Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Parinari nonda F.Muell. ex Benth.

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
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Leaves and Flowers. © B. Gray
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, hypogeal germination. © CSIRO

Bentham, G. (1864) Flora Australiensis 2: 426. Type: N. Australia. From the Upper Lind to Van Diemens river, Gulf of Carpentaria, Leichhardt; Gilbert river, F. Mueller. Queensland. Cape York, MGill.

Common name

Nunda Plum; Plum, Nunda; Parinari; Nonda Tree; Nonda Plum; Nonda; Plum, Nonda


Bark quite hard to cut.


Leaf blades about 4.5-8 x 2-5 cm, whitish on the underside. Stipules about 5 mm long, clothed in brown hairs. About three or more inconspicuous small brown glands visible with a lens along the margin on the underside of the leaf blade near its base. Numerous circular lenticels on the twigs.


Perianth tube pubescent on both the inner and outer surfaces, tepals about 1.5-2.5 mm long, falling soon after anthesis. Ovary densely hairy and attached to the side of the perianth tube. Style lateral, attached to the base of the ovary.


Fruits ovoid-globular, about 30-40 x 25-35 mm, pericarp fleshy. Endocarp hard and bony, about 25 x 15 mm, outer surface rough and reticulate. Seed surrounded by brown hairs.


About three or four cataphylls produced before the first true leaves. At the tenth leaf stage: leaves +/- lanceolate, apex acuminate, base rounded; midrib raised on the upper surface; lateral veins curving just inside the blade margin; stipules about 5-7 mm long. Stem densely clothed in white prostrate hairs and scattered +/- erect pale brown hairs. Seed germination time 43 to 73 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP and NEQ (as far south as the Walsh River and Gregory Range). Altitudinal range from near sea level to about 400 m. Usually grows in open forest but also found in monsoon forest and beach forest on sand dunes. Also occurs in New Guinea.

Natural History & Notes

This species produces rather dry fruit usually called Nonda or Nonda Plum. It is not particularly palatable but ripens in the dry season when there is little else available. It was a survival food for the aboriginals and the early Australian explorers. The name 'Nonda' was given by the explorers Leichardt but it is a misapplication of an aboriginal name for a tree with some similarities in the Moreton Bay area.

There have been numerous reports over the last 100 years that the aborigines ate the fruit of this species. However, most people who have tried it in recent times are not particularly impressed with its texture or flavour.

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