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Exocarpos cupressiformis, is an Australian endemic plant species commonly known as the native cherry or cherry ballart. The species is found in sclerophyll forest on the east coast of Australia. It is also commonly found in the Mount Lofty Ranges in South Australia.

It is a small tree (or large shrub), hemiparasitic on the roots of other trees. It most commonly parasitizes Eucalyptus plants. The leaves are reduced to small scales and the stems are the site of photosynthesis. It superficially resembles the cypress. Its flowers are arranged in clusters on short spikes; the fruit is a globular nut on a short stalk. As it ripens the stalk swells and turns red, like an inside out cherry. The fruit is 4-6 mm long and is edible. The seed is found on the outside of the fruit, hence the name exocarpus, from the Latin meaning outer. The wood is very fine-grained with little figure but often striking colour variation and was historically used for making furniture, gun-stocks, and tool handles.

Written on June 20th, 2012 , Forestry Tags:

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