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OORAY - a unique gift

There are three identified species of Davidsonia. Only Davidsonia pruriens has an identified indigenous name - OORAY.

Unfortunately, now at a time when most Australians would say that we are more culturally aware and appreciative of the gifts shared by traditional owners, the term OORAY is being misused to describe fruit from trees not found in the tropics but in southern Queensland and northern New South Wales.

Davidsonia jerseyana, a species only occurring naturally south of the Tweed River, and Davidsonia johnsonii, a species found naturally both in NSW and in isolated pockets just north of the Tweed River, are the only other scientifically recognised species in this genus.

There are many cultivars of OORAY. This is not surprising for a tree that inhabits many differet soil types and topological locations.

The first reference made to Davidsonia jerseyana was by Bailey in 1895. It was clearly a different species to the OORAY. Bailey only makes reference to the term OORAY being used by indigenous groups in north Queensland when describing Davidsonia pruriens . He does not refer to this term being used by indigenous groups when describing Davidsonia jerseyana.

Scientific samples of Davidsonia johnsonii were collected in 1936 but it was not until 1978 that studies were undertaken to identify it as a separate species.

Until the indigenous names of these two species can be identified OORAY Obsession® can only refer to them by the common name Davidson’s plum.

It is surprising that some would take a specific indigenous name and apply it to completely different species of plants that grow 2000km from the OORAY’s natural habitat.Yet this is happening.

While the two temperate species may be endangered in the natural environment, fortunately, the OORAY is an easily located species that florishes in its wet tropical environment.