(Illustration by Moira MacLachlan & Robyn Graham)
The black apple is a member of the tropical fruit family Sapotaceae. Its large black-skinned fruit contains a white stringy flesh which, although bland to the human palate, is readily sought after by fruit-eating animals. The dark brown, fluted trunks of these trees are a common sight along Mary Cairncross’ tracks and they are often easily identified by the many shoots and leaves they produce on the lower part of the trunk. Black apple is a slow growing, medium sized tree with dense timber. Aborigines ate the fallen fruit and settlers gathered them for preserves.