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Acronychia oblongifolia (RUTACEAE) White Achronychia

Image: Foliage & flowers

PHOTO: Robert Whyte

Small tree to 14 metres with attractive foliage and edible white fruit (tastes like lemon rind) found from northern Victoria to Southern Queensland (temperate coastal regions and sub-tropical shorelines with natural rainfall greater than 600mm. 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.

Bushfood 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 as in apples.

Image: Flower closeup

acronychia oblongifolia
Photo: Robert Whyte

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 washed seed possible but difficult. Germination starts after about four months.

Birds relish the fruit. Host plant for Papilio aegeus (Orchard or Citrus Swallowtail Butterfly)

  • Butterflies and Moths - 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.