Elaeocarpus grandis

There’s a huge Elaeocarpus grandis tree in full flower in the park near my daughter’s house.

This rainforest tree commonly known as white quandong, blue quandong, silver quandong, blue fig or blueberry ash, is endemic to eastern Australia. It is a large tree with buttress roots at the base of the trunk, oblong to elliptic leaves with small teeth on the edges, racemes of greenish-white flowers and more or less spherical blue fruit, which are edible but bitter.

Indigenous Australians ate the fruit raw or buried the unripe fruit in sand for four days to make it sweeter and more palatable. Early settlers used the fruit for jams, pies and pickles. The fruit of E. grandis is eaten by birds, including the wompoo fruit-dove, southern cassowary and Australian brushturkey.

I have a vintage (1940s) Chinese Checkers set that belonged to my mother; the “marbles” are painted quandong seeds. It looks like this one. I am not sure if they are E. grandis seeds as there are at least a couple of dozen trees called quandong.

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