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CCXXX. E. Watsoniana F.v.M.

In Fragmenta x, 98 (1876).

FOLLOWING is a translation of the original:—

A tree with somewhat terete branchlets, leaves sparse, ovate or narrow-lanceolate, slightly falcate, the same colour on both sides, with rather long petioles, imperforate, veins very divergent, faint and abundant, the two longitudinal veins close to the margin, panicles terminal, few or many flowered, the last peduncles 2–4 flowered, the rather large campanulate-turbinate almost ecostate calyx-tube the same length as the quadrangular pedicel, the very thick flattish shortly umbonate operculum broader than the smooth calyx-tube, stamens yellowish, all fertile, anthers linear-oblong, dehiscing near the margin, style short, stigma scarcely dilated, fruits large urceolate-campanulate, the sulcate annulate rim slightly descending and broadly encircling the orifice, valves 3–4, deltoid, entirely included, fertile seeds winged, greatly exceeding in size the sterile ones.

In the mountains near Wigton (Queensland) Th. Wentworth Watson.

A tree attaining a height of at least 60 feet. Bark (according to the discoverer) persistent, wrinkled and sometimes scaly, red-brownish. Mature leaves 4–5 inches long, 1–1½ inches broad, opaque, papery-coriaceous. Peduncles, with pedicels in twos or fours, fairly strong. Calyx-tube (flowering) almost ½ inch long, often covered with little excrescences. Operculum distinctly broader than the calyx-tube, attaining at least ½ an inch in breadth, shining, sometimes very depressed and with a rather long umbo, sometimes rather convex and terminating gradually in a short point. The longer of the stamens measuring ? inch, greatly exceeding the style. Anthers at least ½ a line long. Calyx-tube (fruit) an inch long, slightly contracted below the terminating margin. Vertex of the capsule smooth before dehiscing. Seeds brownish, shining; the fertile ones very much compressed, smooth, 2–3 lines long, margin acute. The species is called “Bloodwood” in its native place.

In our cultivated specimen the opercula are flat, as shown in the drawing. I do not think I have seen an umbo on them. The only cultivated specimen known to me is in the north-eastern part of the Botanic Gardens, growing with a westerly aspect and on rather shallow soil, overlying sandstone. It is about 40 years old, and was raised from seed of the type received by Baron von Mueller. It is about 50 feet in height, and at 3 feet from the ground the stem is 3 ft. 3 in. in circumference, or 13 inches in diameter. The trunk is single and erect, with an umbrageous canopy; the bark is of a dirty pale yellow colour, thick, not furrowed, scaly-fibrous, in thinnish layers. The superficial layers of the bark are deciduous, as in the case of the Yellow-barks. I have not seen a characteristic piece of the timber, and hesitate to damage our tree, but it is not a dark-coloured timber so far as we can see from small branches. The very young foliage is broadish and triplinerved, sparingly hairy, and not peltate.




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Range.

This species is only recorded from “near Wigton, on a tributary of the Boyne River, in the Burnett district” of Queensland, according to “Eucalyptographia.” We know little as to its distribution. The original description says, “In the mountains near Wigton,” and I suggest, at a guess, that its home is in the Craig's Range.

I have received it from near Eidsvold (Dr. T. L. Bancroft), and also from Boondooma, Burnett district, 70 miles north-west of Wondai (S. J. Higgins, through C. T. White), and would suggest that our Queensland friends be on the lookout for it.

Affinities.

1. With E. urnigera Hook.

“It is to be easily distinguished from E. urnigera by its very fine and abundant venation, by its paniculate flowers and distinctly larger fruits.” (Translation of original.)

The principal resemblance between E. Watsoniana and E. urnigera arises from the fact that the fruits of both are urceolate. But reference to Plate 80, Part XVIII (for E. urnigera) shows that the detailed resemblance is not very strong. There is some resemblance in the buds, which is accentuated after shrinkage; the number of buds is fewer in E. urnigera. The foliage is different (although E. Watsoniana rarely suckers in Sydney, and my specimens are unsatisfactory). E. urnigera is a White Gum, and a native of a cold climate, wood pale, not Bloodwood-like, and the affinities of the species are with the E. Gunnii group and not with the Bloodwoods.

2. With E. gomphocephala DC.

“… further as it is plainly different from all other species except E. gomphocephala on account of the breadth of the operculum, it is to be placed in the series of E. corymbosa.” (Translation of original.)

Examination of Plate 92, Part XXI (for E. gomphocephala) shows that the two species are not closely related, although there are some general resemblances of buds and fruits. The venation of the leaves is different, E. gomphocephala is a Western Australian tree, E. Watsoniana is from Queensland. The former is a very large tree, strongly calciphile, and with short, fibrous bark like a shorn sheep; the timber is pale and interlocked.




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3. With E. maculata Hook.

The relationship of this tree is with E. maculata, but the bark is totally persistent, the leaves are frequently a good deal broader, while their veins are finer and not quite so close, the flowers are often fewer and always conspicuously larger, the lid is ampler than the summit of the calyx-tube and seems to be simple from the commencement, although it exhibits considerable thickness; the fruits are of much larger size, rather expanded than contracted at the summit, with a flatter not suddenly quite descending rim, which latter is separated by a conspicuous circular channel from the tube of the fruit-calyx, while the seeds are larger and the fertile of these more angular. (“Eucalyptographia,” under E. Watsoniana.)

This will be referred to when E. maculata is reached, in Part XLIII.

4. With E. eximia Schauer.

“Nearer still (than E. maculata) is the affinity to E. eximia which has likewise persistent and structurally similar bark, also a subtle venation of the leaves and comparatively large fruits” … (“Eucalyptographia,” under E. Watsoniana.)

The affinities of these two species will be found dealt with in tabular form at p. 47.

5. With E. corymbosa Sm.

“… the fruit bears close resemblance to that of E. corymbosa, a species otherwise very different, belonging to the series with hypogenous stomata and having smaller flowers with neither dilated nor polished lid.” (“Eucalyptographia,” under E. Watsoniana.)

For E. corymbosa see Plates 161 and 162, Part XXXIX. It has a deep red timber, while its bark is hard-flaky and darker in colour than that of E. Watsoniana. The buds are very different, while the fruits of E. Watsoniana are larger, and have a very different rim.

6. With E. Abergiana F.v M.

E. Watsoniana recedes (from E. Abergiana) in narrower leaves equally coloured on either side, calyces with a varnish lustre and fixed to distinct stalklets, a widely dilated lid, which overreaches the orifice of the calyx-tube, longer stamens, fruits wider at the summit with a furrowed broader rim and unappendiculated seeds. (“Eucalyptographia,” under E. Abergiana.)

E. Abergiana might in these comparisons be left out of consideration as it has stomata only on the lower page of the leaves, no flower-stalklets, and the lid separating from the tube of the calyx by irregular rupture, a narrower fruit-rim and appendiculated seeds. (Op. cit. under E. Watsoniana.)

For E. Abergiana see Plate 170, Part XLI. It has a non-yellow bark and a red timber. The buds are very different in shape, the fruits more sessile, less urceolate and with a different rim.

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