previous
next

Fruit

— The fruits are called by Sydney boys "plums," "damsons," or "cherries." The fruit., which ripens in autumn, consists of an astringent, aromatic, resinous drupe, egg-shaped, and something like a sloe, sitting upon a fleshy substance of a purplish or damson colour, which is the "damson." I have measured them up to 15/16 inch long (they are depressed) and 7/8 inch in diameter, and they are probably larger. The "sloe" cannot be eaten, but aborigines and small boys are fond of the "damsons," which have no stones, and consist of a pleasant but rather insipid mucilaginous substance, the thin skin being slightly astringent. They rank among the best of the indigenous fruits. When ripe they stain the mouth and fingers like black cherries do.

previous
next