― 12 ―

CCXXVI. E. pachyphylla F.v.M.

In Journ. Linn. Soc. iii, 98 (1859).

THE description may be translated in the following words:—

Shrubby, with angular young branches, and alternate leaves on moderately long petioles, thickly coriaceous, ovate, or lanceolate-ovate, acuminate, hardly unequal-sided, not perforate, finely penniveined, the peripheral vein remote from the margin; with axillary umbels irregularly 3-flowered, the peduncles and pedicels very short. Flowers not known. The tube of the fruiting-calyx depressed-hemispherical, with four distinct ribs and more indistinct ones, with raised margins, the capsules 4- to 5-celled, convex at the top, with somewhat exserted valves, the fertile seeds with narrow wings, rather light-coloured.

Hab. In a sandy desert at Hooker's Creek (Northern Territory). Flowering time, autumn.

Shrub of the height of a fathom or slightly higher. Leaves mostly 1½ to 2½ inches long, opaque in dry specimens. Flowers not known. Fruits 6 to 8 lines in diameter, the margin just produced above the valves. Fertile seeds with the wings added 1½ lines long. Near to E. alpina.

It will be observed that the flowers were unknown to the original describer, and that the “peduncles and pedicels (are) very short.”

It was then described by Bentham in B.Fl. iii, 237. Inter alia the fruits are described as nearly sessile.

Then Mueller figured it in “Eucalyptographia,” but the plate, as regards the flowering and fruiting twig, is made up of more than one plant; in other words it is in part an accidental fake. The material of this species in the Melbourne Herbarium had in course of years, from Mueller's time onwards, become a good deal mixed up. Recently Prof. Ewart forwarded the whole of it to me for examination. I am satisfied that in the “Eucalyptographia” plate the leaves and fruits belong to the type, although a peduncle is not shown and the pedicels are shown too long (see figs. 1 and 2, Plate 171, of the present work).

The buds and flowers in the “Eucalyptographia” plate do not belong to the type. They really came from Glen of Palms, Macdonnell Range (E. Giles).

Then come my notes on the species in Proc. Roy. Soc. N.S.W., lii, 507 (1918), from which the following notes are extracted:—

In Ewart and Davies' “Flora of the Northern Territory,” p. 306 (1917), I indicated that I believe this is a valid species, and that my E. pyriformis Turcz., var. minor (present work, Part XVII, pages 232 and 235) should merge in it. I desire to draw attention to this species, which is in some confusion.

  ― 13 ―

Bentham, as stated, described the species, but he pointed out the inadequacy of the material, and even doubted if it should be given specific rank. In Fragm. x, 5 (1876), Mueller recorded it from Glen of Palms, Macdonnell Range, Northern Territory (E. Giles), and described the flowers (5–7 and nearly sessile) for the first time. He indicated its true affinity to E. pyriformis.

Mueller then figured the species in his “Eucalyptographia,” and as usual he missed the opportunity of figuring the type.

From Tanami, western Northern Territory (Dr. H. I. Jensen, No. 206, 1914), I have received both E. pachyphylla (resembling No. 371) and a small-flowered E. pyriformis under the same number, and undoubtedly the species are closely related.

Mueller's “Eucalyptographia” plate of this rare species is misleading to the extent that it will cause most people to think that it correctly depicts his E. pachyphylla. As a matter of fact, it shows a multiflowered, pedicellate form. To put botanists on their guard, I considered it at one time desirable to indicate the plant figured by Mueller as var. pedicellata.


  • 1. E. pyriformis Turcz., var. minor Maiden (in part).
  • 2. E. pachyphylla F.v.M., var. pedicellata Maiden.

1. E. pyriformis Turcz., var. minor Maiden in part. This work, Part XVII, p. 230, also Plate 75, figs. 5 and 6 (figs. 7a and 7b are E. Oldfieldii F.v.M.).

There was an unfortunate mix-up of material in the Melbourne Herbarium shortly after Mueller's death, referred to at p. 12.

2. E. pachyphylla F.v.M., var. pedicellata Maiden in Proc. Roy. Soc. N.S.W., lii, 508 (1918).

Misled by the original description (a) of the peduncles and pedicels as very short, (b) of Bentham's description of the fruits as “nearly sessile,” (c) by Mueller's description of the flowers of the Glen of Palm specimens as “nearly sessile” (having seen them I would call them “sessile”), but particularly by (d) the upper part of the “Eucalyptographia” plate, where Mueller shows two clusters of buds and flowers sessile (the cluster of fruits has exaggerated pedicels), I looked upon the normal form as sessile, and, therefore, a form with pedicels as worthy of a varietal name, pedicellata. I now find that the normal state of the species is pedicellate, so that the variety pedicellata must fall, while a variety sessilis has been proposed at p. 14.

  ― 14 ―


Var. sessilis var. nov.

I have already shown that confusion has arisen in regard to the presence or absence of pedicels in this species. The pedicellate (normal) and non-pedicellate forms should, however, be distinguished by a name, and therefore I propose the name sessilis for the latter. The specimens, Glen of Palms, Macdonnell Range, Northern Territory (E. Giles), may be taken as the type of the proposed variety (see figs. 4a to c, Plate 171).


(Of normal form, i.e., with pedicellate inflorescence.)

Northern Territory.

The sheet in Herb. Melb. labelled “E. pachyphylla Ferd. Mueller, Hooker's Creek, Dr. M.” and which refers to the type, consists of two leaves, together with loose pedicellate fruits, evidently the same as those figured in the “Eucalyptographia” plate, but with shorter pedicels than figured therein. See figs. 1a, 1b, Plate 171. They belong to the type. (I would again remind my readers that the buds and flowers shown on the “Eucalyptographia” plate do not belong to the type.)

Small tree of 10 feet. Tanami, western Northern Territory, collected by Dr. H. I. Jensen (C. E. F. Allen, No. 206). Flowers only, shortly pedicellate. It is difficult, and perhaps impossible, to separate these flowers from those labelled “Sources of the Georgina River.”


E. pachyphylla, F.v.M.,” Pituri Creek, a tributary of the Georgina River, Western Queensland (Alfred Henry, 1889). A few fruits only. See fig. 2, Plate 171. The fruit is a little smaller than that of the type.

Linda Creek. [I cannot trace this. Can it be the same as Lander Creek, a few lines below?] One fruit only. Shortly pedicellate; fig. 3, Plate 171. As compared with the type, this is of greater diameter and with more ribs on the calyx-tube.

The following in fruit only:—

A. “Interior of S.A.” (doubtless Northern Territory). Figured at 5a and 5b, Plate 75.

B. 60 miles west of Camp IV, Lander Creek, Northern Territory, 22nd June, 1911 (G. F. Hill, No. 371).

  ― 15 ―

Sessile, single, large-fruited form. A specimen in leaf and flower only, labelled by Mueller “E. pachyphylla F.v.M. (Strongylantheræ), W. H. Cornish, 1885,” precisely matches the flowering specimen (Glen of Palms, E. Giles) in the “Eucalyptographia” plate. Figured at 6a-6d, Plate 75. This is the plant referred to as from the Mulligan River, Western Queensland, this work, Part XVII, p. 235.

Range. (of var. sessilis var. nov.).

Northern Territory.

“W. Austral. Expedition, Glen of Palms, E. Giles, 1872,” in Luehmann's writing. “E. pachyphylla F.M.” in Mueller's writing.

These specimens are in flower and bud only, are sessile, and are interesting because in Fragm. x, 5 (1876), Mueller first described the flowers (5–7 and nearly sessile) from them. I look upon them as quite sessile, and they are depicted in Mueller's “Eucalyptographia” plate (flowers and buds only).

Glen of Palms is on the Finke River, just south of the Krichauff Range. It formed Camp 44, Horn Expedition. In the report of this Expedition, Botany, by Prof. R. Tate, at p. 158, he records Giles' specimen, and also Krichauff Range (Kempe), a specimen to be presently referred to; also gorge of Reedy Creek, ravine on south side of Mt. Tate, on Mt. Sonder, all localities in the Macdonnell Ranges.

The Rev. H. Kempe, the collector above referred to, was located at the Moravian Mission Station, Hermannsburg, on the northern side of the Finke River, and about 1 mile north of the Krichauff Range. It was abandoned as a Mission Station in the early “nineties.” See Report, Horn Exped., p. 48. There is a survey of the Station and its surroundings in Mr. C. Winnecke's Report of the Expedition.

Immature (some slightly glaucous) fruits, Finke River (Kempe, 1880), are, as regards some of them, very fairly represented by 6b, Plate 75; fruits immature, but a little more advanced are figured herewith.

Here we have a small fruited form. Leaves and ripe fruits, Finke River (Revd. W. Schwarz, 1886) are figured herewith. Mueller does not appear to have referred to these specimens anywhere.

15 miles west of Hugh River (a tributary of the Finke River), Macdonnell Ranges, N.T., 6th May, 1911 (G. F. Hill, No. 147). Glaucous early fruits, 40 miles west of Camp IV, Lander Creek, N.T. 21st June, 1911 (G. F. Hill, No. 361). Flowers with most of the stamens dropped.

Still in the Macdonnell Ranges, at p. 35 of the Horn Expedition Report, we have “June 17, 1894, Horn Exped., Camp 33, Deering Creek, height 2,210 feet. Travelled over sandridges covered with.…and Mallee (Eucalyptus pachyphylla).”

“Bush, 8–12 feet high, on sand plain 9 miles N.E. of the permanent water of Winnecke's on the Marshall.” (Lieut. Dittrich.)

  ― 16 ―

Luehmann's label is “N. of McDonnell Range, Plenty River, Marshall River, Milne River, Lake Nash (Lieut. Dittrich, 1886).” Mueller labelled it E. pachyphylla.

Plenty River near S. lat. 23, unites with the Sandover River to form the Marshall or Hay River (N.T.). The Milne River runs into the Herbert River near the Northern Territory—Queensland boundary in 21° S. lat. Lake Nash is near the Northern Territory—Queensland border near 21° S. lat. 138° long. The material consists of a few loose buds and fruits, buds with pedicels on short peduncles, and with sharply pointed opercula and sharp, almost winged ribs, sharper than figured in Plate 75 or in the “Eucalyptographia.” The fruits (fig. 6, Plate 171) sessile. (These fruits very well match the sessile flowers figured in the “Eucalyptographia.”)


Labelled pachyphylla by F.v.M.:—

  • 1. Sources of the Georgina River (Lieut. Dittrich, 1886). Flowers and buds only.
  • 2. Dense bushes, 10–15 feet high, Spinifex sand plains, 27 miles west of the Rankin River, lat. 20° 27' 24?:—
    • (a) Flowers with short pedicels and moderately ribbed opercula very pointed.
    • (b) Buds, with label (as above), but buds rather more pedicellate.

Both (a) and (b) show how difficult it is to frame a character on the length of the pedicel. They certainly connect with the Tanami specimens.

The Georgina River of Western Queensland has its principal source in the Barkly Tableland, and receives the Lorne and Rankin's Creeks from the Northern Territory. In the “New Atlas of Australia” (1886), the Rankin and the Lorne are shown as the same stream, in 20–21° S. lat., near the Queensland border.

These Queensland specimens collected by Lieut. Dittrich in 1886, for Mueller, were obtained near the Northern Territory—Queensland border, and on the same trip as those collected by the same traveller and recorded under Northern Territory. Arranging them geographically under two States is merely a matter of convenience.


1. With E. alpina Lindl.

“Near to E. alpina” (original description). (See Part IX, Plate 41, for E. alpina.) The anthers of the two species are totally different. E. alpina is a rather broad-leaved small tree of mountain tops of a restricted range in Victoria. The buds and fruits of E. alpina may be described as warted; the ridges, where present, are not as well defined as in E. pachyphylla. The fruits are different, though sometimes possessing a resemblance.

  ― 17 ―

2. E. cosmophylla F.v.M.

“In some respects they” (the imperfect specimens of E. pachyphylla) “resemble E. cosmophylla and its allies, but the fruit, the seeds, and perhaps the inflorescence are different (B.Fl. iii, 237). Let us turn to Part XXI, Plate 91, for E. cosmophylla. In E. cosmophylla the flowers are usually in threes, and the calyx-tubes have usually one rib and the opercula none at all. The fruits differ a good deal, and the anthers still more. E. cosmophylla attains the size of a fairly large tree.

3. With E. pyriformis Turcz.

This was first indicated by Mueller in Fragm. x, 5.

E. pachyphylla approaches the variety pruinosa of E. pyriformis [such a variety has never been technically defined.—J.H.M.], but its flowers and fruits are much smaller, almost devoid of a general flower stalk (peduncle), and crowded to the number of about seven together (“Eucalyptographia” under E. pyriformis). For E. pruinosa Turcz., see this work, Part XVII, pp. 230–1. I have not seen the species, but Mueller says E. pachyphylla only “approaches” it.

There seems no doubt that both Mueller and I are correct in pointing out the affinity of E. pachyphylla to E. pyriformis, and I went so far as to make the former a variety of the latter. Compare figures 5 and 6 (E. pachyphylla) with the rest of the figures on Plates 75 and 76 (E. pyriformis). The anthers are similar, and the chief differences lie in the size of the fruits and in the length of calyx-tube or at least pedicel.

4. With E. pyriformis Turcz., var. Kingsmilli Maiden.

The affinity of E. pachyphylla is, however, closer to this variety, but they differ, as regards the larger buds and fruits; the longer petioles and pedicels; the more pointed opercula; the ribs deeper, almost winged and more numerous, of var. Kingsmilli.

5. With E. Oldfieldii F.v.M.

E. Oldfieldii is under revision, but Part XVII, p. 223, may be turned to, and figs. 11, Plate 73, and figs. 1 and 2, Plate 74, consulted. All these are close to the type. Both species are Mallees, but in E. Oldfieldii the fruits are in threes, with no ribbing on either calyx-tube or operculum, and the rim of the fruit is domed.

Fig. 7, Plate 75 (Burracoppin), which I attributed to E. pyriformis var. minor (and specifically identical with E. pachyphylla), of which fruits and a few leaves are alone available, is a form of E. Oldfieldii, with comparatively long stout pedicels. I have a note on it in Journ. Roy. Soc. N.S.W., li, 455.