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Plant identification guides:
Bush tucker food forest

Information about medicinal qualities of plants, or about their use as medicines, is for interest only, and is not intended to be used as a guide for the treatment of medical conditions.


As with all medicinal applications of Australian bush foods, please do your due diligence and consult with First Nations or other Australian herbal specialists before utilising as a remedy for any condition.


Some parts of the plant may not be edible or some may need preparation before they are safe to eat or use in any way. We do our best to describe their traditional & modern uses. It is the reader’s responsibility to ensure they are fit for their intended use.


We can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


Scientific name:

Other Names:

Cupaniopsis anacardioides

Carrotwood, Beach tamarind, Green-leaved tamarind, Cupania




Basic info:

Tuckeroo is a fast growing Australian native with a rounded shape and evergreen foliage. It is found in coastal sand dunes, scrubs and open dry rainforest near the sea or estuaries through Queensland, NSW, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory.

Tuckeroo grows to about 8 m high, with a similar spread. It makes an excellent shade tree. It is a very hardy tree that can adapt to difficult sites, such as poor soils, salt wind exposure, and pollution-laden air.

The foliage is dark green, thick and rather leathery. The leaflets are a rather peculiar ovate or obovate shape, with either a blunt or a notched apex, a dark glossy green on top and a lighter green beneath. The veins are distinct on both the top and the bottom of the leaflets.

The flowers are relatively inconspicuous: tiny, and a pale creamy-green in colour. They are only about 5 mm in diameter. The flowers appear in winter, but in spring, bright orange fruit appear. From October to December, dark brown seeds ripen inside the fruit.

These fruits are large, usually 3-lobed (but sometimes 2- or 4-lobed) capsules, green at first, then turning a bright orange. They split when mature to reveal in each lobe a black brown seed covered by a bright reddish yellow aril.

The trees are most beautiful in late winter to early spring, when the fruits ripen.

The roots are non-invasive making it a popular with landscapers. Tuckeroo plants establish quickly and live for 50 - 60 years.

Uses and Interesting Information:

The aril of ripe fruit were thought to have been eaten by indigenous people. The fruits have been found to be rich in antioxidants, however, other sources say that it is not edible.

The tree is generally too small to produce millable logs, but its light-pinkish wood is close-grained and tough. Despite being rather hard on tool edges, it is used by hobbyists in woodcarving and turning. It is also reckoned to make good tool handles.


  • Recipes to come

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