Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Macadamia Tree - Pinkalisious

I`ve got the prettiest Macadamia tree this year full of pink flowers....have you ever seen one in flower? Mine is almost like a pink wisteria. It`s called Pinkalicious, a cross between two Australian native species grafted onto a tough rootstock. The variety used in most crops has a lemon coloured flower, but I think the pink, which has larger flowering racemes is much prettier for the home garden.

It`s about five years old now and is about to produce it`s first serious crop - it`s certainly flowering like it means business
The bees are going crazy for it too. The tree is literally humming! I just hope we don't get any high winds that will blow the flowers off like last year. Once the flowering is finished and they drop off, the little fruits will begin to grow along the racemes. They take quite a few months to grow and when their outer shells are rock hard they begin to split and fall to the ground. That's when their ready. Only, you can`t get to the buttery crisp nut until you force the outer shell off with a crow bar and use a vise-like nut cracker for the next layer! Any wonder they are one of the most expensive nuts.

But who can resist a Macadamia nut. Raw, salted, honey, toffee or dipped in chocolate! In culinary delights both sweet and savory. What a versatile nut but if you have ever tried to crack one open you`ll know it`s not for the feint hearted!  You actually need a special tool for the job - a normal nut cracker just wont do it and a hammer, well they just shoot off in every direction. The vice-like apparatus, where you place the nut in a particular direction so the pressure cracks the incredibly hard shell as the vice is screwed closed, is slow going, so don't expect tree owners to part with them already shelled. your more likely to receive a bag of nuts still in their shells - your problem now

All in all, a very pretty hardy Australian native which makes a wonderful specimen tree. It has leathery foliage and just needs a handful of fruit and citrus fertiliser and of course good water.