Common Name: Kakadu Plum

Botanical Name: Terminalia ferdinandiana

Larrakia Name: Damiyumba

A spreading deciduous tree growing up to 10m high. Large, smooth leaves that are spirally arranged with pale green veins. Small scented flowers on spikes 10-20cm long. The fruit are fleshy and oval shaped with a short beak, turning yellow-green when ripe. A useful shade and shelter tree found in open forest and woodland.  

Aboriginal Uses 

Fruit is eaten when pale yellow-green and soft and generally collected from the ground.  The flesh has a pleasant taste that is mildly astringent. It is a highly regarded and sought after fruit. Solid gum taken from the tree trunk is also eaten without preparation and is considered a delicacy. Preparation from the inner bark applied to sores, backache, boils, swellings, ringworm and leprosy sores.  Red sap used as a stain for spears and woomeras.   

Interesting Facts 

Despite the name ‘Kakadu Plum’, this variety of terminalia is found much further afield than Kakadu National Park – in the Kimberley to the west and Cape York to the east. Known also as Billy Goat Plum, the fruit has very high levels of vitamin C up to 50 times as much as oranges. Chemicals in the plum also have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, and recent research has shown extracts have excellent preservative qualities. This means the plum is now used in the seafood industry to extend the shelf life of cooked prawns.
As a result of these special qualities, Kakadu Plum fruit is now being harvested by remote community cooperatives as a new business enterprise and sold on where it is made into jams, health powders, cosmetics, skin care and other products.