Grows to 15 metres along watercourses. Has attractive foliage and edible white fruit (tastes like lemon rind). Found from northern Victoria to southern Queensland in temperate coastal regions and subtropical shorelines with natural rainfall greater than 600 mm per year. Subtropical and dry rainforest found along most scrubby watercourses. Branchlets reddish, leaf scars distinct. Leaves have numerous obvious oil glands that emit a pleasant citrus smell when crushed. Rounded or notched at apex. Bush food advice says “put a few berries in your water bottle to get a nice tang”. Fruit is a drupe 4 lobed like a star fruit and almost cubical with a white, cream or pale yellow exterior and smells like a lemon. Ripe July to October. Fruit approximately 20-25 mm in diameter with small dark seeds encased in husks.
Photo: Robert Whyte
Name and Propagation
Pronounced ac-ro-NICK-ee-a from the Greek acros terminal and onyx a claw, because of the way the curved flower petals look like claws. Oblongifolia from Latin oblonga oblong and folium a leaf, referring to the rectangular- shaped leaves. Propagation from seed or cuttings. Seeds need to be separated from pulp. Germination can be difficult and takes 8-16 weeks. Birds relish the fruit. Host plant for Orchard Swallowtail butterfly Papilio aegeus
Link to Butterflies and Moths section – Australia is home to over 400 species of butterflies from five families, Apilionidae Swallowtails and Birdwings, Nymphalidae Nymphs, Danaiids, Satyrs, Fritillaries, and Browns, Pieridae Whites and Yellows, Lycaenidae Blues and Coppers, Hesperiidae Darters and Skippers.
Flower closeup. Photo: Robert Whyte