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CCXLIX. E. Ewartiana Maiden.

In Journ. Roy. Soc. N.S.W., liii, 111 (1919).

FOLLOWING is the original description:—

Frutex Mallee similis, 20' altus, multis caulibus 3? diametro; cortice decidua peculiariter striatis; foliis primariis crassiusculis, late ovato-lanceolatis vel fere orbicularibus, 7 cm. latis, 10 cm. longis; foliis maturis petiolatis, lanceolatis, 5–7·5 cm. longis, 1·5–2·25 cm. latis, petiolo 1–1·5 cm. longo, crassis, venis patentibus; pedunculis teretibus 2 cm. longis, 2–7 flores breve pedicellatos umbella gerentibus; alabastris clavatis, operculo hemispherico, ca. 8 mm. diametro, calycis tubo angustioribus; antheris, forma irregulare paralleliter aperientibus, filamentis brevibus; fructibus conoideo-globosis, ca. 12 mm. diametro, margine latissimo, truncato, conoideo; capsula non depressa, valvis leniter exsertis.

Many-stemmed, 10–15 or 20 feet high. Somewhat Mallee-like in habit. The stems 3 inches in diameter, and the timber tough and pale. The bark is peculiar, falling off in narrow, longitudinal pieces, giving it a striped appearance, which, if not unique, is certainly rare in Eucalyptus. Wood hard, the centre deep reddish-brown.

Juvenile leaves (described from Kunnunoppin, No. 146) with petiole of 1 cm., broadly ovatelanceolate to nearly orbicular, 7 cm. broad by 10 cm. long, very thick, venation spreading.

Mature leaves lanceolate, 5–7·5 cm., say, 2 to 3 inches long, and 1·5–2·25 cm., say three-quarters to 1 inch broad, with a petiole of half to three-quarters of an inch (say, 1–1·5 cm.) long. Dull yellowish-green on both sides, thick, venation spreading, the secondary veins not very prominent and meeting the midrib at about an angle of 45 degrees; the intramarginal vein distinctly removed from the edge.

Peduncles terete, long (say, 2 cm.), each supporting an umbel of 2–7 flowers on short but distinct terete pedicels.

Buds clavate, very yellow, with hemispherical operculum, about 8 mm. in diameter, and no mucro. The operculum less in diameter than the calyx-tube, and affording an excellent example of “egg-in-egg-cup,” i.e., showing the place at the commissural rim of a deciduous additional operculum.

Anthers most irregular in shape and opening in parallel slits. The gland sometimes seen on the top and sometimes at the base. The filament attached nearly half-way up at the back of the anther. It is included in the Macrantheræ. Filaments very short, the stigmas not dilated.

Disc forming a broad, conical, truncate band around the ovary, which becomes less truncate as the fruit develops. In its early stages it resembles a hat with a depressed crown.

Fruits conoid-globose, about 12 mm. in diameter, the rim very broad, truncate-conoid, at length almost conical, the capsule not depressed, the valves slightly exsert.

Named in honour of Alfred J. Ewart, D.Sc., Professor of Botany and Vegetable Physiology in the University of Melbourne, well known for his researches on the Australian flora.

Type, Pindar, W.A. (J.H.M., October, 1909).

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This is a species of dry country, mainly recorded, so far, from Western Australia, but, by the Elder Expedition, found first in South Australia and subsequently in the western State.

Western Australia

“Many-stemmed, 10–15 or 20 feet. Tough wood. Peculiar bark, falling off in narrow, longitudinal pieces, giving a striped appearance. The indurated stems are 3 inches in diameter. Several clumps seen. Very yellow buds, with hemispherical operculum, and absolutely no mucro. Operculum, which is distinctly smaller than the calyx, affording one of the best examples I remember of the “egg-in-egg-cup” bud. Leaves greenish-yellow, dull coloured. The material I have is figured at 11, Plate 74.” The above statement will be found at p. 225, Part XVII of the present work. (66¼ mile post, Pindar, Murchison Line, J.H.M., October, 1909.)

“Bark decorticating from 1 foot from the ground. Mallee, branching from the ground to a height of 15 feet and up to 6 inches in diameter. The bark at base grey, rough, decorticating in rolled up grey strips leaving the stem, which is red in colour, with a peculiar streaked appearance. On rubbing, the loose pieces of bark come off easily, leaving the stem more or less smooth.” Near Government Tank, Westonia. This is 6 miles north of Carrabin, a railway station 195 miles east of Perth. (C. E. Lane-Poole, Nos. 220, 463.)

Shrub 5–8 feet, several stems springing from base, 2–3 inches diameter, bark smooth above, inclined to be rough at base. Open flowers and young fruits. On iron stone gravel on high land. Best specimens always near the summit, Kunnunoppin district. (Dr. F. Stoward, No. 144.)

“Shrubby Mallee, 8–10 feet. Sucker leaves, flowers, mature fruits, and bark. Found on ironstone ridge, Kunnunoppin district.” (Dr. F. Stoward, No. 146). The bark precisely similar to that of the Pindar specimens, but the leaves of this specimen are broader than those of the type.

Eucalyptus Oldfieldii, mountain form.” Mount Cooper, Cavenagh Range, R. Helms, 31st July, 1891. “A dwarf state at 2,500 feet elevation.” This locality is in Western Australia, and the Camp No. 31, long. 128 degrees.

South Australia

Eucalyptus Oldfieldii,” Elder Expl. Exped., R. Helms, 15 feet high, 12th June, 1891. The Expedition was then in the vicinity of Yeelunginna Hill in South Australia, say, in lat. 27° 20? S., long. 131° 70? E.

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1. With E. Oldfieldii F.v.M.

There has been great confusion between E. Oldfieldii and E. Drummondii, and the present species, like E. Lane-Poolei, has been carved out of the aggregate. The affinity of E. Lane-Poolei inclines to E. Drummondii, and so does the present species in general characters, but both E. Ewartiana and E. Oldfieldii are dry-country Mallees. Mueller and Tate looked upon the Elder Expedition specimens as a mountain form of E. Oldfieldii. Both species have fruits with broad rims, though the sculpture is not the same in both. The fruits of E. Ewartiana are smaller, more numerous, have long peduncles, and are distinctly pedicellate. The operculum is very different to that of E. Oldfieldii; it is hemispherical, and shows a contraction with the calyx-tube which is not observable in E. Oldfieldii. The two species also differ in other characters.

2. With E. Drummondii Benth.

Compare fig. 11, Plate 74 (E. Ewartiana), with figs. 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10 of the same Plate (E. Drummondii). The buds of E. Drummondii are more ovoid than those of E. Ewartiana; the former have much longer and slenderer pedicels. The shape of the fruit is different in the two species, that of E. Drummondii having a more convex rim, with the tips of the valves more exsert. The mature leaves of E. Drummondii are usually more or less ovate-lanceolate, a character not observed in those of E. Ewartiana. The juvenile leaves of E. Ewartiana are remarkably coriaceous, and so broadly lanceolate as to be almost orbicular.

3. With E. Lane-Poolei Maiden.

E. Lane-Poolei is a moderately large White Gum, found in coastal situations; E. Ewartiana is a Mallee frequenting regions of low rainfall. The foliage of the former is thin, lanceolate to narrow lanceolate; that of the latter much broader and thicker, with the juvenile foliage remarkably coriaceous and so broad as to be almost orbicular, and considerably larger than that of E. Lane-Poolei. While the texture of the operculum of E. Ewartiana is thinnish, that of E. Lane-Poolei is remarkably thick, while comparison of the figures on Plate 74, viz., 4 (E. Lane-Poolei) and 11 (E. Ewartiana) shows that they are widely different.

4. With E. accedens W. V. Fitzgerald.

In the size, paleness and extreme coriaceousness, I know only one species whose juvenile leaves resemble those of E. Ewartiana, and that is E. accedens. See fig. 8, Plate 141, of the present work. But in almost every other character the two species diverge.