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)