All About the Cocky Apple

The cocky apple has the scientific name Planchonia careya and is also called the billygoat plum or cockatoo apple.

Description of the Fruit

A part of the Lecythidaceae family, the cockyapple is native to Australia and grows on small trees. It is the only genus member found in Australia, although others are in nearby Southeast Asia. The tree reaches around 6 meters in height.

Changes to the Fruit Over Time

There do not appear to be any major changes to the cocky apple over
time, neither from human intervention nor via natural changes.

Description of Taste

The fruit of the cocky apple tastes similar to that of quince. Aboriginal
Australians widely consumed cocky apples. The fruit ripens to pale green. There
are many seeds inside the fruit’s thick pulp.

Is It Used in Desserts?

Few dessert recipes use cocky apples, but you could opt for a recipe
that calls for quince. Then take advantage of their similar flavors.
Alternatively, you can mix
them into smoothies or eat the fruit spread on a toast.

Pop Culture References

Other than their traditional inclusion in aboriginal meals, cocky
apples are not commonly mentioned. In 2013, the trees were in the news due to
their attraction to fruit flies in the Northern Territory.

Other Uses

Among indigenous Australians, the leaves and bark of cocky apple trees are common in medication. The roots and bark have been used for fish poison without resulting harm to the water or people who would later eat the fish. You could use the tree for its gorgeous flowers that are excellent for ornamental purposes.

However, the tree is not usually as spectacular while flowering since it typically only produces a few flowers at a time. Butterflies and moths use the trees as their homes, especially during the larval stage.

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