Summer fruit blue

Shows blue fruit of native Elderberry panax, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve Moe

Elderberry panax, Polyscias sambucifolia, in fruit

Graceful native

The Elderberry panax, Polyscias sambucifolia, is a plant native to the area. It is particularly graceful and has flourished since the drought broke in 2010, with stands developing in areas that tend to moisture.

Shows stand of Elderberry panax, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve Moe

Part of stand of Elderberry panax on southern facing slope of Woodland Walk

Shows forest of native Elderberry panax, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve Moe

Growth along eastern side of Reserve

Shows blue fruit of native Elderberry panax, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve Moe

Newer growth along George Toye Track

There is some variability in leaf form, with a tendency to a long ovate shape.

Shows elegant shape of native Elderberry panax, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve Moe

Graceful shape of Elderberry panax, with ovate leaf

The flowers – found in December, this year – are described as ‘insignificant’ although the bright green panicles are attractive to the local bees.

Shows green flowers - enjoyed by native bees - of native Elderberry panax, Edward Hunter Heritage Bush Reserve Moe

Green flowers – with native bee

Edible fruit

The fruit is a lovely transparent steel blue and is said to be edible…we tried it and, yes, it is. When the fruit falls easily into your hand, it seems ready to eat. It has a sweet taste but – be warned – a somewhat astringent finish.

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Sources and further references

Bull, M. (2014) Flora of Melbourne: A Guide to the Indigenous Plants of the Greater Melbourne Area, Fourth Edition, Hyland House Publishing.

Hadlow, B. and Australian National Botanic Gardens (2013) Polyscias sambucifolia, Elderberry Panax. http://www.anbg.gov.au/gnp/gnp12/polyscias-sambucifolius.html

Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyscias_sambucifolia

 

2 responses to “Summer fruit blue

  1. It’s just as well this fruit is edible, because the photos certainly make it look good enough to eat! Do you know how long the fruiting season lasts? And, more importantly, is this the kind of elderberry from which wine and other beverages can be made?

    • Based on past seasons, it should be another three weeks or so that the fruit will be on the plants. The native plant has some similarity to the European elderberry in terms of appearance but there don’t seem to be any references to anyone trying to make wine or cordial from the fruit here…at least as far as google goes 🙂 An interesting thought! Thanks for visiting, artful words!

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