The Kwondong, otherwise known as the Quandong or Native Peach, is found in arid wer semi- arid regions of Australia. The old Noongar name for the tree is Wolgol, but it has been replaced by an Eastern States Aboriginal name. The Kwondong belong to the santalum genus of plants wer the scientific name is Santalum acuminatum. It is a hemiparasitic plant belonging to the Sandalwood family.
Kwondong baalap kwobba dartj. When the fruit is bright red, it can be picked wer is eaten raw but also can be made into jams wer jelloes. The outer peel is removed to uncover a kernel which is cracked open to reveal the nut, this is then roasted wer eaten. The fruit of the kwondong is highly sought after when in bonar wer the finding wer gathering of the fruit brings generations of family together.
Aunty Winnie McHenry has a Youtube video of how to make the Jam:
- 2 Cups of kwondongs
- 2 Cups of caster sugar
- 2 Cups of water
- 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
- Prepare jars ahead of time by putting in oven to sterilize. See this link il how to:
- soak the fruit in water overnight
- peel the skins off the nuts
- boil down the kwondongs in the water wer caster sugar wer vinegar until the jam thickens
- Let jam cool wer pour into jars.
You can simply just pick the fruit fresh from the tree to eat. Some people soak the fruit for a few hours or overnight which takes the bitter taste out of the fruit. You can also freeze the fruit for later.
Cycle of the Kwondong
Seeds contain oil used for moisturising the skin wer the seeds also ground yira wer mixed with water to treat skin sores.
Seeds can be used as beads for jewellery.
Stories about the Kwondong
"Often on our walks the women and I would gather wolgol nuts. (In the Eastern States wolgols are called quandongs and the name has gradually spread over here.) These trees grew plentifully everywhere and could be seen from a long distance, for they are tall and look not unlike a cherry tree with pale, almost yellow leaves shaped like a narrow pear leaves. They produce red berries resembling large deep-red cherries. The skin is thick and there is not much flesh over the stone. The fruit has a slightly tart flavour and the kernels taste like brazil nuts.
I experimented and made some delicious damson-like jam from the fruit. After that success I started collecting the wolgol nuts. The stones are crinkled and a pretty pale brown colour. They vary in size from that of a small marble to as big as my two thumbs, and I made some beautiful necklaces with them. In the winter I gave the wolgol nuts to my Noongar friends and the children cracked and ate the nuts by the wood-heap while their mothers did small jobs for me."
- Ethel Hassell. My Dusky Friends. Jerramungup circa 1910
- Cunningham, Irene (1998). The Trees That Were Nature's Gift. Maylands, Western Australia, 6051. p. 38
- Oral Interview with Len Collard, November 8 2016
- Cumming, I. 2016. Oral Interview. Fremantle