Persoonia pinifolia is a large shrub about 2–4 metres, with soft pine-like leaves. The leaves grow to 5 cm long and are crowded along the stems. It is very common in sheltered open forests on sandstone in the Sydney region, including along sandstone creeks and pools, but is not found north or south of Sydney, confined between Broken Bay, the Royal National Park and the Blue Mountains.
It has small yellow flowers at the end of the branches, in autumn, followed by grape-like green fruit (drupes) which turn purple when ripe.
It can initially be confused with Persoonia linearis which has stiffer, slightly broader leaves and dark papery bark. P. pinifolia is known to hybridise with P. linearis.
The leaves add softness to the garden and are pleasant to touch and run hands through. Birds are attracted to the fleshy fruit.
It is a hardy plant with little maintenance required.
It is an ideal Australian native to use as a Christmas tree.
Persoonia seeds can take a long time to germinate and may require special treatment.
It regenerates from seed after fire.
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.
pinifolia – refers to the pine-like (Pinus) leaves.
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.