Persoonias are known generally as “geebungs”. There are 60-70 species and, with the exception of one species in New Zealand, all occur only in Australia. They can be found in all States but are absent from semi arid and arid zones.
Persoonia pinifolia is probably the best known member of the genus. It is a large shrub which can reach 3 metres in height by a similar width. The leaves are long and narrow (“pine-like”) and may be up to 700 mm long. The small yellow flowers are borne in the leaf axils at the ends of the branches and are much more conspicuous than is the case for many other geebungs. They occur mainly in summer. The flowers are followed by fleshy, green fruits which hang in grape-like clusters.
This is a very attractive and desirable garden plant. Its fresh, green foliage is attractive at all times of the year and some forms have new growth which has a purplish tinge. The flowers, although small, are well displayed and never fail to attract attention. The species is hardy in most well drained soils and prefers a sunny position or one with partial shade. It will tolerate reasonably heavy frosts. Despite the difficulty in propagation (see below), plants are becoming available through specialist Australian plant nurseries.
Persoonias, generally, have proven to be difficult to propagate from both seed and cuttings and, unfortunately, P.pinifolia is no exception. Some success has been reported with cuttings by using firm regrowth from pruned branches.
Photo: Brian Walters
Persoonia pinifolia – fruit
Photo: Jill Dark