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Medicinal, culinary and unusual botanicals from Australia and around the world

Elaeocarpus grandis – Blue Quandong (seed)

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Elaeocarpus grandis occurs on Cape York QLD and southwards as far as north-eastern New South Wales. Elaeocarpaceae family. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 1100 m. Grows in a variety of well developed types of rain forest. Favoured by disturbance, fast growing, flowers and fruits profusely. Also occurs in New Guinea. This is one of the fastest growing species in the rainforest particularly following logging or any other major disturbances. Individual trees can grow to large dimensions in quite short periods of time (source here).

The skin of the fruit is a brilliant blue colour, not produced by anthocyanin, but by a microscopic structure similar to iridescent bird or butterfly wings.

The fruit contains a large ornamental seed that can be used in jewellery and craft making. The green thin layer of flesh can be eaten or made into jams (reportedly by early settlers). I have made a water kefir inspired drink from the spontaneous open fermentation of the whole seeds and added water. The initial smell reminded me of a nice Hefeweizen German beer! Extra sugar could be added and I believe there is good potential from this native fruit in a range of ferments.

Care and Cultivation of Elaeocarpus grandis

Elaeocarpus grandis seeds have a physical seed dormancy and the seed coat needs to be broken to allow water to imbibe and germination to start. Without treatment, seeds can take 1-2 years to germinate. The seed can be filed down somewhat to expose part of the embryo.

Elaeocarpus grandis is a fast to medium growing species that likes well drained soil in full sun to part shade. Up to 30m tall. Likes adequate soil moisture, this species is often found near waterways where the seeds are dispersed by water.

5 seeds per packet (Sunshine Coast provenance)


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