I own Land for Wildlife blocks at both Childers and in the North Burnett area. On a recent drive along a little used country road near Biggenden I noticed many fallen fruit along the roadside in one particular spot. These proved to be from three very large, mature trees with dark glossy foliage and bark somewhat like an ironbark but chunkier. On two trees the fruit was in clusters at the end of the twig, on the third the fruit hung singly – looking much like an apple tree.

Despite the large quantity of fruit that had fallen, few seemed to have been sampled by local wildlife. The ripe fruit seems to have no smell and a dab of the pink flesh against my lip didn’t produce any unpleasant effect. Its size is a little larger than a Burdekin Plum – up to 9 cm circumference, matt not shiny and of a pleasant dusty pink both on the tree and on the ground.

“Owenia venosa fruit on the tree (main image) and on the ground. Photos by Melanie Mott. Owenia venosa.Photo by Anita Morrison.”

A local land owner told us that this was a wild plum and sought after in times gone by as flooring for dance halls. However, the timber is so hard that sawing had to be done in water. (I may be wrong but presumed this to be to stop the saw from overheating and quickly becoming blunt.)

Owenia venosa fruit partly eaten by some animal. Photo by Melanie Mott.

I would be pleased to learn what this fruit is, its uses, food value (if any) and how it can be propagated.

Anita Morrison
Land for Wildlife member North Burnett

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