Cherry Ballart, Native Cherry

Exocarpos cupressiformis

Family: Santalaceae
Genus: Exocarpos (eks-oh-KAR-pos) (Info)
Species: cupressiformis (koo-press-ih-FOR-miss) (Info)



Parasites and Hemiparasites

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From leaf cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Direct sow as soon as the ground can be worked

From spores

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 12, 2010, Meadstone from Hobart,
Australia wrote:

This tree has been at the centre of my family's main christmas tradition for years. As a perfect tree to decorate for an Australian christmas, the Native Cherry bears delicious fruit in the festive season and smells wonderful when it begins to dry. Make sure it is placed in water as soon as it is cut.


On Jun 22, 2008, aussiemutha1 from Drummond North - Victoria,
Australia wrote:

I have a large number of these growing on my property - At Drummond North Victoria Australia - I doubt that the average gardener would have much joy with these - as the circumstances required for them to multiply are fairly unique - Temperature Range -6C - +42C Devoid of topsoil - Acid Eucalypyt Forrested steep stony Jurrasiac Sandstone Long undisturbed Gold mining country - salty with a touch of Selenium and a noticeable liking for Arsenic - Now for the Kicker - I don't plant these - I only culture them when my co-tennants plant them - As with most Santalums you need the local native furry creatures - in my case Anticinus - Kangaroo Rat - It seems the micro fauna in the saliva of the Anticinus triggers the seed - with santalums its the Dunnarts who plant them - Without this the strike ra... read more


On Jul 8, 2003, kennedyh from Churchill, Victoria,
Australia (Zone 10a) wrote:

Cherry Ballart is a very unusual tree. It cannot grow on its own, but at least in its younger stages, it is a root parasite. It usually grows attached to a Eucalyptus tree, but it can also attach to some Acacia species.
The tree is a fresh green, which is uncommon in the Australian bush, making it attractive for its foliage. The leaves are reduced to scales and it is the slender stems that are bright green and perform the photosynthesis for the tree.
The flowers are minute, green stars, only 1.5 mm across, but the fruit is rather more conspicuous. It has a berry-like fruit, which goes from green to yellow to orange, to red and is good to eat. The fruit is not a berry however. The edible part is the swollen fruit stalk, and the seed sits on top of it. That explains the name e... read more