Persoonia_myrtilloides.jpg (50570 bytes)Persoonia myrtilloides subsp. cunninghamii: is a member of the Proteaceae family in company with the Banksias and Grevilleas. Persoonias are generally known as Geebungs and this species is commonly called the Myrtle Geebung.

Persoonia myrtilloides subsp. cunninghamii grows into a shrub that may reach a height of two metres. The leaves vary in length between 12 and 50 millimetres with a width between 4 to 30 millimetres. Typical tubular flowers are yellow and appear between December and April. Blooms are followed by green drupes with purplish colouring. Drupes are fleshy fruits with a seed enclosed in a woody layer. Both foliage and flowers are attractive features.

Persoonia myrtilloides subsp. cunninghamii is found in the Wollemi National Park northwest of Sydney. The specimen photographed was growing in the Dunnís Swamp area, of the Park, in company with the rare Grevillea evansiana.

The Myrtle Geebung will hybridise with other species when they occur in the same area.

Persoonia myrtilloides subsp. myrtilloides is the other subspecies and occurs in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. The subspecies differ in leaf shape and the shape of the tepals (sepals and petals combined).

The Myrtle Geebung was first cultivated in England in 1837. It would be interesting to know how the species was propagated in England. Persoonias are notoriously difficult to propagate from either seed or cuttings. Perhaps seedlings were transported to England.

There has been some sporadic success propagating this species from cuttings of very young growth.

 

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