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LXI. E. paniculata Sm.

IN Mr. R. T. Baker's paper, “Some Ironbarks of New South Wales” (Journ. Roy. Soc. N. S. W., ii, 410, 1917), the very important step was taken of splitting up E. paniculata into three species (E. paniculata Sm., with E. Fergusoni and E. Nanglei proposed as new), because of variation in the timber. It seems to me that the proposals add to the worries of both botanists and timbermen.

Variation in colour of timbers.—Mr. Baker (op. cit., pp. 410–413) discusses the matter of variation in Ironbark timbers, and following are some of his observations. Thus, p. 410, “Under what has been commonly known as E. paniculata, it was found that several distinct [my italics] timbers occur .…” Although he subsequently refers to other differences, they are vague, and his chief emphasis is in regard to colour.

In p. 412 “.… my experience .… is that Eucalyptus timber variations are not great wherever grown, especially colour of timbers, certainly not in a range of several colours.”

In p. 413 we have “.… four distinct timbers, and .… it is difficult to admit that so wide a range of colours and qualities can exist under one species .…” “If four distinct woods are to be placed under the same species-name, then it will be the exception to the rule of constancy [my italics] that I have so far found to obtain in our timbers.” He then proceeds to take “the white, grey or light chocolate coloured timber as the type paniculata, then apart from other characters we have remaining, a deep chocolate timber, a pink timber, and a deep red one, for which names are required, and it is now proposed to give those specific rank.”

So that the reasons for separating E. Fergusoni and E. Nanglei are based on differences in (1) timber, (2) “other characters,” and we will consider these separately.

The coloured photographs of timber accompanying Mr. Baker's paper probably do not do his sections justice, but I see no great difficulty in placing those attributed to E. Fergusoni and E. Nanglei with E. paniculata, so far as colours are concerned.

The Rev. Dr. Woolls, in the letter quoted to me at p. 238, speaks of the variation of timber according to age, and also to the soil. We do not know, except in very general terms, the amount of variation in colour and other physical characters owing to environment.

I shall further deal with this matter of colour when I come to treat Eucalyptus timbers in general. It is a very difficult subject, for hardly two authorities describe the colour of a particular species in the same way.

Schlich (Manual of Forestry, v, 59) classifies “healthy, freshly-cut woods” of about twenty British and exotic timbers under the headings yellowish-white, bright yellow, greyish-yellow, brownish-yellow, reddish, reddish-brown, golden-brown, dark brown, black. He includes no Eucalypts.

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He says, “Some woods may have different shades of colour, as oak, which is either dark or light. This shading of colour in woods may be very marked, and caused by variations of soil and rate of growth, more or less perfect formation of heartwood, &c. .… After wood has been kept for some time its colour usually deepens, and many bright-coloured woods become greyish.”

Timbers vary in colour according as they are green, or seasoned or old. That is why so many timbers are described by some pale colour as white, pink, or pale, and subsequently as brownish, red, or dark.

In my first classification of the Ironbarks of New South Wales, in a paper read before the Sydney Architectural Association on 4th September, 1893, I speak of the timber of E. paniculata as “very pale, pink when fresh.” In my “Notes on the Commercial Timbers of New South Wales” (Second Edition, 1904), I spoke of it (p. 7), as “often pale-coloured, even grey.”

Every timber merchant knows that he has to grade his timbers of the same kind according to weight, colour, grain, &c. I am not referring to different species, but to grading within the same species. This is particularly the case in Northern Europe and North America, with timber of say Pine and Oak. In Australia, as regards our indigenous timbers, we have entered less into the refinements of grading, but even in such reputedly definite timbers as Jarrah, Tallow Wood, the Stringybarks and even the Ironbarks (now under discussion), the timber merchant recognises variations or grades. I have a block of She-oak timber on my study table. When I first had it, some years ago, it was fiery-red, almost loud; it is now an inoffensive reddish-brown or brown.

Speaking of E. paniculata timber at Part XIII, p. 104, I quote the late Augustus Rudder as to its variation in colour. He spent a long life in E. paniculata country, and was shrewd in regard to both botanical and timber differences. See also my remarks on “vernacular names” at p. 105 of the same Part.

Other Reputed Differences between E. paniculata and E. Fergusoni and E. Nanglei.

Quoting Mr. Baker, p. 411, “.… it was found that the trees, in addition to having distinct timbers, differed also in variation of fruit, leaves and bark.”

Mr. Baker does not publish a key to his species Fergusoni and Nanglei (in comparison with E. paniculata), and therefore we have mainly to fall back on the photographs of the fruits as shown in Plate XXI. My point is, elaborated at p. 227, that the forms all run into each other.

Page 419. E. Nanglei. There is a general absence of contrasted characters, an exception being, under E. Nanglei, “the whole plant being coarser than E. paniculata and the fruits are quite characteristic, the chief feature being the rim, which frequently flattens in pressed specimens .… differs from its type E. paniculata in . . shape of fruits .… In botanical sequence it may follow E. Fergusoni, although its organs differ considerably from that species.”

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In my anxiety to avoid duplication of drawings, particularly where there is a plate in the “Eucalyptographia,” which is a work that should be read with mine, the drawings selected in the present work may sometimes give rise to some misunderstanding unless the above fact be borne in mind. The Critical Revision drawings are sometimes intended to bring out certain points. Turning to Part XIII, Plate 57, figs. 9e and 16, for example, see legend at p. 131, are intended to show that the fruits may be quite small or may have exserted valves. It does not mean that the form depicted is characteristic of this particular tree, for some of the fruits on this tree may be quite normal; it simply warns readers of an ascertained aberration in E. paniculata.

Further, the young foliage may become very coarse (large and thick), especially in exposed situations such as Ulladulla and Kincumber. Indeed the same thing is noticed at Dungog, and is by no means rare. In a comparatively dense forest the leaves may be thinner and smaller, with pale undersides. The figures now published of E. paniculata at Plates 196 and 197 should, taken in conjunction with Plate 57, be sufficiently comprehensive.


It is confined to coastal New South Wales and Queensland so far as we know at present. See Part XIII, p. 105. There is (1921) no satisfactory evidence that it occurs in Victoria.

The individual localities quoted at pp. 106, 107, will not be repeated. I have carefully gone over the specimens with the types of E. Fergusoni and E. Nanglei before me, and find that attempts to sort them out into three species are beyond my capacity. It is quite true that I am able to pick out some specimens in which the fruits match those particular fruits in the specimens which Mr. Baker has selected for his types, but they are associated with other characters which show that the forms cannot be segregated from E. paniculata.

E. paniculata is often found flowering in a dwarf state along the coast, particularly on north heads or headlets, e.g., Ulladulla, Terrigal, First Point, Kincumber.

The list of localities which follows is to be added to those given in Part XIII, p. 106.

I may say that, in common with some other species which occur along the coast, exposed to the strong sea air, and also more inland, E. paniculata has larger coastal fruits. Incidentally it may be stated that the fruits of a species, wherever grown, may be larger if the product of a young vigorous tree, and smaller if near the top of a large tree.

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New South Wales.

Forty feet high. Bermagui (Forest Guard W. Dunn). Boyne State Forest No. 147, 10 miles north of Bateman's Bay (Forest Guard L. Walker). About 20 feet high, North Head, Ulladulla (R. H. Cambage No. 4,070).

Heathcote, a few miles south of Sydney (J.H.M.). With suckers in the opposite stage.

Dundas (H. J. Rumsey). Parramatta to Penrith (Rev. Dr. Woolls). Ryde (F. R. Smith). Eurella-street, Burwood (J.H.M.). Lane Cove road, near Gordon (H. Deane). Near Golf Links, Killara (W. F. Blakely and D. W. C. Shiress). Near Gordon Station, on main road (W. F. Blakely). Pymble (W. A. Dixon).

Large tree, bark very rough and dark, younger branches nearly smooth. Asquith, near Hornsby (W. F. Blakely). Large tree of 50 or 60 feet. Bark a dull grey, very rough on barrel and main branches, and smaller ones somewhat smooth, with a few loose fragments of curly bark of 1 or 2 inches hanging from them. Near Oldham, Mt. Colah, near Hornsby (W. F. Blakely).

“A shrub about 10 feet high, growing on exposed hillsides on the coast near Terrigal. Growing in an almost horizontal manner, owing no doubt to its exposure to wind.” (W. A. W. de Beuzeville, April, 1918). First Point, Kincumber (R. H. Cambage and J.H.M.). The juvenile foliage may attain as large a size as that of Wingello (fig. 11, Plate 57).

Raymond Terrace (E. Cheel). Grey Ironbark, Williams River (J. L. Boorman). Scrub Ironbark, Dungog (W. F. Blakely). The fruits from a very old tree are smaller. Nelson's Bay, Port Stephens (J. L. Boorman). Grey Ironbark. Good flow of good quality honey. Wauchope (W. D. Goodacre).

Settlement Lease No. 63, parish Wondoba, county Pottinger, poor hilly country. (Forest Guard M. H. Simon).

Torrington (J. L. Boorman).

Woodford Island, Clarence River (E. J. Hadley). “Grey Ironbark,” Rappville, 17 miles from Casino (C. L. Campbell). Parish Dyraaba, county Rous, Casino; also Richmond Range (E. G. McLean).


Benarkin (Forest Inspector Twine, through C. T. White). Beenleigh (Dr. J. Shirley). Cabbage-tree Creek, Sandgate, with roots almost in salt water (C. T. White).

“Grey Ironbark.” Waterworks-road, Brisbane (J. L. Boorman). Kedron; Mt. Gravatt. (Near Brisbane, C. T. White).

Aspley (E. Bilbrough). Fraser Island (W. R. Petrie).

Parish Boondooma, 70 miles north-west of Wondai (Forest Guard Higgins, through C. T. White). Gympie (L. Hirst).

“Grey Ironbark.” Black heartwood. Blackbutt (R. W. Jolly).

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I quote the original descriptions of both E. Fergusoni and E. Nanglei.

E. Fergusoni R. T. Baker, in Journ. Roy. Soc. N.S.W., li, 415 (1917). (Bloodwood-bark Ironbark.)

Description.—A tall fine typical specimen of an Ironbark, with a facies in the field of something approaching a “Bloodwood,” from the nature of the bark, which resembles somewhat those species of Eucalypts. It is probably the thinnest bark of all the Ironbarks, and lacks the deep furrows so common to the group, being friable and so very short in the fibre on the exterior half, but hard and compact and deep red in colour for the remaining thickness, there being almost an entire absence of kino. The early leaves, say two or three, are at first rather broadly lanceolate, from 7 to 9 inches long and 2½ to 3 inches broad, but later leaves much smaller and less coriaceous than the earlier ones, venation distinct, intramarginal vein removed from the edge, lateral veins medium oblique. Normal leaves lanceolate, falcate, varying in length and width, and may be described in a general way as only medium size for an ironbark, not thick; venation not at all distinct as a rule, intramarginal vein removed from the edge, lateral veins fairly oblique. Inflorescence paniculate-corymbose, but when developed into the fruiting stage becoming almost corymbose. Calyx pyriform, ribbed. Operculum conical, the rim of the calyx bulging beyond the base of it. Fruits pear-shaped on a long slender pedicel, strongly four-ribbed, contracted at the rather thin rim, valves deeply inserted, 9 lines long and 4 lines wide.

Timber.—The colour is a deep red or reddish chocolate when fresh cut, but rather inclined to become a lighter red when aged. It is hard, heavy, straight or interlocked in the grain, which may be described as rather open, the vessels being conspicuous in a longitudinal cut, and appearing as whitish streaks. It planes and dresses well, and is suitable for all kinds of heavy constructional works.

In its economics it is probably equal to the very best of other Ironbarks, such as E. crebra, E. paniculata, E. siderophloia.

Then follows an account of the microscopic structure of the timber.

Geographical Range.—Bulladelah and Wingello.

(I have received from Mr. Baker a specimen labelled Bulladelah (L. C. Maxwell, October, 1916), as typical for E. Fergusoni.)

Affinities.—It is not easy to place this species in its systematic sequence, as whilst timber places it near E. siderophloia, the bark, leaves and fruits especially differentiate it from that species, as these features also do from other described species of Ironbarks, E. crebra, E. paniculata, E. sideroxylon, E. Caleyi, E. drepanophylla.

It might be placed between E. siderophloia and the pink Ironbark of this paper, E. Nanglei. (Original description.)

“Research has shown that the timber of this tree was exhibited at the Paris International Exhibition of 1862, under the name of E. crebra, but later this name was changed on the specimen fto E. paniculata.” (End of original description.)

Following are my own comments:—

1. The word Paris in connection with 1862 is, of course, a slip of the pen. No specimen of an Ironbark timber named as to species was exhibited either in the Paris Exhibition of 1855, or in the London Exhibition of 1862.

2. The “timber of this tree” refers to one of a number of little hand-samples, being Sir William Macarthur's reference set (it was he who made the New South Wales timber collections for these exhibitions). These were spoken about to me by Sir William at Camden Park in February, 1881, and some years later they were presented by Mrs. Macarthur Onslow, his niece, and placed by me in the Technological Museum.

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3. I spent much time on these specimens (including those which are Ironbarks) between the years 1885 and 1896 (when I was transferred to the Botanic Gardens), with the printed catalogues of these Exhibitions before me, and made some notes. The gist of those notes, as regards Nos. 1, 3, 8 of the specimens of the London Exhibition of 1862, will be found at Part XIII, p. 106, of the present work, under E. paniculata, and a reference to E. crebra will be seen. The name crebra was marked by me on a specimen, and afterwards changed by me to paniculata. All this happened many years ago, and I think paniculata is probably correct.

E. Nanglei R. T. Baker, in Journ. Roy. Soc. N.S.W., li, 418 (1917), with three figures of the fruit at Plate 21. (Pink Ironbark.)

Description.—An average forest tree with a very thick, compact, deeply furrowed bark, containing large quantities of kino. Leaves lanceolate, the early-growth leaves might be described as broadly lanceolate, and of a thin texture; veins finely prominent, and not very oblique; usual leaves mostly straight, lanceolate, venation not at all prominent; lateral veins oblique, and more so than in the earlier leaves; intramarginal vein rather close to the edge. Inflorescence paniculate or axillary at the neds of the branchlets but in the fruiting stage, the leaves having fallen, the capsules appear in quite a paniculate form. Buds under an inch long, calyx pyriform; operculum conical. Fruits inclined to pilular, constricted at the rather short pedicel or pyriform, more or less contracted at the rim, where it is more or less flat or broad; in some instances very slightly ribbed at the base or pedicel, valves not exserted, or just a little so.

Timber.—A very fine timber with a distinct clear pink or red colour, and having the facies rather of E. rostrata, E. tereticornis, or E. propinqua, than that of an Ironbark. It may be described as close-grained, heavy, hard, but does not plane to so bony a face as Ironbarks, having a tendency to splinter up almost immediately after planing. It is not so heavy as other Ironbarks, probably being the lightest in weight of any of them.

General.—The timber of this tree is quite distinct from the White or Grey Ironbark of this paper, and the two could not be correctly placed under one species, especially in a public collection of timbers such as obtains in the Technological Museum. No tradesman or timber expert would pass them as one and the same wood, and it was these particular differences that influenced me to separate these trees as distinct. The bark is not so deeply furrowed nor quite so thick as in most Ironbarks, but has a fair amount of kino scattered throughout its structure, the inner layer is also thinner for so large a tree. It is also easy of determination in herbarium material, and the whole plant being coarser than E. paniculata, and the fruits are quite characteristic, the chief feature being the rim which frequently flattens in pressed specimens.

It is difficult to trace references to this tree, but it is just possible that, owing to its paniculate inflorescence, it may have been confounded with E. paniculata, and perhaps Dr. Woolls, when first recording the colour of the wood of E. paniculata as Red may have had material of this species, vide remarks by J. H. Maiden under E. paniculata.

This species differs from its type E. paniculata, principally in the physical properties of its timbers, such as colour and texture, also in inflorescence, shape of fruits and nature of bark, and the same remarks apply to other Ironbarks. In botanical sequence it may follow E. Fergusoni, although the organs differ considerably (they have not been stated, J.H.M.) from that species, as well as from the other Ironbarks.

Geographical Range.—It has a wide range, preserving its specific features well throughout its distribution. Localities at present known to me are Morisset, Stroud, Bulladelah, Woy Woy, Lindfield, Nowra. (End of Mr. Baker's description.)

I have picked out a number of herbarium specimens whose facies most generally resemble that of E. Nanglei as represented by the specimens presented by Mr. Baker, but they run into E. Fergusoni and both into E. paniculata inextricably.