BURDEKIN PLUM
(Pleiogynium timorense)

A tree of burdekin plum

 

Family: Anacardiaceae

Synonyms: Pleiogynium cerasiferum

Other names: Tulip plum

Burdekin plum is native to Australia. It is wide spread there.  Besides Australia, this fruit is also found in Also found in Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and the Pacific islands

Description:

Large trees usually with large plank buttress. Blaze layering fine but conspicuous.

Fruits of burdekin plum

 

Leaf blades about 4-10 x 2-6 cm; stalk of the terminal leaflet significantly longer than those of the lateral leaflets,  midrib raised on the upper surface, pale, slightly elongated lenticels usually obvious on the leaf-bearing twigs;  domatia if present, are foveoles, usually with hairs at the opening.

Burdekin plum tree foliage

 

Calyx lobes about 0.6-1 mm long, petals ovate, about 1.7-3.8 mm long; stamens usually eight or ten, rarely 12 and inserted below and outside the disk; filaments about 1.3-2.3 mm long,  styles and stigmas ten in the female flowers, styles about 1 mm long.

Burdekin plum flowers

 

Fruits depressed-obovoid, about 20-25 x 20-38 mm; Endocarp hard and woody, about 1.8-2.5 x 2-3.5 mm.

Seeds about 5-12, cotyledons 3-veined, the hard stony remains of the fruit normally persist beneath mature female trees; each fruit or seed  kernel resembling a flying saucer with portholes around the equator.

Utilization:

Burdekin plum fruits are of two type.  One has red flesh where as the flesh of other fruits is green.

The fruits tend to be very acid. They are not edible straight from the tree, but need to be held for some days to soften and mellow. Early settlers, and probably aborigines, were known to bury them in the ground for a while, which had the effect of softening them and increasing palatability.

           The fruit can also be  used in jams and jellies.

            Burdekin plum trees have a very decorative timber.  The wood from this tree is used in making batons of music conductors.

 

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