Podocarpus drouynianus

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Podocarpus drouynianus
Podocarpus drouynianus.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pinophyta
Class: Pinopsida
Order: Pinales
Family: Podocarpaceae
Genus: Podocarpus
Species: P. drouynianus
Binomial name
Podocarpus drouynianus

Podocarpus drouynianus is a species of podocarp native to the relatively high rainfall southwestern corner of Western Australia, where it is known by the name emu berry,[1] wild plum[2] or native plum although it is not a true plum. The Noongar name for the plant is koolah.[3]


The plant is usually a shrub, not often forming a single trunk, instead growing multiple branches from around the base. It looks like a conifer, typically grows to a height of 0.75 to 3 metres (2 to 10 ft)[2] and forms clumps a few metres wide.[1] It is dioecious[2] and very slow-growing. The bark is thin and fibrous, green in colour turning red-brown on the outside. The leaves are needle-like, 4 to 8 centimetres (1.6 to 3.1 in) long, sharply pointed, green above and with glaucous stomatal bands beneath. The cones are berry-like, with a fleshy, edible purple aril 2 to 2.5 cm (0.79 to 0.98 in) long and one (rarely two) apical seeds 1 cm (0.39 in)1 cm long.


It grows on lower slopes and low lying areas and around creeks in the South West and Great Southern regions of Western Australia where it grows in loamy, sandy or gravelly soils.[2] It is associated as part of the understorey species present in lowland jarrah and karri and it spreads mostly by root suckering.[1] The extent of occurrence of the species is less than 20,000 square kilometres (7,722 sq mi) over multiple locations. The total area of occupancy by P. drouynianus has reduced as a result of clearing of forest for pasture and the replacement of native forest with exotics.[4]


Ideally Podocarpus drouynianus should be grown in partial shade with plenty of water. Unusually for the genus, it tolerates quite dry conditions. It survives temperatures of up to 45 °C, and grows well in full sun or partial shade.


The species was initially described by the botanist Ferdinand von Mueller in 1864 in his work Fragmenta Phytographiae Australiae. There are two synonyms for this species: Nageia drouyniana and Podocarpus drouyniana.[5] The species name honors the statesman Edouard Drouyn de Lhuys who was a member of the Institut de France.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Podocarpus drouynianus F. Muell. 1864". The Gymnosperm Database. 23 November 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Podocarpus drouynianus". FloraBase. Western Australian Government Department of Parks and Wildlife. 
  3. ^ "Noongar names for plants". kippleonline.net. Retrieved 13 December 2016. 
  4. ^ Thomas, P. & Farjon, A. (2013). "'Podocarpus drouynianus (Emu Berry)". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.4. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 13 December 2016. 
  5. ^ "Podocarpus drouynianus F.Muell.". Atlas of Living Australia. Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Retrieved 12 December 2016.