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

Terminalia latipes – Hairy Gubinge (seed)

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Terminalia latipes is a tree of the family Combretaceae, native to northern Australia. The tree or shrub typically grows to a height of 3 to 10 metres in height and is deciduous. It blooms between October and February producing white flowers. It is found among rocky outcrops and on hills, floodplains and coastal dunes in the Kimberley region of Western Australia growing in sandy loam/clay soils over sandstone.

Terminalia latipes was previously classified as Terminalia latipes. ssp. latipes, and Terminalia ferdinandiana was Terminalia latipes. ssp. psilocarpa.

Terminalia latipes fruit contains good levels of micronutrients such as Na, K, Mg, CA and Zn. The fruit contains high antioxidant capacity, with high levels of Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin E and Ellagic Acid. One tree in Broome is recorded to have produced in one season, 56kg processed fruit, plus 18kg seed. The fruit tastes like peach and can be frozen for use all year.

Care and Cultivation of Terminalia latipes

Terminalia latipes seeds have a physical dormancy and will need to be nicked, sanded or filed to encourage germination. With no treatment, you can expect to wait 6 months to 2 years or more until the embryo can imbibe water and start the germination process. Inside the seed is a much smaller ‘nut’, about the size and length of an almond sliver (15mm x 3mm) which is the actual part of the seed that contains the embryo and from whence forth your plant will grow. To encourage germination, you need to just expose this inner ‘almond’ by filing the shell with a rasp or cutting the end with seceteurs, be careful. No wonder they can take a long time to germinate with no treatment!

Plant seeds just under the surface (1-3cm) in a good quality seed raising mix in full sun. Bottom heat around 24ºC is recommended. Keep moist and warm until germination, which may take up to 3 months (depending on how well you file down the seed coat). A drought tolerant, beautiful and hardy species. Full sun. We use a sharp draining potting mix consisting of coco peat, pumice, coarse sand and perlite, plenty of inorganics.

5 seeds per packet

Photos of fruit and trees courtesy of T. Harley.


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