light green in colour. The fruit are quite sour and ready when they are soft to touch.
The fruit can be added to smoothies, made into jam or relish and sauce, the skin is a little astringent. There are a wonderful indicator of seasonal change!
While out bush doing work I have found quite a few fruit, just about to be ripe. I have also planted a tree on my “Native nature strip” but it is not yet mature enough to fruit. If you would like to plant one, you can either grow a tree from seed or buy them at a native plant nursery. Anna has a small and growing nursery- The Native Plum and co in Rapid Creek and Greening Australia sells through various nurseries in Darwin.
There is also a green plum (Buchanania obavata) which fruits at the beginning of the wet season in October, but has more round fruit and more leathery leaves!
Here is a close up of the fruit, Thanks to Aaron, from Bellueyen community (and I hope that is spelt correctly) for hand modelling, he is studying Conservation Land Management and their team have been saving heaps of seed to propagate. Yvette Brady, their teacher says the seeds need to be cleaned and kept for nearly a year untill they are propagated as they have a dormancy. You can alternatively look for last years seeds under the trees.