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  ― 213 ―

CCLXXI. E. Penrithensis Maiden.

In Journ. Roy. Soc. N.S.W., xlvii, 227 (1913).

FOLLOWING is the original description:—

Arbor mediocris, “Bastard Stringybark” vocata. Cortex trunci dura et subfibrosa. Rami teretes. Folia matura crassiuscula, venis nitentibus, distinctis, patentibus, vena peripherica a margine remota. Alabastri stellulati, juvenes angulatiusculi, maturi clavatiores. Operculum conicum. Flores paniculati 4–10 in umbella quaque. Antherae reniformes. Fructus hemisphærici ad fere pilulares diametro circiter 5 mm. margine lævo et conspicuo. Fructus a pedicello filiforme acute disjuncti.

“Bastard Stringybark” or “Peppermint.” Two miles east of Penrith, New South Wales (J. L. Boorman, January, 1900). A tree of medium height and very scarce locally.

Bark hard fibrous on the trunk, branches smooth, intermediate in character between a “Stringybark” and a “Peppermint.”

Timber reddish brown and with concentric though not abundant gum-veins.

Intermediate leaves petiolate, falcate, acuminate, mostly unsymmetrical, rather coriaceous, equally green on both sides, venation prominent, spreading, intramarginal vein well removed from the edge. Average size say 13 cm. by 3 cm. broad.

Mature leaves much smaller, say 9 cm. by 1 cm. broad, rather thick, shiny, plentifully besprinkled with black dots, venation the same, resembling those of intermediate leaves.

Buds stellulate and somewhat angled when very young, more clavate as maturity approaches. Operculum conical, the calyx-tube tapering into a short pedicel.

Flowers paniculate, 4 to 10 in the individual umbel, which has a slightly flattened common peduncle under 1 cm. long. Anthers kidney-shaped.

Fruit hemispherical to nearly pilular, diameter about 5 mm. with a well-defined smooth rim, tips of the valves either sunk, or not protruding beyond the orifice. The fruit is sharply separated from the filiform pedicel.

Synonym.

E. Marsdeni C. Hall, in Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W., xliii, 747 (with a Plate).

I submit drawings of the types of both E. Penrithensis and E. Marsdeni. The material is not large in either case; the barks are the same; the fruit of E. Penrithensis is a little smaller, but I can find no botanical differences between them. Dr. Hall realises that the species is not a strong one, calling it “f. vel sp. nov.” He also says: “I have named this form or species tentatively E. Marsdeni, after the Rev. Samuel Marsden, the first incumbent of St. John's Church, Parramatta.”




  ― 214 ―

Following is the original description of E. Marsdeni:—

“Arbor 30–50' altitudine, cortice fibroso inferne superne lævi foliis petiolatis, lanceolatis, acuminatis, falcatis, obliquis, fere membraneis; cymis axillaribus; pedunculis 4?' longis, pedicellis 1½?'; operculo hemisphærico, umbonato; fructibus hemisphæricis, valvis parum exsertis.”

A tree, 30 feet high in specimen observed, and probably would attain a height of 60–80 feet when fully grown.

Seedling.—Cotyledons very small, orbicular-reniform, entire purplish on under-surface, glabrous. Leaves opposite, decussate, obtuse, shortly petiolate, lanceolate, venation pinnate, rather oblique, edges sinuate. Stem reddish, and both it and the leaves covered with fine, stellate hairs.

Juvenile leaves of a more advanced stage than in the small seedling are alternate, petiolate, narrow-lanceolate, acuminate, glabrous. Mature leaves alternate, petiolate, falcate, acuminate, oblique, greyish on drying, almost membranous, occasionally shiny, and having a pleasant, aromatic scent. Laminæ 6 inch-8 inch long by ¾ inch broad, petiole slender, ½ inch long. Lateral veins oblique, alternately fine, intramarginal vein fairly distant from the edge.

Inflorescence axillary, peduncles ½ inch long, with rather few flowers in head, six to nine; buds turbinate, 5 inches long, operculum hemispherical, shortly acuminate. Stamens all fertile, anthers kidney-shaped. Fruits hemispherical 3 lines in diameter, rim domed, valves small, slightly exserted.

Bark of an unusual character for a Eucalypt. While it falls in the group of the stringybarks, yet it is laminated, with a sort of ochreous deposit on the surface of each layer. Inner bark very hard and compact. But while the trunk and lower branches have such bark, that of the upper branches and branchlets is smooth and greyish, so that the tree is really a half bark.

Timber light brown in colour, fairly heavy, close, straight in the grain, annual rings prominent in the young stage, planes and dresses well, and should be useful for technical purposes; gum-veins few.

Range.

Confined to the County of Cumberland, New South Wales, so far as we know at present.

The type of E. Penrithensis came from two miles east of Penrith, New South Wales. Guided by Mr. Boorman I saw the tree a month or two afterwards, but it and a few others, believed to be the same, were cut down a short time subsequently, and others could not be traced.

Toongabbie, New South Wales, at the rear of the Public School, on the Wianamatta clay, is the only locality known of the type of E. Marsdeni, but I understand from Dr. Hall that his specimen cannot be found now, having probably shared the same fate as the type tree of E. Penrithensis.

See also notes at pp. 236 and 237 (under E. eugenioides) in Part VII of the present work.

It will probably turn out that E. Penrithensis is not as rare as was at once supposed. It has probably been passed over as a ragged, hard Stringybark, and looked upon as an anomalous E. eugenioides.




  ― 215 ―

The following two specimens probably belong to this species:—

  • 1. Field of Mars, Gladesville, two trees close together, pointed out by J. J. Fletcher to R. H. Cambage and myself in February, 1905, and Mr. Cambage and I collected specimens, while Mr. Cambage took admirable photographs of the trees, which will be reproduced when Barks in the genus are arrived at.
  • 2. Galston-road, about 1 mile from Hornsby, Mr. Sutton's property (W. F. Blakely, 21st October, 1918).

These two specimens apparently vary only in robustness from the type of E. Penrithensis, the Galston specimen being from a young, vigorous tree, which would account for this.

Affinities.

This is an anomalous, rare, and apparently local species, and one naturally looks upon it as a hybrid. At the same time, hybridism is difficult to prove. Of course it is not necessary to prove that the assumed parents are to be found, at the present time, in close juxtaposition to the individuals from which one obtained material in the present case. The parents may be some distance away, and the seed of the trees may have been conveyed in a number of ways. Possibly the parents are E. eugenioides Sieb. and E. hœmastoma Sm. var. micrantha Benth. Let us consider these in detail. (Original description.)

Dr. Hall was also of opinion that his species (E. Marsdeni) might be a hybrid, and he and I formed these opinions independently in regard to the practically solitary specimens of E. Penrithensis and E. Marsdeni referred to. It will be best to give his remarks from the original description litteratim:—

“As seen from the description, this form of Eucalypt, on a cortical classification, seems intermediate between the smooth-barks and stringy-barks. The timber has not the texture of that of the stringy-barks, but more nearly resembles that of E. viminalis in physical characters. The early buds resemble those of E. obliqua, but there is no resemblance in the mature stage. The mature leaves are generally markedly oblique. The fruit resembles that of E. eugenioides, but it tapers more into the pedicel, and is not so flat; nor are the fruits so clustered on the peduncle. The seedling is intermediate between those of E. eugenioides and E. Moorei; and, in its hairy seedling-leaves and reniform cotyledons, approximates strongly to the stringy-barks. The reniform anthers also place it in that category, but the bark, timber, and oil are quite distinct from those of this class. As, so far, only a single tree is known, one is strongly inclined to conclude that it is either a hybrid or a sport. Strong colour is lent to the hybrid theory by the fact of it possessing so many of the characters of the stringy-barks, especially in the seedling stage; yet differing from them in others in the mature stage, as, for instance, in the bark, oil, and timber. Since the only tree has, unfortunately, lately been cut down, further comparison is at present impossible. Now that a description has been published, search may reveal further specimens, and more definitely establish its status. The tree was a young one, about 12–15 years old, and growing on land that had been mostly cleared, but with a few well-grown trees of E. hœmastoma, E. resinifera, and E. siderophloia in proximity. Other trees near by were E. crebra, E. eugenioides, E. hemiphloia, E. punctata, and E. tereticornis.”




  ― 216 ―

1. With E. hœmastoma Sm. var. micrantha Benth. (A “White Gum.”)

The affinities lie in the smoothness of the branches, the fruits, and the young (intermediate) leaves. (Original description of E. Penrithensis.)

2. With E. eugenioides Sieb. (A “Stringybark.”)

The bark indicates some affinity to the Stringybark, and there is also affinity in the foliage (as also with the White Gum). There is some (not close) resemblance in the fruits, while the pedicellate fruit is seen in the White Gum. (Original description of E. Penrithensis.)

Some remarks on supposed hybridism in which E. eugenioides takes a part, will be found under E. Laseroni, p. 187.

3. With E. piperita Sm.

Penrith is not in E. stellulata country, and the relations of the proposed new species with E. piperita may be examined. The barks resemble each other a good deal. The pointedness and curvature of the young buds reminds one of those of E. piperita. The resemblance of the foliage and anthers would apply more or less to E. eugenioides, hœmastoma, and piperita. (Original description of E. Penrithensis.)

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