previous
next

7. VI. Eucalyptus stellulata, Sieber.

             
PAGE
1.  Description  127 
Notes supplementary to the description  127 
2.  Synonyms  129 
Notes on the Synonyms  129 
3.  Range  131 
4.  Affinity  132 




  ― 127 ―

Description.

E. stellulata, Sieb.

FOLLOWING is the original description:—

Sieber, plant exs. nov. holl. No. 478. Operculo conico cupulæ longitudine, pedunculis lateralibus brevissimis subteretibus, umbellis 15–20 floris, foliis oblongis utrinque attenuatis basi 3–5 nerviis. Novâ-Hollandiâ. Pet. et pedunc. 3 lin. vix longi. Folia 3 poll. longa semipoll. lata subcoriacea sublucida. Alabastra oblonga utrinque attenuata 2 lin. longa. (v.s.)—(DC., Prod. iii, 217.)

It is more fully described in Bentham's Flora Australiensis and Mueller's Eucalyptographia.

E. stellulata is an easy species to determine, with its straight-veined leaves and star-like umbels of buds. The specific name is rather happy, referring to the disposition of the buds.

It is a forest-tree of medium size in the Monaro, e.g., in the Snowy River Valley, forming a shapely tree 50 feet in height and more, with a stem-diameter of 2 to 3 feet, and with dense foliage. In New England it attains a scarcely less size, As a rule it is a straggling tree of half the size, while the narrow-leaved variety is frequently only a tall bush.

Vernacular Names.—“Black Sally,” Gippsland and Southern New South Wales at least as far north as Goulburn; also New England Ranges. “Black Gum,” Bombala. It is often called “Black Ash” in New England. The above names have been given on account of the rough, hard black bark on the butt.

“Sally Butt,” between Bathurst and Orange. The name “Sally,” without a qualifying adjective, is in use at Bombala, Boro, Braidwood, and Yass. The name is in allusion to the species being often found on the banks of streams, like a Sally (sallow or willow). “Olive-green Gum” (Leichhardt). “Green Gum,” county of Argyle and Blue Mountains (Macarthur); New England and high land near Braidwood (Dr. Woolls). “White Gum,” county of Argyle and Blue Mountains (A. Cunn.). “Blue Gum,” (Forester Mecham, Tumut). “Lead Gum,” county of Argyle and Blue Mountains; Berrima (Macarthur), Hartley and Mudgee (Woolls).




  ― 128 ―

All the above names, “Olive-green Gum,” &c., are attempts to describe the appearance of the smooth portion of the bark, which varies from white with a bluish or lead-coloured cast to even a dirty olive-green.

The species is a stunted gum growing at high elevations, smooth-barked (except at the butt), and looking as if it were blue or lead-coloured with the cold. There are so many white gums that I think the name “Lead-coloured Gum” is a useful one, while Black Sally is better still, and the most widely spread of existing names.

It is sometimes called “Muzzle-wood,” as on account of its toughness it is often selected for making muzzles for unweaned calves.

Seedlings or Sucker Leaves.—Ovate-acuminate, larger in size and thinner in texture than the mature leaves. The average dimensions of some seedling leaves in my possession are 3½ inches long by a width of 1¾ inch.

When travelling in New England I made the following notesnote on this species:—“The sucker leaves present a variety of shapes and sizes. In their early stages they are more or less stem-clasping and orbicular. Others are nearly reniform, while some might be described as almost bilobed, or with the outline more or less emarginate. Very many are about as broad as long, and scarcely acuminate, and from these shapes the gradation into the normal shape of the mature leaf is very gradual. Measurements gave up to 2½ × 2½ inches, and even a little more.”

Mature Leaves.—The tips are often hooked like those of E. coriacea, and of some forms of other species, e.g., amygdalina. The leaves of both species when dry are smooth, and usually show black dots (like E. punctata), while the parenchymatous tissue is more or less channelled. These appearances are also seen in some forms of E. amygdalina and other species, and I draw attention to them in order that too great importance be not attached to them. In E. punctata these black dots were considered to be of specific value.

The shape of the leaves is lanceolate to broadly lanceolate. The leaves are smaller than those of E. coriacea. The venation springs from the petiole, and the primary veins are prominent and roughly parallel to the mid-rib.

Messrs. Baker and Smith (Research on the Eucalypts) give the following particulars in regard to the oil of this species:—

   
Specific gravity at 15° C.  Specific rotation, [a] D   Saponification number.  Solubility in Alcohol.  Constituents found. 
0·871  -26·1°  2·1  Insoluble  Phellandrene, sesquiterpene. 




  ― 129 ―

Buds.—The calyx is sometimes swollen, while the operculum remains stationary in size. (See figure 7, pl. 25.) Mr. Froggatt informs me that this is the work of probably a parasitic wasp (one of the Chalcideæ). I have noticed the same appearance in the buds of some other species.

Bark.—This tree attains its fullest development in the alpine country of North-eastern Victoria and South-eastern New South Wales. There the butt is rough, more or less furrowed, hard and black, almost like an ironbark, with the upper part of the trunk and the branches quite smooth. This species is remarkable for the large quantity of chlorophyll in this smooth portion, it being the greenest barked of all Eucalypts, but in many districts the smooth portion is rather of a lead colour. In districts where the tree is stunted the amount of rough bark is usually very small, so that it passes for a “gum” (i.e., a smooth-barked tree).

Timber.—Pale coloured, rarely free from gum-veins, warps seriously; a sound log of any size very rare; of little value for purposes other than fuel. Timber that shrinks much in drying may do so regularly or irregularly. Those of the first class have, when dry, practically the same shape as the original piece, but those of the second class take on irregular shapes. The timbers of E. stellulata and E. coriacea belong to the latter class.

Synonyms.

  • 1. E. leucadendron, A. Cunn. Var. angustifolia, Benth.
  • 2. E. microphylla, A. Cunn., partim.
  • 3. E. Cunninghamii, Sweet, partim.
  • 4. E. Cunninghamii, G. Don, partim.

Notes on the Synonyms.

1. “Eucalyptus leucadendron, C. (Allan Cunningham).

“White Gum of the south-western interior, New South Wales, 1824.” Specimens collected by Allan Cunningham are in Herb. Kew, and also in Herb. Cant. (ex Herb. Lindl.), and are E. stellulata, Sieb.




  ― 130 ―

Variety angustifolia, Benth.

Leaves narrow, very thick and smooth, scarcely showing the venation.—(B.Fl. iii, 201.)

This form occurs in the highest parts of the Blue Mountains, also in the southern ranges, e.g., near Braidwood, often occurring with the normal form.

The variety angustifolia is usually shrubby, but it grows into a small tree.

In the highest parts of the Blue Mountains it has the fruits sometimes in dense globular umbels.

2. E. microphylla, A. Cunn.

Foliis lineari-lanceolatis subfalcatis acutis: margine incrassatis, umbellis multifloris foliisque confertis, Forming brushes upon the more elevated parts of the (Blue) Mountains.—(Field's New South Wales. p. 350.)

In Allan Cunningham's MS. Journal under date 9th April, 1817, we find the entry:—“King's Table-land.note—This exposed situation is covered with a shrub of the Eucalyptus (E. microphylla), forming thick brushes of underwood.”

On a specimen of E. stellulata, Sieb., var. angustifolia, Benth., collected by himself, Allan Cunningham has the label—“Eucalyptus, apparently E. punctata, Sieb. DC. King's Table-land, N. S. Wales, 1827, A.C.” showing that he was uncertain as to the designation of the form.

3. E. Cunninghamii, Sweet.

The meagre description is:—

46. Cunninghamii (white), N.S.W., 1825. Greenhouse shrub. Microphylla, F. T. non Link (Sweet Hort. Brit. ed. 2, page 209).

4. E. Cunninghamii, G. Don.

Leaves linear-lanceolate, rather falcate, acute, with thickened margins; umbels many-flowered, and are as well as the leaves, crowded. Native of New Holland, forming bushes upon the more elevated of the mountains. E. microphylla, Cunningham in Field's New South Wales. p. 350. Cunningham's Eucalyptus, Cult. 1824, Shrub.—(Gen. Syst. ii, 821.

Bentham (B.Fl. iii, 821) has already pointed out that Cunningham's specimens of E. microphylla consist of a mixture of leaves of the narrow-leaved form of E. stellulata and of E. stricta, Sieb.

It is often impossible to separate the narrow-leaved forms of these species when foliage is alone available. The same remarks apply to Sweet's and G. Don's species.




  ― 131 ―

Range.

IT is very partial to the depressions in shallow, rounded, grassy valleys, with good soil and a moist bottom. It is confined to Victoria and to New South Wales, being far more extensively distributed in the latter State.

VICTORIA.

As regards Victorian localities, Mueller states:—

Along elevated river-valleys, or flats, and in cooler mountain regions up to the sub-alpine zone; thus on the Upper Hume River (Findlay), on the Mitta Mitta, around the Barkly Range, towards Lake Omeo, and on the Upper Genoa (Mueller), Dargo Flat (Howitt).—(Eucalyptographia.)

Howitt says;—

This is also an alpine species, ascending almost, if not quite, to the same elevation as E. pauciflora (coriacea), but does not descend, according to my observations, lower than 700 feet at Dargo and Ensay. No varieties occur as far as my observations go.—(Trans. Roy. Soc. of Victoria, 1890, p. 84.)

I have specimens collected by Mr. Howitt at Buchan and Omeo.

NEW SOUTH WALES.

As regards New South Wales it follows the tops of the ranges on the New South Wales-Victorian border, thence following the Dividing Range and its spurs at least as far north as the New England Ranges, and as far west as 18 miles west of Bathurst, on the Silurian; also at Rylstone. I have specimens from these localities, but it may be reasonably expected to be found further north and further west, in mountainous districts.

Following are some specific localities:—Mount Kosciusko district (J. H. Maiden and W. Forsyth), Kiandra (E. Betche), Bombala (J.H.M.). Here it is called “Sally,” and Mr. Ronald Campbell says: “Not much used because scarce, except on flats.” Occurs all over the Monaro. “Sally” or “Black Gum” timber very cross-grained, of a soapy nature, knotty; of a flesh colour when fresh. Diameter, 2 to 3 feet; height, 30 to 50 feet; Haydon's Bog, Delegate.—(W. Baeuerlen). Tumut (J.H.M.), Braidwood, together with the narrow-leaved form (W. Baeuerlen); Queanbeyan (H. Deane), Yass (W. W. Froggatt), Goulburn (H. Deane), Wingello, “Bastard Peppermint” and “Sally” (J.H.M. and J. L.


  ― 132 ―
Boorman). “Lead-coloured Gum” of Berrima, No. 35, London Cat., 1862; 226, Paris Cat., 1855. Diameter, 18 to 30 inches; height, 30 to 40 feet. “Of no value for timber, but excellent for fuel.” The above are all southern localities.

Following are western localities:—Wentworth Falls, narrow-leaved form (J. H. Camfield); Blackheath, narrow-leaved form, also a form with the fruits in dense globular umbels (J.H.M.); Mount Victoria and Kanimbla Valley, normal and narrow-leaved forms (J.H.M.); Mount Wilson, narrow-leaved form (Jesse Gregson); Jenolan Caves, “Black Sally” (W. Blakeley); Wallerawang (H. Deane and J.H.M.); Rylstone (R. T. Baker); “Messmate,” trees from 30–50 feet; bark rough, dark; sap-wood white; the heart-wood dark brown and gummy, branches pendulous, tips of the branches and buds yellow, branches slightly ribbony.—Sunny Corner (J. L. Boorman); Charlton, Bathurst (R. H. Cambage); Millthorpe (A. W. Howitt).

Coming to the north, I have not seen it north of Sydney or Bathurst until New England is reached, but doubtless there are intermediate localities. It is more or less plentiful all over the table-land. There are copses or thickets of it at Yarrowitch, also umbrageous small trees. At Tia, and elsewhere, the trunks are 2 to 3 feet in diameter. These localities are on the Port Macquarie-Walcha road.

On the Grafton-Armidale road I followed it from Bald Hills to Guy Fawkes and right on to the Round Mountain. Its furthest northern locality is a matter for enquiry.

Affinity.

ITS only real affinity is with E. coriacea, A. Cunn., but the two species will rarely be confused.

previous
next