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Geijera salicifolia var. latifolia (Lindl.) Domin 1927
pronounced: gee-JER-uh sal-ick-ih-FOH-lee-uh variety lat-ee-FOH-lee-uh
(Rutaceae – the lemon family)
common name: Broad-leafed Scrub Wilga
The genus Geijera is named for J.D. Geijera, a Swedish botanist; salicifolia is from the Latin salix, the willow tree, and folium, a leaf – willow-like leaves. Latifolia is from latus, wide, and folium, a leaf – broad-leafed.
Geijera is a small genus of 7 species, occurring in Australia, PNG and New Caledonia. In Australia, these large shrubs or small trees are found in woodlands in semi-arid regions of Queensland, NSW, Victoria and South Australia. The one photographed is near the top of the steps on the walking path between the Rocky Bay lookout and the north end of Picnic Bay.
The members of this genus have simple, alternate, often pendant, glandular leaves. The flowers, held in terminal panicles, are small, and creamy yellow in colour. The 5 sepals are united at the base, the 5 petals are star-like or cup-shaped, and the 5 stamens are spreading.
Geijera salicifolia var. latifolia is found in subtropical and dry rainforest from the Barron River in North Queensland south to the Illawarra region of NSW. The branches, and sometimes the lower surface of the leaves, are minutely hairy. The leaves are oblong-elliptic to ovate, 6–13 cm long, 1–5 cm wide, the apex bluntly acuminate, the base gradually tapering or rarely rounded, the midrib raised on both surfaces, more so below. The petiole may be very short (a few mm) or up to 2 cm long, and the margins are incurved. The flowers are white on branched stalks at the ends of the branchlets, usually in June and July. The fruit is a brown 1–4-valved receptacle splitting to reveal a shiny black seed in each of the (usually) 5 valves. Fruits are usually ripe in August or September.
The timber from this tree is light yellow in colour, hard, close-grained, and somewhat greasy. It has been used for cabinet-making and mouldings. Before the development of fibreglass and carbon fibre, it was much used for making fishing rods.
This tree is not often seen in cultivation, but it could be used in large gardens. It is a hardy tree, though slow-growing, and forms a dense shade crown; given good soil and conditions, it can grow to about 25 m high. The fruits, though not considered edible for humans, are eaten by the King Parrot, Brown Cuckoo-Dove, Lewin’s Honeyeater and the Scrub Turkey.
Caterpillars that feed off this plant include:
Photographs taken near Picnic Bay 2010, 2014, the Forts walk 2015
Page last updated 12th January 2018