Quandongs, also known as a Native Peach, are a popular bush food and are native to many parts of Australia, including our area!
Once established, they produce an abundance of small, bright red fruits, approximately two centimetres in diameter.
Inside the fruit is a large seed that is only marginally smaller than the fruit. Quandongs are an excellent source of vitamins and antioxidants – a native superfood!
The fruit can be used in pies, jellies and jams and can also be eaten fresh, although be aware they are quite tart in flavour much like Rhubarb. There has been a recent surge in popularity for using bush tucker foods, and Quandongs are up there with one of the most popular.
The price of fresh Quandongs can reach into hundreds of dollars per kilo! It’s definitely worth having a go at growing your own.
Quandongs grow as a large shrub to small tree (approximately two to six metres) and are what’s known as a parasitic plant. That is, they require a host plant that they can attach to the host roots to extract water and nutrients.
Basically this means when you plant a Quandong, you also need to have an existing appropriate host plant or need to plant a host plant a few metres away- favourites include: Acacias, Casuarinas and Myoporum. Quandongs can be very difficult to propagate from seed, however once established, they are very hardy and tolerate nutrient poor soils, drought and are even salt tolerant. They enjoy a full sun position in a well-drained soil.
As a child we grew up with a couple of Quandong trees in our backyard at Tanunda. The tree would get loaded with Quandongs and my mum would make the best Quandong pie!
If you have any good gardening old wive’s tales, feel free to share them by leaving a comment online on the Barossa Mag’s website.
I do love hearing a good tale!
In the meantime, happy gardening!