Family: Elaeocarpaceae

Native to the tropics and warm regions, this large genus comprises around 60 species of evergreen shrubs and trees, though only a few are commonly cultivated. They have alternate, simple leaves and axillary sprays of flowers. The ornamental species make attractive displays, having pretty flowers followed by decorative fruits. These are not readily available outside their country of origin.


E. cyaneus, blue-berry ash, grows 10-15 m (33-50 ft) tall, and is the species most often grown in home gardens, where it is often very much smaller. Native to coastal eastern Australia, it has pretty, fringed, white or pale pink flowers which are followed by deep blue fruits.

E. grandis, quandong, is a large tree, to 35 m (100 ft), from the rainforests of eastern Australia. It produces greenish white flowers in winter, followed by large, blue berries. The common name, quandong, is applied in other areas to Santalum species.

E. kirtonii, pigeon-berry ash or whitewood, is a large, round-headed tree from the coastal plains of New South Wales and Queensland which grows to 20 m (65 ft) in its habitat, but much less when cultivated. It has creamy white, summer flow­ers, followed by blue fruits.


These excellent shade or specimen trees are suited for parks and large gardens. E. cya­neus, however, can be grown in the home garden. They do best in deep, well-drained, moderately fertile, acid to neutral soil, with added organic mulch. They need plenty of water in hot, dry weather. They are tolerant of only the lightest frost. In frost-prone climates, grow in a cool greenhouse or conservatory, in pots of soil-based potting compost and in maximum light.


Zone 9.

Elaeis      Embothrium