The davidson plum, aka Davidsonia jerseyana for the New South Wales Davidson plum and Davidsonia pruriens for the Queensland Davidson plum, is also called Queensland Itchtree, Ooray Smooth Davidsonia. The plum is a brilliant coloured fruit, dark blue purple on the outside and a deep reddish-pink on the inside.
The NSW Davidson plum is a slender small tree growing between 6 and 10 m high in the wild. The leaves are alternate between 35-75 cm long. The flowers are small, dark pink to red and grow on the main stem. The fruits are dark purple in colour, oval shaped and covered with fine hairs. They contain two large seed cases with a single seed and are dark red when fully ripe.
The QLD Davidson Plum is a medium slender tree reaching up to 20 m. The leaves are large, about 60 to 120 cm. The tree is covered with irritant hairs. The pink flowers grow on the stems. The contain multiple lateral spikes. The fruits are produced in large pendulous clusters from the trunk. They are large deep purple but the flesh is slightly paler than the NSW Davidson plum.
The Davidson plum is native from the Northern Rivers region of NSW (for Davidsonia jerseyana ) and grows naturally from the Tweed to the Brunswick River catchment in altitudes between 100-300 m. Clusters of natural populations are mainly growing in sheltered positions on south and east facing slopes mainly in riparian and rainforest areas. Some species show few branches with several stems from the base, each with a terminal tuft of leaves.
The other variety, Davidsonia pruriens, is endemic to the North-East Queensland and is found in rainforests in altitudes to 1000m.
The fruits are used fresh. The NSW Davidson plum is available in summer, QLD Davidson plum ripens in winter and can be harvest all-year-round.
Photo credit - John Moss
The NSW Davidson plum – which we use at Violet & Gold - offers an earthy aroma like fresh beetroot with a slight pickled note. The taste is really sour with some astringency and slight bitterness. It is very rarely used fresh, due to its bitterness, but it tastes delicious as a syrup mixer!
The Davidson plum contains high levels of antioxidants, as well as vitamin E, lutein, folate, zinc, magnesium and calcium.
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