Persoonia levis

Geebung, Broad-leaved Geebung

Family: Proteaceae

Persoonia levis is a shrub to about 4 metres, with large bright green fleshy leaves and black papery bark with reddish tones underneath.

It can look out of place amongst the other plants where it grows on sandstone in heath and dry sclerophyll woodland and forest. It is found on the coast and mountain districts from northern NSW to Victoria, typically on sandstone or sandy soils.

It is tends to be taller in forest conditions, and smaller in height and leaf size in more open conditions.

The leaves can be up to 14 cm long and 8 cm wide.

It has small yellow flowers in spring, followed by fruits (drupes) resembling grapes which turn purple when ripe.

It is known to hybridise with other Persoonia species.

In the garden

Grow it as contrast shrub. Both the leaves and the bark are a feature. Birds are attracted to the fleshy fruit.

It is a hardy plant with little maintenance required.

Propagation

Persoonia seeds can take a long time to germinate and may require special treatment.

Other information

It regenerates from seed after fire. It can also resprout from stem buds and basal parts.

Persoonia – is named in honour of the Dutch mycologist and botanist Christiaan Hendrik Persoon (1761–1836) (by James Edward Smith) who assisted Linnaeus with Fungi taxonomy and is regarded as the pioneer of systematic mycology.

levis – Latin for “smooth” referring to the glabrous (hairless) foliage.

Geebung is an Indigenous word from the Dharug language.

One common name for Persoonia species is Snottygobble which refers to the texture of the fruit, which can be mucus-y or slimy.

Not known to be at risk in the wild.

Reference: Robinson, L. Field Guide to the Native Plants of Sydney.
https://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Persoonia~levis

 

By Rhonda Daniels