Davidson’s Plum

Photo © Bulleen Art & Garden

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The deep dark purple fruits contain a soft juicy vibrant dark red flesh with a sharp acidity. The Australian Native Flavour Wheel describes the aroma as earthy like fresh beetroot with slight pickled notes. Rarely used as a fresh fruit due to the intense acid and low sugar content, instead the fruit is wonderful added to yoghurt, jams, sauces and drinks.

There are three species of Davidson’s plum. They are all from the rainforest in the subtropics or tropics. This fact sheet will cover Davidsonia jersyana or the NSW Davidson’s Plum.

D.jersyana is a small, upright and slender tree having few branches. It is found in the subtropical rainforest of NSW of the Northern Rivers region where it reaches between 6 – 10m in height. In the wild, it is an endangered species. The tree carries pink flowers which hang from the trunk. The fruit that follows, appears to emerge from the trunk of the tree, and superficially resembles the European plum. In the subtropics, it will start producing fruit after 4 years. It could take longer in Melbourne.

It is important to protect the young plants from the full sun, wind and frost. Choose a protected, shady area and dig lots of organic matter mixed with cow manure into the soil. Provide the tree with adequate water particularly in the flowering and fruiting period. Remove weeds from around the trunk and mulch to prevent their return. It is thought that the trees are self-pollinated.


Davidson’s Plum chutney
500g Spanish onions, sliced
1 garlic clove
butter for frying
200g Davidson’s plums, de-seeded and chopped
200g brown sugar
100g sultanas
100ml dry white wine
100ml white wine vinegar
a pinch of curry powder
1 clove
Sweat the onions and chopped garlic in a little butter until transparent. Add the remaining ingredients and boil for 1 to 2 hours or until thick stirring occasionally.

Plum Paste – Davidson

This combines both the tart Davidson Plum flavours with the subtle licorice undertones of the Aniseed Myrtle. Perfect with a sharp tasty cheese on biscuits or as a glaze for meats.
¼ cup water
1 kg Davidson Plums (yielded 885g pulp – pureed)
885g sugar
2 teaspoons anise myrtle
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Cut plums and remove the stones. Puree to break down the skin. Add a little water to the bottom of a heavy based pot and pour the pureed plums in. Stir in the sugar, then the anise myrtle and the lemon juice and cook at a high temperature for about 20 minutes.
It’s ready when it’s one step short of being toffee. (If you are not sure test by putting a very little bit in the fridge to see if it sets.]
Pour into a shallow rectangular dish and allow to cool and set.

Serve spoonfuls of paste with a sharp cheese and walnut toast.

(This keeps well if well sealed.)