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Bush plum

Bush Plum

Santalum lanceolatum

Family: Santalaceae

Shrub growing to 3m in height with bluish-green foliage. The flowers are small, creamy-white with four petals. The fruit which follow are olive-like, start off green, then change to purple then black as they ripen. They are produced after rain.

The plant reproduces by suckering and has semi-parasitic roots which help it to steal nutrients from other vegetation.

It is an important bushfood plant for Aboriginal people. The fruit are eaten fresh or reconstituted in water if dry. Sometimes the kernels were roasted then ground to make an edible paste. The paste from the ground kernels was also used as a medical liniment. Another use for the fruit is as a dye.

Where to find this plant at Alice Springs Desert Park

Scattered throughout the park in all habitats.

Latz, P., 2004. Bushfires and Bushtucker, IAD Press, Alice Springs
Moore, P., 2005. A Guide to Plants of Inland Australia, Reed New Holland, Sydney

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