Elaeocarpus bancroftii

Common Names: Johnstone River Almond, Kuranda Quandong

Scientific Name: Elaeocarpus bancroftii F.Muell. & F.M.Bailey

Family: Elaeocarpaceae

Etymology

Genus:  Elaeocarpus – from the Greek word elaia meaning ‘olive’ and karpos meaning ‘fruit’.   

Species: bancroftii – named after Dr Joseph Bancroft (1836-94), doctor, surgeon and pioneering agriculturist who settled in Queensland in 1864.

Distribution

Restricted to north-eastern Queensland in tropical wet forests of coastal lowlands from Cooktown southwards to Tully.

Native Habitat

Rainforest from sea level to 1200mm.

Description

Grows to 10-30 metres tall with a spreading canopy. Leaves large, mid-green ovate and leathery, turning bright red to scarlet as they age and fall.

Flowering

White bell shaped flowers (approximately 15mm across) with fringed petals hang in clusters during autumn. They are followed by blue-green football-shaped fruit about 40mm diameter with a leathery sometimes fleshy outer layer. Inside the fruit, the seed is encased in a hard case known as an endocarp.

Location in Garden

Lawn 24 (The Band Lawn), Lawn 62b towards the Opera House Gate.

Information

The seed once extracted from the hard outer shell (endocarp) has a nutty flavour similar to macadamias and can be eaten fresh or dried. It has traditionally been eaten by Aboriginal people and special ‘nut-stones’ are often left under trees in order to crack open the nut and reveal the seed.

The fallen fruits are eaten by Cassowaries and the seeds eaten by native rats.

It prefers moist, well-drained soil in full to part sun. Germination of the seed is slow with a low strike rate, sometimes taking 2 or more years. 

Must See in the Garden

Recommended by the volunteers

Download the Must See in the Garden map to enjoy a self guided walk around the Garden. Created by our volunteers each month with seasonal highlights in mind.

Or simply visit the Information Booth at the Garden Shop at 10.30 am everyday for a free guided walk!