Plant of the month – Podocarpus elatus (plum pine)

The Plum Pine is a magnificent specimen tree which will grow readily in a range of climatic conditions and soil types but it must have reasonable drainage.  The tree can  grows upwards of 8 metres and growth rate is slow in the first 1 – 2 years of establishment.

Leaves are dark green, shiny, narrow and very tough with sharp tips. The bark is dark brown, flaky and finely furrowed.  This species is dioecious, meaning you’ll need both male and female trees to produce fruit so it is best to plant several or use as a hedge.  It can be kept as a handsome tub plant until it is about 2 metres high before planting out. 

The seed sits atop a swollen, fleshy, blue-black stalk to 2.5cm across, which forms the ‘fruit’ between March to July.  The edible ‘fruit’ has a grape like texture with a sweetish, mild pine flavour and can be eaten raw or made into a jam or jelly, used in sauces and marinades , preserved, or added to muffins, cheesecakes and fruit compotes.  Fruits may be picked from the tree, but will also fall to the ground when ripe.

Available now in the nursery. For more on our nursery click here