Burdekin Plum - Pleiogynium timorense - Care Guide

Burdekin Plum! Also known as Tulip Plum, this tropical is native to Eastern Queensland, Australia. You'll find it growing in rainforest regions and sand dunes behind mangroves and in dry sub-coastal regions along the northeast coast. Burdekin produces large, black, round fruits that contain a large stone. The fruit is plump, acidic and only edible when ripe.

 

 

The colour and flavour of the flesh vary between varieties and ripeness, with red-purple plums being tart, while pale greenish-white plums taste milder. You can enjoy them raw on their own or even better, cooked into jams, used to flavour meat, or fermented into wine!

 

You can expect this extraordinary native to blossom with small, yellowish-green flowers between January and March that will later develop into fruit over the winter months. 

 

Although the large vibrant fruits will be tempting to eat when they start to show signs of ripening but don’t eat them straight away! They are hard and acidic straight off the tree. To enjoy them at their best, store them for a few days. This way, you can be sure to get the best taste! 

Quick Care

Botanical Name

Pleiogynium timorense

Size Plant: pot, min 20 cm tall
Frost Tolerance: Protect from frost
Drought Tolerance: Tolerant
Soil Type:
All soils
Sun: Full-sun/Part-shade
Size:  Height 12m
Width 6-8m
Pots: Does well in pots.
Feeding: Feed a high-quality native plant food every 6 months.

 

Planting

For best results, plant in loamy, well-drained soil, and place your plant in full sun. This dense, glossy tree typically grows up to a whopping 20m tall in the wild but you can expect half this size in a garden. It's the perfect fruit tree for a large garden or verge, offering plenty of shade and habitation for birds and small animals.

 

Frost tolerance

Only able to handle light frost, Burdekin is not very frost tolerant, so make sure to keep it well protected in the early growing stages. If you live in a cooler climate like Melbourne, we recommend protecting it during winter.

 

Sunlight

This beautiful species thrives in full sun and will yield the best fruiting results in these conditions. 

 

Maintenance

Watering & Drought Tolerance 

Though it is a tropical rainforest species, Burdekin is incredibly hardy and drought tolerant. However, it is ideal to water well over the warmer Summer months. During wintertime, you can hold back on watering but as the temperature increases ensure that you're keeping your Burdekin Plum well watered. 

  

Fertilising your Burdekin Plum

Being a plant that generates large volumes of fruit, it's important to ensure continued fruiting that you feed annually. We recommend feeding small amounts of organic fertiliser before the Summer flowering season with a dose of cow manure or organic fertiliser if you don’t have great soil. 

 

Harvesting

Harvesting should be done when the fruit is almost ripe to avoid damaging the fruit when fully ripe. Allow the fruit to fully ripen at home.

 

Growing Burdekin Plum in pots

Burdekin Plum may be kept smaller in pots, and is sometimes selected as a bonsai species.

Use a high-quality potting mix without fillers or additives and add your own plant food for the highest success.