Planchonia careya (Cocky Apple)
Planchonia careya, commonly known as the Cocky Apple or Native Pear, is a small tree that grows up to 8m, has dark brown bark and dark green leaves. It has white flowers with pinkish tinge in the center that appear from October until the end of April. Interesting to note is that these attractive flowers wither and drop to thr ground within a few hours of sunrise. The Cocky Apple can be found on the edeges of ceeks, swamps and in vine thickets long the coast. The greenish fruit is shaped like a lemon, with unusual green ‘whiskers’ projecting from one end. The fruit’s flesh pulb is edible raw or roasted. The roots and bark of the tree contain saponin and were pulverised and some Kimberley Aboriginal people were using this mixture as fish poison. The inner portion of the trunk bark was used to make a strong twine. The tree was also important as a bush medicine for Aboriginal people. Pulverised roots were used for relief of infections, wounds as well as general skin irritations.