Australia’s many macadamia growing regions are in bloom with macadamia flowers filling the orchard with life, colour and a sweet honey smell.
Macadamia trees begin to flower across plantations in Spring, starting in Bundaberg at the end of August then drifting south along the eastern seaboard of Queensland and New South Wales to Nambucca throughout September, with most blossoming finishing in early October.
Macadamia trees flower differently from most other fruit and nut trees as the tree grows racemes; a flower cluster with the separate flowers along a stalk at equal distances along a central stem. A 10cm stalk can carry hundreds of tiny flowers. Each raceme spray of 40-50 flowers produces from four to 15 nutlets which then ripen into macadamia nuts.
Macadamia trees grow to heights of more than 15 metres in fertile soils of temperate, high rainfall areas. They have shiny dark green leaves and bear sprays of long, sweetly scented creamy white or pink flowers from which clusters of nutlets grow. The ripe nuts fall to the ground between March and July and are harvested at regular intervals.
Macadamias are native to Australia and have been grown here commercially since the mid 1970’s.
There are macadamia trees planted in many backyards, parks and gardens across Australia including the huge macadamia tetraphylla, or Rough-Shelled Bush Nut, in the Royal Botanic Gardens in the heart of Sydney.
Watch bees getting busy in the macadamia blossom here: