If you don't know already, here at Applewood we’re big into seasonality and native ingredients. It's not just the most sustainable way to make drinks, utilise flavour and capture freshness it's also a way to keep us on our toes and constantly ask better questions.
Although we have a robust understanding of when introduced plants are in season, having the knowledge and understanding of when native plants are at their best is at the core of not only our love of cocktails and flavour but also of supporting farmers and our supply chain.
It's been a bit of a crazy year on the weather front. La Niña has played havoc with traditional culinary ingredient seasonality and also our beautiful endemic species. Davidson plum harvest in Queensland usually occurs in the autumn months but has been pushed back due to excessive rainfall and a lack of clear skies in growing areas.
Davidsonia pruriens, also known as Ooray, Wuray (Jirrbal, Yidin), Wiraa (Ngadjan), Munumba (Djabugay) and Jirirr (Kuku Yalanji), are now finally in season this year, and while their Southern cousin enjoyed its usual summer ripening we had to wait a little bit longer for the Northern varietal.
The question now becomes where to source them from and how to best use this amazing fruit to elevate your drinks, food and garden.
If you’re looking for the plant there are a few phenomenal nurseries and wholesalers that have a fairly steady supply of both Davidsonia species. However, before you go getting your green thumb too deep into the above plant suppliers, keep in mind that Davidson plums require particular conditions to survive.
If you do decide to purchase a plant, here’s a brief care guide:
Climate and Soil: Davidson Plums thrive in subtropical and warm temperate regions. They prefer well-drained soil rich in organic matter.
Select a suitable location: Choose a spot in your garden that receives partial shade and protection from strong winds.
Prepare the soil: Davidson Plums prefer fertile, slightly acidic soil. Incorporate organic matter and ensure good drainage.
Planting: Dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball of the tree. Place the tree in the hole, backfill with soil, and water thoroughly. While it's possible to grow Davidson Plums in pots or containers, they prefer the spaciousness of the ground to develop their root system fully. If using containers, choose large ones to accommodate their growth and provide proper drainage.
Maintenance: Regularly water the tree to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Mulching around the base helps retain moisture and suppress weeds. Apply organic fertilizers to promote healthy growth.
Harvesting: Wait until the plums reach their full colour and allow them to drop from the tree. If you can’t wait that long you can gently twist them off the tree. Be careful not to damage the delicate skin.
While growing your own Davidson Plum tree is an exciting prospect, some of you may have the natural proclivity to accidentally let even the hardiest plants die - so you may prefer to just buy the fruits.
Davidson Plums can be found frozen or in freeze-dried powder online. Additionally, some online vendors offer processed Davidson Plums, allowing you to add them to various cocktails and drinks. If you’re looking for cocktail inspiration then our Plum Bramble will be the perfect starting point alongside our limited edition Davidson Plum gin.