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  ― 103 ―

CCXLIII. E. perfoliata R. Brown.

In Bentham's “Flora Australiensis,” iii, 253 (1866).

FOLLOWING is the original description:—

A large shrub of 10 feet or more (A. Cunningham). Leaves opposite, connate, 6 to 8 inches long and 3 to 4 inches broad, very obtuse, glaucous, with numerous parallel transverse veins. Flowers large, sessile in heads of four to six, on terete peduncles, forming a corymbose terminal panicle. Calyx-tube thick, broadly turbinate, smooth or nearly so, 7 to 8 lines long and as much in diameter. Operculum not seen. Stamens above ½ inch long, inflected in the bud; anthers small, ovate-oblong, with parallel distinct cells. Fruit urceolate, 1½ inch long and above 1 inch diameter, smooth, the rim concave, the capsule sunk. Seeds not seen.

It will be observed from the figures that the operculum is shorter than the calyx-tube; it is slightly conoid, but the process of drying accentuates its pointed character.

The anthers are certainly small (see fig. 2c, Plate 180) for a member of the Corymbosæ, and will be drawn attention to when anthers are treated of collectively, and also when the affinities of the Corymbosæ are dealt with.

W. V. Fitzgerald (MSS.) adds the following information:—

Tree from 20–40 feet; trunk, very crooked and frequently piped, to 15 feet, diameter 1 foot; bark persistent on stem and branches, dark-grey, rough, lamellar, and longitudinally fissured; timber very dark-red, tough and hard; filaments white to pale yellow; fertile seeds terminating in a long membranous appendage.

If Mr. Fitzgerald has made no mistake in his notes, it will be observed that the species attains the height of a medium-sized tree.

Range.

It is confined to Western Australia (the tropical north-west) so far as we know at present.

Bentham (original description) quotes it from “Barren Hills, Rae's River (should be Roe's), North West Coast, A. Cunningham.” On the specimen in the Kew Herbarium are the following notes: “Metrosideros, Roe's River, A. Cunningham,” and “Roe's River, 238/1820, Sept., N.-W. Australia,” A. Cunningham, which means that it was collected on Captain P. P. King's Expedition, and that it was specimen No. 238, collected in September, 1820.




  ― 104 ―

Roe's River runs into York Sound, and must not be confused with a river of similar name in the Northern Territory.

Bentham also records it from Surgeon Bynoe (Captain J. Lort Stokes' Expedition, 1838).

Western Australia.

I have seen the following north-west specimens:—

Leaves only (Harry Stockdale).

King's Sound, fruits and a leaf (W. W. Froggatt, seen by Mueller).

Leaves, buds, and fruits. Lennard River (W. V. Fitzgerald, No. 333).

Native Well, 9 miles from Goody Goody, near Derby. (W. V. Fitzgerald, No. 333 bis.)

Six miles north-east of Mt. Eliza. (W. V. Fitzgerald, No. 707).

Mt. Anderson and Grant Range. (W. V. Fitzgerald).

Balmarringarra, not far from coast; Exmouth to King's Sound. (Dr. H. Basedow.)

Affinities.

E. perfoliata, as a member of the Corymbosæ, stands in a class by itself, because of its connate leaves and small anthers.

If fruits alone are available for comparison, they may be compared with those of E. terminalis (Plate 164, Part XL); E. pyrophora (Plate 166, Part XL); E. Foelscheana (Plate 169, Part XLI); E. Abergiana (Plate 170, Part XLI). If buds are alone available, they are most likely to be confused with those of E. pyrophora.

1. With E. gamophylla F.v.M.

“The concrescence of the leaves by pairs in all stages of growth occurs, so far as known, only in E. perfoliata, if even in that rare and little known congener this coalescence should prove also unexceptional….” (“Eucalyptographia,” under E. gamophylla.)

A discussion on such leaves will be found at pages 53 to 55 of Part XLII of the present work. The number of species originally believed only to have connate leaves during all stages of growth has been gradually reduced, until, apparently, E. perfoliata alone remains, although in some, where a petiole has been found, it is exceedingly short. As regards E. gamophylla, see Plate 147, Part XXXV of the present work, it would appear to differ from E. perfoliata in almost every other character.

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