Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

Australian Botanic Garden




Podocarpus elatus

The Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan - June

Common name plum pine, brown pine
Scientific name Podocarpus elatus R.Br. ex Endl.
Family  Podocarpaceae
Etymology

Genus: From the Greek, pous, podos, foot; and carpos, fruit; referring to the fruit's fleshy stalk.

Species: Latin, elatus, tall.

Distribution Along the east coast of Queensland and New South Wales.
Native habitat Occurs in the rainforest and rainforest margins, often associated with waterways.
Description

A medium to large tree.

Flowering/fruiting The plums ripen from March to July and soon fall from the plant to the ground.

Location in Garden

Bed 1 in the Connections Garden and in the Fruit Loop.

 

The plum pine is a primitive species that has survived since the dinosaur age. The Podocarps originated in the Gondwanan forests of the Triassic period, 245 million years ago where they grew alongside wollemi pines, cycads, tree ferns, giant clubmosses and horsetails, ferns (not grass) covered the ground.

This species is dioecious which means there are separate male and female plants, one of each must be growing within pollination range in order for the female tree to set fruit. As you can see, the fruits are composed of two segments. The edible portion is the grape like swollen stalk. It has a resinous flavour and a high Vitamin C content and can be used in jams, jellies, tarts and cakes.

Due to its wide spreading crown and prolific fruiting it is a popular shade tree, often planted in parks and gardens. When cultivated as such, trees tend to be smaller than in their natural environments.

 

 

 

P. elatus

P. elatus