Gourmet Bush Food
Davidson's Plum (Davidsonia spp.)
Davidsonia is a genus containing 3 tree species native to Australia that are commonly known as the Davidson's Plum. They occur naturally in rainforests in NE NSW and Queensland. All species have an edible sour fruit that is about 5cm long with beautiful burgundy coloured flesh. The fruit is usually covered in a bluey white bloom. They are highly regarded as gourmet bush food.
Davidsonia pruriens ('pruriens' is the Latin translation of ‘an itching sensation’, a reference to the hairy leaves and stems) is taller than the other 2 species - Davidsonia johnsonii and Davidsonia jerseyana.
The trees reach up to 12m in height, are slender and have fruit that are produced in large clusters directly from the trunk. They are attractive trees with pinnate leaves that have slightly irritant hairs and small flowers.
Davidsonia trees grow easily and relatively quickly in the right spot. They need some shelter but will grow in full to part sun. They can be grown in a container and can be left indoors for extended periods. Plants are generally propagated from fresh seed but cuttings are successful.
Their new foliage is a bright pinkish colour, making them a very attractive tree on their own, although the fruit is a great bonus to look forward to. People say the fruit makes good jam and a full-flavoured dry red wine. The fruit is edible but not very palatable. Despite the delicious colour and texture, it is very, very sour.
I personally made a plum sauce which is superb with ice cream and pork too I suspect. It's fiddly to process but worth it for the taste sensation, the colour and the loads of antioxidants.
Author: Di Powell