Helicia diversifolia C.T.White
Hicksbeachia diversifolia (C.T.White) Sleumer
Common Name: Atherton Oak
Atherton oak is a relatively slow-growing evergreen tree that can reach a height of 10 - 30 metres[
The edible seed is gathered from the wild and consumed locally.
The tree is rare and threatened in the wild[
Australia - Queensland.
Coastal ranges from Cape Tribulation to Mt Bartle Frere, north-eastern Queensland. Grows in rainforest, mostly from 700 to 1150 metres, but descending to as low as 400 metres at Alexandra Ck[
Succeeds in moist, warm temperate to tropical regions, tolerating some frost[
Prefers a fertile, moisture-retentive soil in a sunny position sheltered from the wind[
Plants can commence flowering and fruiting when about 7 - 8 years old from seed[
Flowers are reported to be strongly and sweetly scented[
The bluish purple, fleshy, plum-like fruit is up to 4cm long and contains a delicious, sweet, crispy kernel[
]. The outer skin should be avoided since it has a bitter flavour[
Seed - slow to germinate unless it is scarified first[
]. The seed has a hard seedcoat and may benefit from scarification before sowing in order to speed up germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing.
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