Of crab-apples and pomegranates

There was a time when I would have never been caught singing the praises of these two plants … but I guess I’ve mellowed. This Pomegranate Punica granatum, while not exactly ancient, was planted on the rise above Cemetery Road some generations back, and has grown into a beautiful specimen. I know it’s not a native, but the seeds which are feasted upon by rosellas in the autumn will hardly cover the landscape in a forest of pomegranates, so I think we can happily tolerate the odd reminder of homesteads past.


Pomegranate near Cemetery Road Newstead, 5th February 2015.


The beautiful fruit of the Pomegranate.


Any ideas on the age of this specimen?

At the risk of stirring up further debate I’d like to also put in a positive word for the Crab-apple, a recent ‘invader’ like the Pomegranate. Much appreciated by the local parrot population, they provide a useful dry season food with no great tendency to weediness in the Newstead area.


Sulphur-crested Cockatoo on Crab-apple, Codrington St Newstead, 5th February 2015.


A handsome pair!

I hope I haven’t offended any sensibilities … but suspect that I might have!

7 responses to “Of crab-apples and pomegranates

  1. Well said! And no offence!

    Have to say how much i enjoy receiving Natural Newstead. Keep them all in special file.

    Ian and Margaret Bunce

  2. Everything has its place. And I certainly wouldn’t let those pomegranates go to waste if I lived nearby! 🙂

  3. Geoff I agree the role of ‘novel ecosystems’ – that in some cases include exotics, will be increasingly recognised and accepted as being important in promoting and protecting biodiversity, especially on the growing urban fringe. Pragmatic compromises need to be embraced when it comes to safeguarding biodiversity in a rapidly shifting climate.

  4. I’ve also come to accept the role of exotic plants in supporting wildlife. In our neighbourhood we have a little colony of brown thornbills that find refuge and food in our Buddleja (Butterfly bush), in surburban Sandringham.

  5. Pomegranates are the great survivors, i have seen similar ones still thriving where old houses once were,and only looked after by sheep. I have been known to incorporate them into some reveg projects along with oaks and more, we have to move towards function in landscapes as most systems are novel to some extent wherever people are, Know where there is one pine tree near Yandoit that the black cockatoos just love, so the wildlife is far more adaptable and care little for what the E.V.C. is. Reckon that tree would have been planted around the 1880’s. Great comment from Ben, and well done Geoff for addressing the elephant in the room.

  6. Geoff I have a Pomegranate tree at home which is half the size of the tree you have in the picture and it is 60 years old. I showed a local farmer your photo and he is of the opinion that the tree in your photo is an old variety and would be at least 120 years old. Hope this may help.

  7. I’d it could be in region of One Hundred years old but maybe more, if it is in your area check out on the settlement records it may give a more accurate idea, it is possibly an early Selectors block, I think Farming and Gardening would have started about the same time as it did here I live in Stawell, which was started during the gold rush they had to be fed so some very intuitive people of the time started gardening. In the bed of our Lake Lonsdale at the wall end is some patch work which to me leads me thing that this was some of the gardening area on the banks of the Mt William Creek when the Lake is low like it is to find these locations But I have not been able to find any historical record to same, bur they had to be fed some how.

    Charles R. Kerr, Stawell;

    Ps. Geoff I would like to bring our Bird Observers down too your location sometime we call ourselves the Grampians Bird Observers group we are not very big as yet not big enough to have BirdLife Affiliation.

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