Native Cherry, Coastal Ballart (Exocarpos syrticola)


Thick, fleshy leaves
Thick, fleshy leaves and stems look like they should be spiky.

 

seed on the outside of the fruit
The pink-white fruits have the seed on the outside

 

Coastal Ballart, or ‘Native cherry’  (Exocarpos syrticola) is a common plant along the coasts of Southern Australia.

It’s an interesting plant, the branches are easily mutated, sometimes joining together in lumps and flat plate like structures. The branches are usually green, but where we go, often turn pink-orange.

In summer, after November, white and pink  berries are produced that are quite tasty, though they can be astringent if not quite ripe.

It’s interesting that with these berries, the seed is on the outside. That’s where it gets its name ‘Exo’ = outside, ‘carpos’ = fruit. Quite literally, it means ‘seed on the outside’. This is something it has in common with it’s close relative, the Native Cherry, or Ballart, Ecocarpos cupressiformis.

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