It is always a delight to see fruit on wild peach trees in South Australia. The bright red fruit the size of a small apricot stands out in the drab grey/green of much of the natural vegetation in the drier parts of South Australia. The trees are relatively common throughout our state in bushland, bush reserves and roadside verges.
This delicious fruit – also known as the quandong (Santalum accuminatum) – grows just up the road from our front gate here in Murray Bridge but I haven’t checked out the trees in recent times to see if they are fruiting. The tree and fruit shown in today’s photos is growing in the Greg Duggan Nature Reserve near Peterborough. I have been posting photos of the wildflowers in this reserve over recent days (look back through my archives to see them).
The quandong fruit can be eaten straight from the tree but can be a little on the dry side for my taste. It is also prone to infestation from grubs, so biting into a wild peach can ensure an extra element you hadn’t bargained for! Where this fruit really excels is when it is used to make a quandong fruit pie. Eating the pie slightly warm with cream or icecream is heaven in a bowl. Trust me.
Interestingly, some orchardists have attempted to produce this fruit commercially in recent years. I am not up to date about how successful they have been because the growing requirements for this plant are quite demanding, in so much as they need a host plant.
Wild peach tree (quandong)
Australian native plants display an amazing variety of colours and shapes. One of our favourite gardens we like to visit on a regular basis is the Pangarinda arboretum at Wellington on the River Murray in South Australia. It is only a half hour drive from our home so we are frequent visitors.
This huge collection of Australian native plants has been planted and is maintained by an enthusiastic group of local people on land provided by the local council. It is open to the public every day at all hours through an unlocked gate. Note: please shut the gate after walking or driving through. This is to keep the local rabbit population out, which helps the plants to thrive.
Over recent days I have been showcasing photos of flowers taken on my most recent visit a few weeks ago. I’ll show more over the coming days.
Pangarinda Arboretum is on the eastern side of the River Murray at Wellington, South Australia, just a short distance east of the ferry crossing. This large garden has been planted up and maintained by local native plant enthusiasts on land provided by the local council.
The huge collection of many thousands of plants from all over Australia always has something in flower, so every time we visit the camera is kept busy. The whole property is fenced to keep out rabbits, so if you ever visit, make sure the gate is securely closed. Entry is free at any time.
Yesterday I shared with you some photos of beautiful Australian plants. These photos were taken in a friend’s garden in the Adelaide Hills. Like us, our friends enjoy looking at and growing plants found here in Australia. From this small selection you can see that our plants have very attractive flowers.
To view enlarged images of each photo, click on the photo. I’ll share more photos in a few days.