A global citizen science platform
to discover, share and identify wildlife
This is one of those spottings that requires further investigation. I think these small specimens could possibly be a native Australian plant species that belongs to the genus Persoonia. This is a genus of about one hundred species of shrubs and small trees in the subfamily Persoonioideae, in the large and diverse plant family Proteaceae. In the eastern states of Australia, they are commonly known as "geebungs", while in Western Australia and South Australia they go by the common name "snottygobbles" (that's hilarious :D) While their flowers are small and not prominent, geebungs are best known in the Australian bush for the striking bright green foliage of many species, and it is that exact reason why I spotted them - they stood out against the grey leaf litter and shadows of the undergrowth. And the needle-shaped leaves of this spotting were incredible soft to touch. Geebung is also a bush tucker food. A popular food to Australian Aborigines, the sweet pulp from the fruit can be nibbled as a snack, although it is fibrous, sticks fast to the large stone, and tastes like sweet cotton wool (high in vitamin C).
Most species of Persoonia are plants of well-drained, acid, sandy or sandstone-based soils that are low in nutrients, in areas with soils derived from sandstones and granites. The latter is certainly true of Girraween National Park. This spotting was on the slopes of Mt. Norman - one of dozens of extremely large granite monoliths in this region. Here's some park info - http://www.rymich.com/girraween/
Thread-leaf geebung (Persoonia tenuifolia) is a great ID possibiliy, as these images may indicate - https://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showim... It has been identified as occurring in this national park, along with 5 other Persoonia species. Pine-leaved Geebung (Persoonia pinifolia) is another - https://bushcraftoz.com/forums/showthrea...) On my next visit I will have a closer look at surrounding vegetation, particularly for this species to see how large it grows, and hopefully for some flowers. They really help when trying to ID a species. Some of the photos I took show some nearby shrubs that could possibly have the same leaf structure, and also the same vivid green colouration (last photo). This leads me back to thinking this is a Persoonia species. I'm also sure the leaf littler provides a clue with all those dry needle-shaped leaves. Another ID possibility, although unlikely, is that these are black cypress seedlings (Callitris species). Regardless, more information is needed. PS: Massive fires swept through Girraween 2 months later, in mid-February, 2019, and it will take years to regenerate. Everything you see in these photos has been burnt to a cinder, and I can't help but feel sad for the wildlife that has been destroyed because of one careless human act.