Seeds of South Australia
Owenia acidula (Meliaceae)
Emu Apple
List of species for Owenia
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Seed collecting:
January to April
Herbarium regions:
Lake Eyre, Eyre Peninsula
NRM regions:
Eyre Peninsula, South Australian Arid Lands
IBRA regions
Gawler Lakes (GAW03)Gawler
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(ii))
Strzelecki Desert (SSD05)Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields
 Rare   (IUCN: RA d(i,ii))   [edge of range]
Sturt Stony Desert (CHC02)Channel Country
 Least Concern
Coongie (CHC06) 
 Least Concern
Lake Pure (CHC07) 
 Least Concern
RSCA map:
Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion. Please click the thumbnail map.
AVH map:
Australian distribution map (external link)
SA Census:
Census of South Australian plants (external link)     [genus Owenia]
Name derivation:
Owenia named after Sir Richard Owen (1804-1892), a British biologist and pioneer in vertebrate palaeontology who published many papers on extinct mammals of Australia. Acidula from Latin meaning a little sour; referring to the fruit which is eatable and have a sour flavor.
Found in the far north-eastern corner in South Australia, with a single record from the Uno Bluff on the Eyre Peninsula, growing on the alluvial flats, undulating plains and ridge slopes. Also found in Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales.
Native. Common in South Australia. Rare in Western Australia. Common in the other states.
Plant description:
Small tree to 4 m high, glabrous with pendulous branches, ooze a milky sap when broken. Leaves with 9-25 leaflets, to 15 cm long, leaflets linear-lanceolate to narrowly elliptic, to 50 mm long and 8 mm wide, apex obtuse or acute, bright green and shiny. Inflorescence a panicle to 12 cm long with brownish-white to cream-coloured tubular flowers. Male and female flowers on separate plant. Flowering between November and December.
Fruit type:
Round purplish-red fruit to 4 cm wide with a large stone-like seed.
Seed collecting:
Collect fruits that are purplish-red in colour. The fruit will ripen further after coming off the tree. Seeds can also be collecting from under the tree.
Seed cleaning:
Place the fruits in a bucket of water and rub with your hands to remove the soft flesh. Place the seeds on paper towel and leave to dry. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place.