Jul 31

Tree Profile Elaeocarpus reticulatus (Blue Berry Ash)

Elaeocarpus reticulatus or “Blue Berry Ash” has definitely got to be one of my favourite trees in South East Queensland.

Elaeocarpus reticulatus is a small tree or shrub usually grown for its frosty like blueish foliage and electric blue berries.

The frosting effect on the margin of the leaves is believed to be caused from excess production of sugars during photosynthesis.

It can reach a height of almost 15 meters but is usually smaller in urban gardens, with a maximum width of about two meters. It is not a demanding plant upon soils but it doesn’t favour sandy, water logged soils.

It occurs naturally in many eastern coastal regions and does extremely well in warmer to temperate climates.

Best locations for growing Elaeocarpus reticulatus.


Elaeocarpus is a genus of around 200 different species indigenous to tropical areas in Australia’s northern regions. The tree also grows well in southern coastal regions.

Some Elaeocarpus can produce edible fruits or nuts but are not palatable. If you are lost in the bush you may survive by eating the nuts, which are said to contain carbohydrates and some proteins.

The Fruits are said to be edible, but taste like..well you know!

Flowering occurs in summer and can produce masses of small but very attractive flowers. The flowering stage is short lived, followed by a sustained display of the ornamental fruits.

This is one of my favourite flowers and intially inspired me into Horticulture!

Considered by many to be extremely difficult to cultivate from seed, some success has been derived by scarification and then soaking in a mild hydrochloric acid solution to simulate digestion. The usual method for propagation is a cutting.

If you are looking for a low maintenance tree for screening or an ornamental shrub as an addition to your garden, I would strongly recommend Elaeoarpus reticulatus.

Plant in a well drained, friable soil and make sure to give it plenty of water as a baby.

Always consult your local nursery or Arborist before planting trees in Brisbane.


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