Eupomatia laurina is known by a number of common names – Native Guava, because of the flavour and composition of the fruit – Copper Laurel, because the leaves are shaped
like the leaves of a laurel and they turn a coppery colour in winter – Bolwarra, which is the aboriginal name for the plant.
It is a large spreading shrub, often multi-trunked, with glossy, dark green leaves, 6-12 cm long, on slender zig-zag arching branches. Foliage takes on red-bronze tones in the cooler weather of winter and spring. It grows to about 3 to 5 metres in height.
The fruit is green and urn-shaped, 2-3 cm in diameter, and the sweet creamy pulp is edible, but full of seeds, rather like a guava. Fruits ripen in winter and are ready to eat when they are soft to squeeze. They can be used in jams and jellies, and are quite good to eat raw, although the seeds are a bit of a nuisance. Fruit-eating wildlife love them.
This is an understorey plant, common in coastal rainforests from north Queensland to Victoria, also in Papua New Guinea. It is generally found on the margins of the rainforest and extending into the adjoining moist Eucalyptus forests.
It makes a suitable garden plant and will grow in sun or shade in most soils. Benefits from mulching and additional watering in dry periods. It is also successful as a container plant.