Australian Natives

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Peanut tree – Australian bush tucker

Peanuts can grow on trees! The peanut tree (Sterculia quadrifida), also known as kuman or red fruited kurrajong and ‘Dundil’ in Larakia language and ‘Malikini’ in Tiwi, is native to rainforest areas in the Northern Territory, Queensland and north east NSW.

Peanut trees grow up to 10 m tall and 4 m wide with smooth grey bark and large heart shaped dark green leaves (which the Aborigines use to treat wounds and stings). The small yellowy green lemon scented spring flowers are followed by 5 – 8 cm long fruit, which turns bright orange when ripe.

In summer the fruit splits open to reveal the black seeds, which are edible either raw or roasted and have a flavour like peanuts. They’re delicious when roasted and crushed and sprinkled over ice cream.

The trees are frost and drought tender and prefer a sunny position with moist and organic rich soil. Good drainage is particularly important and in poorly drained areas, plant the peanut tree into an elevated mound of freely draining soil. Peanut trees can also be grown in a large pot. Some of the leaves drop in winter and in cooler areas the tree may be deciduous.

Australian native plants like the peanut tree can be given a feed each spring and autumn with Yates® Dynamic Lifter® Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser, which gently releases organic nutrients to promote healthy growth.

Yates Dynamic Lifter will also help hold moisture and nutrients in the soil and encourage earthworms and beneficial soil microorganisms. Water the peanut tree regularly and mulching around the root zone with organic mulch, like bark chips, will help keep the soil moist and also add valuable organic matter to the soil as it breaks down.

Did you know? The peanut tree is in the same plant family (Malvaceae) as hibiscus, cotton, okra and cacao.

The peanut tree is available in the ‘Tucker Bush™’ range of edible Australian native plants. Peanut tree information courtesy of Tucker Bush. For further information and stockists, visit www.tuckerbush.com.au


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