Common name:
Native Cherry, Cherry Ballart

Family name:
Santalaceae

Botanical name:
Exocarpos cupressiformis

Flowering/fruiting season:
Summer fruiting (Flood, 1980:94)

Location:
Common and of cypress-like habit in dry sclerophyll forests (Burbidge & Gray, 1976:148)

Use:

  • Food, technology
  • Fleshy pedicels of fruit were eaten (raw) (Flood, 1980:94)
  • 'Each small, green, hard fruit is supported on a larger, swollen, fleshy stalk which was eaten in winter. When fruits are yellow, they are bitter but when they turn deep red, they are quite sweet and palatable.' (Oates & Seeman, 1979:7)
  • Wood used for spearthrowers and bullroarers. (Zola & Gott, 1992:48)

Native Cherry

Notes:

  • 'No relation to the European cherry. The "fruit" is actually swollen red stalk ' (Zola & Gott, 1992:47-48)
  • Exocarpos is a parasite on the roots of other trees. The fruit's 'fleshy stalk when yellow or orange is highly astringent but when about to fall is sweet and palatable, and a deep red.' (Cribb & Cribb, 1987:28)

Language names:
mummadya : 'cherry-tree' Monaro (Flood, 1980:359)

Horticulture :
'Disappointment usually follows efforts to transplant this tree, however small, as its roots are partly parasitic upon those of other plants. Preliminary establishment of a suitable host plant may lead to a satisfactory method of cultivation.' (Macquarie Dictionary of Trees & Shrubs, 1986:189)

Similar species:
Pale-fruit Ballart Exocarpos strictus grows in mountain forests (NSW, Tas, Vic); 'It has whitish fruits, smaller than the Coast Ballart...' (Zola & Gott, 1992:39)

Use code:
FRT

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