Elaeocarpus grandis (ELAEOCARPACEAE) Blue Quandong

Plants to Plant


Large tree to 35 metres with buttressed trunk, branches layered. Occurs in subtropical rainforest and along moist, scrubby watercourses. An endemic Australian species, occurring along the east coast from Nambucca River in NSW to Cooktown in North Queensland and also in the Northern Territory. Leaves alternate and one-foliolate, oblong-elliptical, with shallow, toothed margins; 10-18 cm in length. Blade dark green above. Sparse crown usually characterized by occurrence of some bright red leaves as tree ages. Flowers greenish-white, bell-shaped, with five fringed petals, borne in numerous racemes along branches, from leaf scars. Flowering occurs March to June. Fruit a bright blue, ovoid drupe 2-3 cm in diameter, with a thin layer of edible, green flesh. Up to five seeds encased in a hard, pitted stone. Ripe September to November. Edible, though not that palatable.

Photo: Anne Jones


Fruit stones were used by Aborigines for necklaces. Aborigines of the north were known to make up an edible paste of the ripe fruit by squashing them into a bark trough filled with water. Previously included in E. angustifolius.

Photo: Anne Jones