For those readers interested in unusual native plants, here’s an update to my previously published Quandong growing adventures.

Quandong seedlings protected by tree guards in regional Victoria 2017

Cosgrove, Regional Victoria – History

The Quandongs we planted in 2017 first flowered in autumn 2021, although they didn’t set fruits, similar to other fruiting plants who take a couple of years of flowering to fruit well. The next flowering in autumn 2022 brought the first tasty red fruits in summer 2022.

With the heavy rains of the last 3 years, the Quandong flowering was abundant. Quandong flowers are held in clusters of several flowers, each flower being quite tiny, yet they carry a strong sweet smell like apricot flowers. As the buds open the flowers are green inside, but over a few days a dark-coloured nectar appears at the base of each flower, so each one looks like a little jam tart.

Last year the flowering was again prolific, and I expected a good fruit set. Not sure if the rain prevented good pollination, but there were only around a few fruits on each plant. Very disappointing.

Quandongs growing wild in outback New South Wales

Cosgrove 2024

The plants are healthy and growing well and one plant is also suckering, with little plants popping up around it. This will eventually form a thicket, which I am quite happy about as I figure I’m getting more Quandong plants without having to plant them! Commercial Quandong growers don’t like their plants suckering as it makes it harder to get up and down the rows, but I don’t mind.

Melbourne 2024

My one Melbourne Quandong plant is less than half the size of the ones in Cosgrove, but as they are not normally found that far south I figure it’s doing ok. It has not long finished flowering for the first time, and it looks like it may have set a fruit!

Growing from seed

I’m now going to try to grow these iconic plants from seed, which I’ve learned from some research is best sown when around a year old, instead of using fresh. Seeds can last seven years. Most sources suggest cracking the woody seed with a vice – I might try a macadamia cracker.

Being parasitic, they also need to be started or planted with a host plant, such as a small grass or groundcover. They’re not the easiest plant to grow, but they are one of the most interesting and special. I’ll let you know how I go!

Quandong Plant Identification Garden Sign

Quandong Plant Identification Sign

The quandong plant sign has now been added to the expanded range of Bushfood Plant ID signs, view range below.

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