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XVII. E. capitellata Smith.

In “A Specimen of the Botany of New Holland,” p. 42, 1793 (1794).

THE original description will be found at Part VIII, p. 211 of the present work. It was at this place more fully described by me, but my definition of the species, while largely following Bentham, Mueller and other competent authorities, was too wide. My references at Proc. Roy. Soc. N.S.W., lii, 493 (1918), were also too inclusive, as they include the dwarf form that I separated under the name E. Camfieldi. (See Proc. Roy. Soc. N.S.W., liv, 66, 1920); see also below, p. 149.

The type from Port Jackson may be described as follows:—

A small to medium-sized tree with a stringy bark and timber brown or pale brown in colour, the young branchlets sometimes almost quadrangular.

Juvenile leaves with undulate margins and a few stellate hairs when quite young, but developing later into a glabrous leaf of thicker texture of much larger size, ovate to orbicular (say 8 by 8 cm. and 8 by 10 cm., and even greater dimensions), shortly pedunculate or almost sessile, secondary veins few, spreading or looped, the intramarginal vein far removed from the edge.

Mature leaves “ovate lanceolate, firm, astringent but not very aromatic.” (Original description.) Equally green on both sides; coriaceous, venation spreading.

Buds.—The buds and peduncles somewhat thick and angular or flattened. “We have seen no other species in which the flowers stand in little dense heads, each flower not being pedicellated so as to form an umbel.” (Original description.) This, of course, does not remain true now.

Fruits.—In consequence of the fruits being sessile, or nearly so, and crowded into heads, these assume a polygonal shape at the base, as if they had been pressed together when in a plastic condition. With this exception, the fruits have the form of a very much compressed spheroid, the horizontal diameter of which is from one and a half times to twice the depth. The fruit is swollen out below the rim, which is sometimes very well defined, and of a red or brown colour. The fruit is sometimes truncate, but more frequently the rim is dome-shaped. There is great variability in the amount of exsertion of the valves. The fruit may be perfectly ripe without exserted valves, but a twig from the same tree may have them exserted.

The type came from Port Jackson (Sydney), N.S.W.

A figure of the species will be found at Plate 106, Part XXVIII, of my “Forest Flora of New South Wales”; figure B of that Plate belongs to E. Camfieldi Maiden. In the present work it is figured at Part VIII, Plate 37, figures 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, so that the figures of the juvenile and intermediate leaf (4a, 4b) in Plate 186 seem quite adequate. The juvenile leaves of the two species can be compared.

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This species is confined to New South Wales, so far as we know at present.

It occurs in poor, sandy land from Sutherland, near Port Hacking, a few miles south of Sydney, northerly to Port Stephens, and north of that it is found in certain New England localities indicated below. It is quite obvious that additional southern localities will be found, and intermediate ones between Port Stephens and Walcha.

While it seems to prefer coastal localities, it will be seen that it occurs on the northern tableland also. Indeed, the range of the species requires to be carefully ascertained.

Following are some localities, travelling north:—

Sutherland (J. L. Boorman). Woronora (F. W. Wakefield, No. 4). Kogarah, Oatley, Como and Hurstville (J. H. Camfield). Folly Point, Middle Harbour (D. W. C. Shiress).

George Caley's specimens in the British Museum, “Twisted Stringybark, near Sydney, January 15th, 1807, capitellata.” (All in Caley's handwriting). Also British Museum, Nos. 15 and 5 from Dr. A. B. Rendle, F.R.S., Keeper of Botany, British Museum, 1912.

Corner of Pittwater and Spit roads, 20–50 feet high; also Common from St. Ives to Tumble Down Dick, a distance of about 5 miles (W. F. Blakely and D. W. C. Shiress.)

Passing Broken Bay, the following coastal specimens are strictly typical:—

Brisbane Water (W. D. Francis). Wyong (Forester F. G. McPherson). Morissett (A. Murphy). “Bark deeply furrowed, timber good.” “This species has always yellow inner bark,” Wyee (A. Murphy); Wallsend (W. W. Froggatt); Port Stephens district (A. Rudder); South Head of Port Stephens (J. L. Boorman).

The most northerly locality from which we have it is the Round Mountain, Guy Fawkes Range, 4,250 feet above the sea, and about 50 miles east of Armidale, on the Grafton road (J.H.M.). Buds as compressed as it is possible for them to be. Fruits large and hemispherical (figured at 7a and 7b, Plate 37). From the material available there may be room for opinion as to whether this is E. capitellata or E. macrorrhyncha, but the buds, at least, incline me to the view that it is E. capitellata.

  • (a) Near Apsley Falls, Walcha, No. 1,217, R. H. Cambage (E. C. Andrews), is identical with the preceding.
  • (b) Fourteen miles east of Deepwater at 4,000 feet, No. 1,219, Cambage (E. C. Andrews). In intermediate foliage only, but doubtless identical with the preceding.
  • (c) Near Swamp Oak, Walcha, No. 1,218, Cambage (E. C. Andrews), has a very short pedicel and is one of the specimens which show how difficult, and perhaps impossible, it is to say what line of demarcation there is between E. capitellata and E. macrorrhyncha.