The Lance-leaf Geebung is March's plant of the month.
Persoonia is a genus of about one hundred species all of which are endemic to Australia. Called geebungs, they are a valued bush tucker for Aboriginal people around the country.
In Sydney Dharug people referred to them as dog tucker, because they are only edible when they are ripe enough to fall to the ground. Many other animals rely on the fruit, including swamp wallabies, currawongs and catbirds. The fruit only germinates once it has passed through the digestive system on animals and consequently, it is extremely hard to propagate.
In the parkland’s nursery, we are currently fermenting a crop of geebung seeds in compost to try and replicate the conditions in an animal’s gut, before we use smoke water to soak the seeds, which replicates a bushfire. Hopefully we’ll get some seedlings to use in regenerating our Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub patches around the parklands.
Persoonia lanceolata is found mainly on the NSW coast, from South-West Rocks and extending from Sydney to north-east of Lithgow on the Central Tablelands.
Found usually in coastal shrubland and heath to dry sclerophyll and low open woodland, but can also be found in dry sclerophyll forests, on sandstone and associated sandy deposits.
Persoonia lanceolata is an erect shrub with a smooth grey bark growing to 3 metres tall with a 2-metre spread.
Leaves are up to 10 cm in length (but usually shorter), and to 4 cm wide, spear shape, bright green, with a yellowish tint, somewhat thick and leathery and with a distinctive point. New growth is hairy.
Persoonia flowers are typically produced either solitarily or in a raceme-like arrangement which can grow on into a leafy shoot. The flower structure is very similar to genera in the Proteaceae such as Hakea and Grevillea and almost always yellow in colour.
The fruits are smooth and fleshy, green, and more or less round, measuring 1 cm by 1 cm.
Where to see Lance-leaf Geebung in Centennial Parklands