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CCXLI. E. approximans Maiden.

In Journ. Roy. Soc. N.S.W., liii, 65 (1919).

FOLLOWING is the original description:—

Frutex Mallee similis 4–10 ft. altus magna multitudine crescens. Foliis teneribus lineari-lanceolatis, foliis maturis lineari-lanceolatis rectis vel leniter falcatis, acuminatis 7·5 cm.—1 dm. longis, 6–7 mm. latis, crassis, nitentibus, costa media sola conspicua, marginibus uniformiter glandulosis, glandulis oleosis dense punctatis. Pedunculis circiter ·5 cm. longis, 4–8 flores breve pedicellatos ferentibus. Alabastris clavatis, operculo hemispherico-conoideo calycis tubo dimidio aequilongo. Antheris reniformibus. Fructibus cylindroideis circiter 5 mm. diametro, capsula valde emersa.

“A Mallee-like plant of 4–10 feet growing in masses. Much resembles E. stricta of the Blue Mountains in its mode of growth. Stems dark grey, with patches of lighter bark. Becomes ribbony at certain periods. Generally one inch in diameter and never more than two.” (J. L. Boorman.)

Juvenile leaves (seen almost but not quite opposite) linear-lanceolate, very similar to the mature leaves, the stems glandular.

Mature leaves linear-lanceolate, straight, or slightly falcate, acuminate, and often with a hooked point, 7·5 cm. to 1 dm. (say 3 to 4 inches) long, and 6–7 mm. broad, thick and shining, the midrib alone visible, the margins uniformly glandular, giving them almost the appearance of being serrulate. Uniformly and copiously dotted with oil-glands on the upper surface, the more prominent of which become black points as age proceeds.

Peduncles about ·5 cm. long, slightly angular or terete, each with 4 to 8 shortly pedicellate flowers.

Buds clavate, calyx-tube about 3 mm. in diameter, operculum hemispherical-conoid, about half the length of the calyx-tube. Stamens inflected in the bud, filaments nearly white, anthers reniform.

Fruits cylindroid or ovoid-oblong, truncate, not contracted at the orifice, about 5 mm. in diameter, the rim narrow and sloping inwards, the capsule deeply sunk.

Range.

Type from Barren Mountain (Henry Deane), in National Herbarium, Sydney.

Confined to the north-eastern part of New South Wales so far as we know at present. “From the summit of the Barren Mountain, on the range dividing the Bellinger and Clarence Rivers, 45 miles from the coast, and 4,500 feet above the sea.” (Henry Deane, 1901.) “Grows facing a northerly aspect. This mountain is in the Dorrigo and Guy Fawkes district.” (J. L. Boorman, 1913.)




  ― 97 ―

Affinities.

1 and 2. With E. stricta Sieb., and E. apiculata Baker and Smith.

Its closest relations are with these two species, but their fruits are always urceolate or ovoid, and not cylindroid or ovoid-oblong. The leaves are broader than those of E. apiculata and resemble those of E. stricta a good deal, but those of the present species are more copiously dotted and possess the appearance of an almost serrulate margin.

The species is referred to in Part IX, 283, under E. stricta. The specimen from Blackheath referred to as “B” (Maiden and Cambage) has prominent spreading, usually well-defined venation, with the fruits inclined to be barrel-shaped. This puzzling form is still under investigation, for it has affinities with other Renantheræ.

E. approximans is a member of a trio (the other two members being E. stricta and E. apiculata) that are not easy to separate. Thus the two latter can only be separated by a convention (width of suckers, a variable, like all other characters, see Part IX). The same thing may be said (perhaps quoting other characters) of other geminate species. But it seems to me that, in the important matter of fruits, those of E. stricta and E. apiculata are always urceolate, or approximate thereto. In specimen “B” the primary shape appears always to be that of a barrel, while in E. approximans the shape is always cylindroid. I have raised seedlings of “B,” E. apiculata (E. stricta may be omitted, as less close to E. approximans than E. apiculata) and E. approximans. Those of “B” are for the most part with stem-clasping leaves, and have no close affinity to the last; those of E. apiculata and E. approximans present certain differences that are difficult to make clear without illustrations.

I have already shown how close the species is to the E. stricta series, but although I have examined the relationship over and over again since I received the plant in 1901, I have never distributed it before describing it as new, as after every careful inquiry I felt that I could not place it under a described species.

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