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XCII. E. Oldfieldii F.v.M.

In Fragm. ii, 37 (1860).

FOLLOWING is a translation of the original:—

A shrub, leaves alternate with rather long petioles, ovate or narrow lanceolate, thick, coriaceous the same colour on both sides, slightly curved, imperforate, faintly and spreadingly veined, peripheral vein fairly distant from the edge, umbels shortly pedunculate, 2- or 3-flowered, the almost hemispherical operculum narrowed into a short umbo slightly longer than the semi-globular tube of the subsessile calyx, the very convex top of the fruit broadly encircling the capsule, calyx-tube exangular, hemispherical, the vertex of the 3- or 4-celled capsule pyramidal and exsert, seeds without wings.

In sandy plains near the Murchison River—A. Oldfield.

A shrub 4–5 feet high. Bark red, with loose flakes. Branchlets angled, the older ones terete. Leaves shining, 2½–5 inches long, ½–1½ inches broad at the lower part. Peduncles 1½ up to a few lines long, thickened at the base. Buds 4–5 lines long, wrinkled. Fruits not broader than ½ inch; tube hemispherical, margin 2 lines broad. Valves or either the exsert part of the capsule itself 1½ lines long, almost deltoid. Seeds sterile, ?–1 line long; the fertile ones hardly more than a line long and blackish.

It was described in English by Bentham in B.Fl. iii, 237, and figured and described by Mueller in his “Eucalyptographia.”

Notes supplementary to the description.

It has an ovoid operculum usually more or less rostrate. Its juvenile foliage is petiolate and ovate, not broad, with the intramarginal vein distinctly removed from the edge. I have not seen it in its earliest stage.

It is a stiff shrub of 8 or 10 feet, with many thin stems close together, forming an impenetrable scrub, but not a true Mallee. It is not a timber tree.

The anther will be found figured at fig. 9, Plate 171. It will be seen that it is practically identical with that of E. pyriformis (fig. 9, Plate 171), belonging to a group named by Mueller Strongylantheræ.

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It is confined to Western and South Australia. Mueller (“Eucalyptographia”) gives its range as from Champion Bay to the Murchison River in Western Australia, but the localities about to be quoted show that it extends to the Eastern gold-fields and to the South Australian border.

For a number of Western Australian localities, see Part XVII, p. 223, of the present work. It is a species often obviously passed over as “Mallee,” and we require additional localities in order to properly map out its distribution.

Western Australia (Additional Localities).

About 4 miles north of Menzies (C. E. Lane Poole, No. 282).

Bruce Rock to Merriden (Dr. F. Stoward, Nos. 16, 36). “Mallee,” Tammin (C. H. Ostenfeld, No. 512). Comet Vale (J. T. Jutson, Nos. 242, 250).

South Australia.

“Camp 10, S.A., Elder Exploring Expedition. 27th June, 1891. 15 feet high.” (R. Helms.) On the official map it is stated that some Mallee was found in the vicinity of this camp, which is in South Australia, in, say, 27° 60' S. lat. and 131° long. E.


1. With E. Drummondii F.v.M.

“The close affinity of E. Oldfieldii to E. Drummondii remains to be noted. So far as I can judge from Drummond's specimen No. 86, no other discrepancies of the latter exist than the smaller size of the leaves, flowers and young fruits, and the comparatively greater length of the flower-stalks and stalklets; but such differences are not in every other case of specific value, and as the bud and ripe fruit remained hitherto unknown, the final settling of this question is not yet possible. If E. Drummondii should prove a mere variety, as seems likely.…” (“Eucalyptographia,” under E. Oldfieldii.)

E. Oldfieldii differs from E. Drummondii in the sessile inflorescence which is arranged in triads (or when pedicellate), the pedicels are very stout and shorter than those of E. Drummondii) and in different shaped buds and fruits, as will be seen by comparing Plate 73 (fig. 11) and Plate 74 (figs. 1 and 2) for E. Oldfieldii with Plate 74 (figs. 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10) for E. Drummondii. The former is a Mallee, and the latter a small tree.

2. With E. Ewartiana Maiden, in Proc. Roy. Soc. N.S.W. liii, p. 111 (1919).

This will be dealt with when E. Ewartiana is reached.

Additional affinities have been dealt with in Part XVII, p. 225.