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CCLXXVI. E. Beyeri R. T. Baker.

In Journ. Roy. Soc. N.S.W., li, 420 (1917), with figure of the fruit. Syn. E. paniculata var. angustifolia Woolls (sic.). See p. 236. (Narrow-leaved Ironbark.)

FOLLOWING is the original description:—

A tree with a tall giant stem, surmounted with rather a straggling, sparsely-leaved head. Bark hard, heavy, very thick, permeated with kino. Leaves lanceolate throughout, those of the early stage very narrow lanceolate, thin, almost membranous, average foliage leaf wider in proportion to the length, not thick, the base tapering and evenly balanced, oblique or rounded. Venation in some cases well marked. Buds small, calyx tapering into a proportionately long and slender pedicel; operculum conical. Fruits pyriform, shining, pedicel slender, rim thin, valves attached at the base below the rim, not exserted, 3 lines long and 2 lines in diameter.

Timber.—A dark chocolate-coloured timber, mostly interlocked, heavy, very hard, and having a great reputation for durability; and so is one of the finest Ironbarks of the country. It could be used for all kinds of heavy constructional works, such as wharves, beams, posts, bridges, heavy carriage, and coach work. It is a valuable timber, and not easily confounded with any other yet described.

(Then follows a description of the microscopic characters of the timber, which can be referred to in the original). Irving W. Bailey, in Journal of Forestry, xv, 176 (February, 1917), gives a warning note as to the use of the microscope for timber diagnosis.

Mr. Baker's type is figured at fig. 1, Plate 199, and it will be seen that it is impossible to separate it from fig. 21, Plate 57.

Named after Mr. George Beyer, who for several years was Herbarium Assistant in the Technological Museum, and in which capacity he did much to help on the researches in economic botany, and still continues to do so in his office of chief clerk in that institution. (End of original description.)

It will be noticed that there is no reference in the original description to the anthers so far as their dehiscence is concerned, and the only reference to the stamens is “outer stamens anantherous” (Woolls). The opportunity of making a pronouncement on this essential point was not availed of (p. 420).


E. paniculata Sm. var. angustifolia Benth.

The name E. paniculata var. angustifolia Woolls, as quoted by Mr. Baker, was adopted (not created) by Woolls.

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The affinity of E. Beyeri as regards anthers (see fig. 3d, Plate 199) is with E. paniculata, and not with E. crebra, which it often closely resembles in narrowness of leaves, slenderness of branchlets, smallness of fruits; and it seems to me, the question is whether it should be considered (as Bentham and Woolls considered it), as a form of E. paniculata, if its specific rank be not conceded. The anther of E. crebra has a small gland at the top, and it is comparatively broad at the base. In E. paniculata and E. Beyeri the anther is broad at the top.

E. Beyeri has been known for at least half a century, and let us consider what has been written about it.

A. Bentham's views:—

Eucalyptus paniculata Sm. var. angustifolia. Leaves narrow and thin, as in some varieties of E. crebra. Umbels loose, paniculate. Operculum conical. Outer stamens anantherous. New South Wales, “Narrow-leaved Iron-bark,” Woolls (B.Fl. iii, 212, 1886).

Woolls' specimens for the Flora Australiensis would have been forwarded to Bentham some years ago with notes on the labels.

B. Rev. Dr. Woolls' views:—

1. “A contribution to the flora of Australia” (1867). In writing the later chapters of this work, Mr. (afterwards Rev. Dr.) Woolls had Bentham's views before him. At p. 242 he says:—

Speaking of E. paniculata and E. crebra: these are mere varieties of the `white Iron Bark,' one of the most valuable trees in the colony. … I feel no hesitation in uniting E. paniculata and E. crebra as one species, although there is an occasional difference in the quality of the wood, and in the size of the flower-buds as well as in the texture of the leaves. In the form angustifolia, the flowers are very small, and bear a great resemblance to those of E. bicolor, or the Bastard Box.

2. E. angustifolia is regarded as a variety of E. paniculata, but the workmen, judging only from the wood, call it a distinct species, by the name of the Narrow-leaved Ironbark. (Lect. Veg. Kingd., 123, 1879.)

I think this is a slip of the pen for E. paniculata var. angustifolia Benth. E. angustifolia Woolls is a nomen nudum for lack of description, and if it were not, the name is preoccupied by E. angustifolia R.Br., a synonym of E. amygdalina Labill. See Part VI of the present work, p. 151.

3. In “Plants indigenous in the neighbourhood of Sydney” (1880 edition), under Schizophloiæ, we have “E. crebra F.v.M., E. paniculata Sm., and also E. sp., doubtful,” which is not the variety angustifolia above referred to.

4. In a paper, “Eucalypts of the County of Cumberland” (Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W., v. 293 (1881)), under Schizophloiæ, we have “E. sp. F.v.M.; E. crebra F.v.M.; and E. paniculata Sm., and var. angustifolia Benth.”

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5. “He (Rev. Dr. Woolls) again refers to it in Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W., 1880, p. 503, as only to be distinguished from E. crebra by having its outer stamens anantherous, although practical men easily distinguish them by their wood and bark.” (Quoted by Mr. Baker.)

This is a reference to Vol. V (1881), and we have, in a continuation of the preceding paper, dealing with the Schizophloiæ, “E. paniculata varies in the colour of the wood from white to red, and, therefore, is sometimes called `White' and sometimes `Red Ironbark,' while on the Blue Mountains the pale variety has the name of `Brush Ironbark' .…, and in dried specimens var. angustifolia is only to be distinguished from E. crebra by having its outer stamens anantherous, although practical men easily distinguish them by their wood and bark.”

Under E. crebra he says: “According to the artificial (Bentham's anthereal) system, E. crebra stands in the same section with E. siderophloia, though, in its general character, it approaches more closely to the narrow-leaved forms of E. paniculata.”

6. In “The Plants of New South Wales” (1885), at p. 51, we have, under E. paniculata, “There is a narrow-leaved variety of this species very similar to E. crebra, and it can scarcely be distinguished but by the opening of the anthers.”

7. See the paragraph referring to E. paniculata, “There is also a tree .… colour and touch,” in Dr. Woolls' letter to me of 26th September, 1888, below.

8. In “Plants indigenous and naturalised in the neighbourhood of Sydney” (1891), p. 26, we have enumerated “E. crebra F.v.M.; also E. paniculata Sm. and var. angustifolia.”

The Rev. Dr. Woolls' name has been a good deal quoted in regard to E. paniculata and other Ironbarks. I corresponded with him many times in regard to this very subject, and I even took a house at Burwood, near Sydney, where I lived for some years, in order that I might be near him, and I was in his house scores of times for botanical chats, often illustrated by specimens. We often walked about Burwood, Strathfield, Concord, to examine trees he had studied, while he directed my attention to specific trees at Parramatta, Rossmore (then Cabramatta), Bringelly, Richmond, the Kurrajong, chiefly referred to in his writings, which I visited as directed by him. So that I know fairly well his views on County of Cumberland Ironbarks, at all events during the last few years of his life. Following are extracts from one of his Burwood letters of 26th September, 1888, referring to E. panicutata:—

The common names of E. paniculata are White, Pale, Grey, She, Narrow-leaved Ironbark. In some forms of this species the leaves are similar to that of E. crebra, but the anthers are of a different shape and the wood paler in colour. … The true Narrow-leaved Ironbark is E. crebra. It occurs between Sydney and the Mountains (Blue) occasionally, but it abounds at the Kurrajong.

When Sir William Macarthur collected for the Paris Exhibition of 1867 (the New South Wales Catalogue of timbers at the Paris Exhibition of 1867 is a facsimile of that of the London Exhibition of 1862, already referred to, J.H.M.), he had nine logs of Ironbark from the Counties of Cumberland and Camden, and I was the person who called his attention to the Red-flowering Ironbark (E. sideroxylon). He calls E. paniculata White or Pale Ironbark, and says it is the most valuable of all the Ironbarks. I

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had several conversations with Sir William about the woods, but at the time he was collecting the third volume of our Flora Australiensis had not arrived in the colony, and so there was a difficulty in determining the species.

There is also a tree (of which I am not certain) called Scrub or Brush or Forest Ironbark—so-called at the Kurrajong—I referred to E. paniculata, whose bark was not so furrowed as the species near Sydney, and the wood was reported to be light in colour and tough. (This is E. Beyeri. J.H.M.)

I have been assured by practical men that the timber varies in proportion to age, and also to the soil in which it grows.

C. Mueller's views:—

E. angustifolia Woolls, “Lectures on the Vegetable Kingdom,” p. 123, is a form of E. crebra. It seems not likely that E. paniculata will ever be taken for E. crebra, as the leaves of the latter are never much unlike in the colour of their two pages, as all the stamens are fertile, the anthers opening in their whole length, and the fruits usually smaller and angular. (“Eucalyptographia,” under E. crebra.)

E. crebra and E. microcorys are also not dissimilar to E. paniculata, and mere fruiting twigs of these three might easily be referred to the wrong species, but in a flowering state the mode of dehiscence of the anthers distinguish them easily from each other, irrespective of several other characteristics. (“Eucalyptographia,” under E. paniculata.)

D. Mr. Baker's views:—

1. In general features, such as leaves, buds, fruits, it very closely resembles E. crebra, and from herbarium material alone might easily be mistaken for E. crebra, but the timber at once readily differentiates it from that species. …

2. With E. paniculata Sm. “The chief differences from the type of E. paniculata are the shape and size of the fruits, shape of the leaves, timber and bark. In botanical sequence it may be placed after the type E. paniculata. …”

The chief features are so distinct from the type E. paniculata, that it is now proposed to raise it to specific rank under the name of E. Beyeri.

3. In p. 420, general statements as to affinities to E. crebra and E. paniculata are made—“from herbarium material alone (it) might easily be mistaken for E. crebra. … In botanical sequence it may be placed after the type E. paniculata. …” “The chief features are so distinct from the type E. paniculata, that it is now proposed to raise it to specific rank,” &c.

As in other proposed species referred to in this paper, the chief reliance is made on difference in the timber. “The timber alone readily differentiates it from that species” (E. crebra), (p. 421).

Previously (p. 420), “It is … not easily confounded with any other (timber) yet described.”

So far I have spent a good deal of time examining timbers connected with herbarium specimens of E. paniculata, and also of pieces of E. Fergusoni, E. Nanglei and E. Beyeri, certified to by Mr. Baker himself. Nor have I relied entirely on my own judgment. I find them all brown, particularly either when kept or taken from an old tree. Of the specimens in my care, that of E. Fergusoni is the reddest, though in most E. paniculata timbers there can be detected some red, particularly in a suitable light. It is because the timber of E. Beyeri seems, so far as my specimens go, the brownest of the lot, that (taken in conjunction with the morphological characters) I think E. Beyeri is worthy of specific rank. But the species is still somewhat unsatisfactory, and, like some others of our species, requires further investigation.

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“This tree seems rather restricted in its geographical range, being so far only recorded from Kingswood and St. Mary's, New South Wales.” (Original description.)

Following are specimens which I attribute to E. Beyeri, and which are in the National Herbarium, Sydney. See also the notes with the description of Plate 199, as given at p. 260.

G. Caley's specimens, from the British Museum. The words between inverted commas are in Caley's handwriting:—

  • A. “Ironbark, N. Beach, 13th June, 1804. Thrown down by parrots.” British Museum, No. 33.
  • B. “Torrangora (St. ? Street) boundary. November, 1806. Got by Dan.” British Museum, No. 12.
  • C. “Mogargro, South Brush. Got by Dan” (evidently an assistant, aboriginal, or other). British Museum, No. 27.

Parramatta River, Parramatta (W. F. Blakely and D. W. C. Shiress). Ermington Park, Ermington (W. F. Blakely).