Backyard Buddies
Blueberry Ash

Photo: Tatters

Blueberry Ash

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The Blueberry Ash Elaeocarpus reticulatus is a large shrub or small tree which produces lots of sweet smelling bell-shaped pink or white flowers in spring and early summer. The smell is a little like aniseed or liquorice.

Its brilliant blue berries take quite a long time to ripen with some hanging on the branches until the next flowering season. It is a popular garden plant that grows easily in well-drained soil in a sunny spot. It can grow up to 9 metres in gardens and up to 30 metres in the wild. It grows naturally along the east coast of Australia.

The fringed flowers give the Blueberry Ash its common name of Fairy petticoats.

Blue-tongues and other lizards, pigeons, cockatoos, parrots and currawongs all feed on the berries. It is the vibrant blue colour which attracts the Regent Bowerbird. Wonga Pigeons, Crimson Rosellas, Figbirds, White Headed Pigeons and Olive-backed Orioles all eat the seeds of the berries. If these birds live in your area, adding a Blueberry Ash to your garden will provide them with a long-term constant food source.

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Sheoaks are very unusual plants because they have separate male and female plants. Each year the males will turn a dusky red colour as they release their pollen. The female trees have small red flowers and lots of seed cones. The sheoak doesn’t have big leaves, instead they have branchlets ..



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Photo: OEH