40. XXXIX. Eucalyptus Behriana, F. v. Mueller.

Description  335 
Notes supplementary to the description  335 
Synonym  335 
Range  336 
Affinities  336 

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XXXIX. Eucalyptus Behriana, F.v.M.

Following is the original description of the species:—

Fruitcose; leaves alternate, coriaceous, somewhat shining, lanceolate or ovate, acute, slightly oblique, thinly veined, dotted; umbels pedunculate, panicled, few-flowered; flowers small, nearly sessile; lid hemispherical, blunt or minutely apiculate; tube of the calyx obconical, bell-shaped, nearly twice as long as the lid; fruit half-ovate, sessile, not contracted at the top, valves of the capsule enclosed; seeds brown, streaked.

In arid plains and on stony hills near the Avoca, Murray, and Gawler Rivers, and in Bacchus Marsh.—Trans. Vic. Inst., i (1855), 34.

At about the same time Mueller sent specimens to Miquel, who was then engaged on his “Stirpes Novo-Hollandas.” The latter independently described the species, and as his description is published in Ned. Kruidk., Arch. iv, 140 (1856,note not 1859, as mentioned in B.Fl.), an excessively rare work, I quote it here:—

39. Eucalyptus Behriana, Ferd. Müll. E. pruinosa, Behr. Herb. non Schauer. Fruticosa, ramulis teretiusculis summo apice compresso-angulatis foliisque subtus pruinosis, his ovato-lanceolatis inæquilateris acuminatis, basi in petiolum contractis, coriaceis, penniveniis, umbellis capitatis paucifloris (1–7 floris), in paniculis axillaribus lateralibus et terminalibus confertis, pedunculis umbellarum teretiusculis, calycis tubo parvo obeonieo turbinato, operculo hemisphærico mutico vel apiculato quam tubus duplo breviore.

In Nova Hollandia australi legit cl. Dr. Behr., autumno. Teste Cl. Müller prope E. polyanthemos inserenda. Frutex 6–12 pedalis. Folia ad 3 poll, longa ½ lata.

It is figured in the “Eucalyptographia,” but the figure is not a very good one.

Notes supplementary to the description.

E. Behriana is always a Mallee. It grows in scrubs, and usually is 5 to 10 feet high, though it sometimes forms small trees, which have rarely a diameter of as much as 9 inches. The bark is always smooth, and commonly of a dirty-white colour, or, according to one observer, of “a dark oily-looking green.” The timber is red. The flowers and fruit are small, with a panicled inflorescence, the opercula being blunt, and the fruit shiny and dark coloured. It bears seed abundantly. The leaves are comparatively broad, and are thick and shiny.

Notes on variations in this species will be found in the description under Plate 48.


E. pruinosa, Behr, non Schauer. See above. I have seen a specimen.

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IT has hitherto been recorded from a few localities in South Australia, and certain of the drier parts of Victoria and New South Wales.

Besides those localities mentioned in the original description, Mueller quotes (“Eucalyptographia”) “in the hilly forest region of Wirrabara, near Crystal Brook, and Mount Remarkable on deep marly clay-soil” (J. E. Brown), and quotes Dr. Behr, “in the scrubs of Sandarac-Cypresses (Callitris) near the Gawler River.”

Prof. Ralph Tate, in his “Flora of South Australia,” states that it is found in the northern agricultural areas, the Port Lincoln District, Kangaroo Island, and south of the Murray Desert. A few more specific South Australian localities are desirable.


Bacchus Marsh (Mueller), a type locality; Swan Hill, Murray River (J. G. Luehmann), 1890; Mallee District (C. Walter), 1889; Inglewood and Wedderburn (J. Blackburn); Yarram Biack (C. Walter), 1886; Wimmera (J. Reader); Nhill (St. Eloy D'Alton).


“Mallee,” Wyalong (H. Deane), about 1890.

Wyalong (Forester J. G. Postlethwaite), April, 1892. Height 20 feet; diameter 6 inches.

Wyalong (W. S. Campbell), October, 1901.

20–30 feet, with one or two dozen stems of 3 to 4 inches in diameter springing from one root. Barmedman and other stations in the Lachlan District (J. Duff).

Leaves smooth, green, and shining; flowers small. Grows in scrubs 5 to 10 feet high, sometimes small trees, rarely up to 9 inches in diameter. Bark, dirty white, smooth. Broad green-leaf Mallee. (R. H. Cambage, Wyalong and Barmedman, September, 1900.)

“Broad-leaf Mallee,” Wyalong (J. L. Boorman).


1. With E. bicolor, A. Cunn.

Mueller (“Eucalyptographia”) defines the difference between E. Behriana and E. bicolor (largiflorens) to be—

  • (1) The bark of the latter persists.
  • (2) The leaves are conspicuously narrower, of thinner consistence, of duller hue, finer veined, and better provided with oil-dots.

  •   ― 337 ―
  • (3) Its panicles are more spreading.
  • (4) The lids (at least often) are double, and the stamens not constantly all fertile.

In the field the species are at once separated by the large size of E. bicolor, which has rough bark up to the small branches. The timber of both is red. In the herbarium, I imagine that they would be readily separated by the broad shiny leaves of E. Behriana, to mention no other characters. I do not attach much importance to No. 4 as characters.

2. With E. hemiphloia, F.v.M.

Mueller (“Eucalyptographia”) says:—

E. Behriana approaches closely to E. hemiphloia, from which it mainly differs in—

  • 1. Never attaining the stately dimensions of that species.
  • 2. Bark remaining smooth from succession of outer layers.
  • 3. The leaves are as a rule (subject, however, to exceptions) shorter and broader.
  • 4. The panicles are less ample, by which means the umbels are not rarely arranged in a racemous manner.
  • 5. The flowers and fruits are smaller, their stalklets are less abbreviated, the lid is shorter and blunter, and the fruit-valves are less deeply enclosed.

To which may be added: Their timbers are totally different, that of E. Behriana being of a red colour; that of E. hemiphloia is the ordinary pale-coloured Box, whose appearance and properties are thoroughly well known. The flowers of E. Behriana are small, with short filaments.

In the field the species could never be confused for a moment, but as expert botanists have confused them (i.e., E. Behriana with forms attributed to E. hemiphloia,—my var. microcarpa) in the herbarium, it is idle to contend that they do not possess some degree of similarity. Perhaps this note will be the means of causing attention to be given to the matter.

3. With E. odorata, Behr.

Under E. Behriana, F.v.M., Bentham (B.Fl. iii, 214) describes a var. purpurascens, F.v.M., originally collected by Wilhelmi at Lake Wangaroo (Wangary), South Australia. At p. 217 (under E. hemiphloia) he refers to South Australian specimens (Memory Cove and Kangaroo Island, R. Brown; Port Lincoln, Wilhelmi), and says:—“In Mr. Brown's South Australian specimens the leaves are smaller, but in Wilhelmi's they are the same as in the northern ones, and I can find no character to distinguish them. Both R. Brown and F. Mueller had given them the MS. name of E. purpurascens. R. Brown's plant (collected 1802–5) was distributed from the British Museum under the number 4,735.

I have examined the type, labelled by Mueller “E. purpurascens, Ferd. M. Scrub of Port Lincoln, January, 1855. 4–6 feet. Carl Wilhelmi.” Afterwards the same specimen was labelled by Mueller “E. hemiphloia, var.,” with the note: “Pedicels none; lid short and blunt.” All these specimens referred to E. Behriana and E. hemiphloia are, in my opinion, identical. They are usually easily recognised by their purple filaments, and belong to E. odorata, Behr. Judging from herbarium specimens alone, it is easy to see how botanists wavered, placing them at one time under E. hemiphloia and at another under E. Behriana. I will deal with the matter subsequently, when dealing with E. odorata. (I have recently visited the type-locality.) I then propose also to deal with the affinity of E. Behriana to E. odorata in general.

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4. With E. incrassata, Labill., var. dumosa, F.v.M.

Both are Mallees, and often much of the same size. The leaves of both are thickish, those of E. Behriana are broader. The inflorescence of var. dumosa is less paniculate, the anthers sharply different, while the fruit of var. dumosa is usually noticeably larger. The operculum of var. dumosa is usually ribbed. See also Part IV of this work.