Common Name: Cocky Apple

Botanical Name: Planchonia careya

A sometimes straggly, deciduous tree growing 4-10m high. Leaves are a broad ovate shape and pale green in colour. The large, showy flowers appear somewhat like a shuttlecock and are white with pink stamens. They fall easily from the tree after opening, very often in the mornings, covering the ground in a beautiful display. The fruit is green and pear-shaped and can be broken open and eaten with pale green and soft to the touch. The inner flesh is stringy and yellow tasting somewhat similar to the avocado.  

Aboriginal Uses 

Fruit from the tree is edible when ripe. The flesh from inner bark is used for boils, burns, leprosy sores and general sickness. Heated leaves are used to treat spear wounds, post circumcision, stonefish stings and headaches. The root bark makes string for ceremonial belts and string bags whilst bark, leaves and branches are used as fish poison. 

Flowering of the cocky apple signals that the sea turtles are fat and ready to be hunted.

Interesting Facts 

Fish poisons are a method of stunning fish in a small billabong or closed-off area of water. When added to the water, the solution will stupefy the fish making them easy to catch. This method can be used to catch fish from both fresh and salt water. Fish are still safe to eat after they have been caught using this method.