I am spending sometime in Tasmania this month and trying to get out in the bush as much as possible and there are a local few plants that keep popping up wherever I go. The native cherry is one of them, I have never tasted the fruit of Exocarpos cupressiformis before this week and it has made it into my top 5 bush food list 😉 yummy! The hard fruit is supported on a larger, swollen, fleshy stalk which turn red and they are become quite sweet and palatable.
The native cherry grows to between 3 and 8 metres, making it a perfect small feature tree. It looks a lot like some of the weeping Casuarinas, with soft conifer like branches reaching right to the ground.
It grows naturally as an under storey shrub and is actually parasitic to surrounding Eucalyptus species, therefore it is difficult to propagate.
The fruits attract birds such as Cuckooshrikes, Silvereyes, Mistletoe Birds, Satin Bowerbirds, Wonga Pigeons, butcherbirds and honeyeaters.
I personally think this small tree has enough merit to be used as a soft screening or backdrop plant, the more moisture it receives the taller it will grow and as it is quite dense could be used as an informal hedge.