Illawarra plum pine (Podocarpus elatus)


Jaimie Sweetman is Head Gardener of the Edible Forest located on the Yarra Valley Estate in Dixons Creek. There are regular tours of the Edible Forest, often led by Jaimie – read more and book your place on a future tour.

The Illawarra plum pine is native to the East Coast of NSW and QLD. They are dioecious, meaning that there are separate male and female trees which need to wind pollinate each other in order to fruit. This means that you need a few of them.

They go well in a hedge and the more you have the more likely they will fruit. We have three in the forest: two are female and produce fruit, whilst the other one is male.

They are conifers and are therefore evergreen.

They are a rainforest plant that will cope with Melbourne weather provided that it is in a well drained area. They can withstand dappled shade or full sun. A great plant for a native edible garden.

They are widely regarded as one of the best bush tucker foods. The fruit has two parts, a fleshy edible part and a seed pod at the end of it. The fleshy edible part resembles a grape in texture with a taste of pine that is enhanced when cooked. They can be eaten raw or cooked.

They are slow growing and will therefore do ok in a pot for a number of years.

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