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Affinities.

Preliminary.—This tree is a half-barked “Box,” and allied in bark and timber to E. populifolia, E. albens, and other cognate Box-trees. [Of all the Box-trees described this species has probably the narrowest leaves]. … (These words in the square brackets are omitted from Research, &c., p. 132.)

The leaves have a shining surface, occasionally as pertains to E. populifolia F.v.M., or E. Behriana F.v.M. (Original description.)

1. With E. conica Deane and Maiden.

“It differs from E. conica Deane and Maiden, in height, bark, timber, oil and fruits. Although the two species are not easily separated on herbarium material, they are never confounded in the field.” (Original description.) References to E. conica are omitted from Research, &c., p. 132.

For E. conica see Part XIII, with Plate 60, and also p. 64 of Part XLII. See also Plate 219, Part LVIII of my “Forest Flora of New South Wales.” E. conica has broader juvenile leaves in contradistinction to the usually narrower ones of E. Woollsiana; the fruits also are very different in shape and size, while the anthers of the two species are very different.

2. With E. microtheca F.v.M.

“It differs from E. microtheca in the valves of the fruit not being exserted, in the colour of the wood, and in the bark and chemical constituents.” (Original description.)

For E. microtheca see Part XI, figs. 16–22, Plate 52. There are no close affinities; the timber of E. microtheca is red, and the fruits sharply different.




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3. With E. viridis R. T. Baker.

“The fruits are small, and somewhat approach in shape those of the Green Mallee, E. viridis Baker; but the bark, timber, and chemical constituents of the kino and oil differentiate it from that species.” (Original description.) (This passage is omitted from Research, &c., p. 133.)

“By the casual observer, it is sometimes confused with the large form of E. viridis, which is also in places called Mallee Box, but with this tree it has no field affinities.” (R. H. Cambage in Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W., xxv, 714, 1900.)

For E. viridis (under the name E. acacioides), see figs. 9–12, Plate 52, Part XI. As a very general rule, this is a slender, graceful Mallee.

4. With E. bicolor A. Cunn. (E. pendula A. Cunn., see Part XI).

“.… from E. pendula A. Cunn., in the venation and shape of the leaves, the shape of the fruits and constituents of the oil, and particularly in its timber, and it has a more erect habit than this species.” (Original description.)

For E. bicolor see Part XI, with figs. 5–13 of Plate 49. I would be inclined to say that E. bicolor has a more pendulous habit than those trees which have been described as E. Woollsiana; it is a thick, rough-barked, pendulous, narrow-leaved species, while E. Woollsiana has a paler and less rugged bark; the colour of the timber of E. bicolor is a rich reddish brown.

5. With E. populifolia Hook.

E. populifolia has much wider leaves, but the bark of the species is very similar [but is not associated in any other respect with this species]. (These words in square brackets are omitted from Research, &c., p. 133.) Mr. W. Baeuerlen states `that it is usually associated with E. populifolia, the Green Mallee (E. viridis Baker), and the Grey Mallee (E. Morrisii Baker), on which account it is called `Mallee Box.' I have never seen it in Mallee form, and as a result of my enquiries it appears that it does not grow in that form.' ” (Original description.)

For E. populifolia see Part X, Plate 48. The two species are very dissimilar, the only approach (distant) being in the infrequent narrow-leaved form of E. populifolia, and in the small fruits, which are, however, different in shape.

6. With E. hemiphloia F.v.M.

“From E. hemiphloia it differs in the nature of its timber, oil, buds, and leaves. … Of described species it is most closely allied to E. hemiphloia and other `Boxes' in oil, kino, and botanical characters. (Original description.)

I agree that the closest affinity of certain specimens attributed to E. Woollsiana is to E. hemiphloia var. microcarpa, indeed that they cannot be separated. In this connection compare, for the former, the illustrations referred to at p. 223, with those of E. hemiphloia var. microcarpa at Plate 50, Part XI, figs. 7–17. In E. hemiphloia we have broad suckers and usually, almost invariably, coarser mature foliage; paniculate inflorescence, which often serves to separate it from its congeners; fruits usually larger and more ovoid. At the same time, in E. hemiphloia, through arrested growth and other causes, we may have very small fruits. Mr. Cambage was alive to that many years ago, for, in sending me twigs of E. hemiphloia var. microcarpa, from Mount


  ― 204 ―
McDonald, near Cowra, he sent twigs tied together with fruits varying in size from as small as ever seen in the figures of E. Woollsiana to as large as those seen in the variety of E. hemiphloia. The little bundle bore the label, “These three twigs are from the same branch.”

The differences between E. Woollsiana may be ascertained (if possible) by comparison of the figures, figs. 2b, 2c, Plate 194, of the specimens attributed by Mr. Baker to E. Woollsiana, and figs. 7–17, Plate 50, Part XI, of E. hemiphloia var. microcarpa. In addition, we must take cognisance of material distributed by Mr. Baker as co-types of his E. Woollsiana.

Speaking generally, it may be said that they gradually run into each other, and that there are times when it is difficult to separate them on herbarium material, especially if it be incomplete. The leaf characters do not appear to offer sufficient evidence to always discriminate between them, and the buds and fruits are subject to variation, both in shape and size, as already indicated. The suckers appear to be the strongest characters by which they can be separated, but everything depends on what we know as E. Woollsiana.

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