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Synonyms

— Elædendron maculosum, Lind.; Strzeleckya dissosperma, F.v.M.; Flindersia Strzeleckiana, F.v.M., Fragm. i, 165 (1859); F. maculata, F.v.M., in Quart. Journ. and Trans.Pharm.Soc.Vict. ii, 44 (April, 1859). There are two forms of this species-(a) a simple leaved form with a, membraneous disc, called F. maculosa (at one time described erroneously as F. maculata); (b) a trifoliate form with a more fleshy disc, F. Strzeleckiana. Mueller originally (Quart. Journ. and Trans. Pharm. Soc. Vict. ii, 44) thought them distinct species, saying, "I have at present no hesitation in regarding these two plants as distinct on account of their foliage, until it is proved that like in certain Boroniæ, simple and pinnate leaved plants are produced by the genus Flindersia; all the specimens from near the Darling and its tributaries showing simple, all the tropical compound leaves." Later Mueller united his two species; in the Census he suppresses F. maculosa, F.v.M., and has F. Strzeleckiana, F.v.M., Fragm. i, 65 (1858)note; B.Fl. i, 389; Fragm. ix, 133 (1875). The last reference gives simply some New South Wales and Queensland localities and the note —

Cl. Bowman varietatem foliolis pluries majoribus misit.

As he had just given the record "Bogan" (Bowman), Bowman's plant with some pinnate leaves is therefore recorded from N.S.W., and is, consequently, not confined to Queensland.

Bentham (B.Fl. i, 390) also combined the species, and adds these words —

The simple-leaved specimens which are the most frequent in New South Wales have much the habit of Geijera, to which, in fact, the genus is very nearly allied. The pinnate-leaved specimens are chiefly tropical, but not exclusively so. He, however, suppressed Strzeleckiana in favour of maculosa.

Casimir De Candolle (Monogr. Phanerog. i, 734) recognises two species, and Bailey (Queensland Flora) adopts his view.

I follow Bentham and Mueller in looking upon the forms as belonging to one species.




  ― 211 ―

It now becomes necessary to decide as to the name of the species. Flindersia Strzeleckiana, F.v.M., was published in Fragm. i, 65. This was Fasciculus IV, and at p. 96 we have the imprint "Fasciculus IV, editus Februario, 1859."

F. maculosa, F.v.M., in Jour. Pharm. Soc. Vict. ii, 44, quoted in B.Fl. i, 388, is a mistake. It should be F. maculata, F.v.M., and it was published in the Quarterly Journal and Trans. of the Pharm. Soc. Vict. vol. ii, p. 44, on 1st April, 1859.

As regards Flindersia maculata, F.v.M., I quote the following "Notes on some rare and medicinal plants of Australia," by Ferdinand Mueller, from the very rare serial publication just referred to, which has been copied for me by the kindness of Mr. Harry Shillinglaw, Secretary of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australasia, Melbourne:—

Amongst the plants constituting part of the Brigalow scrubs in the depressed interior of New South Wales occurs a small tree, which, on account of its spotted bark, attracted the attention of Sir Thomas Mitchell when tracing the course of the Maranoa River ; and the squatters, on the Darling have very appropriately applied to it the name of "Spotted tree."

It attains a height of about 20 feet. Its bark is irregularly areolate, the grey epiphlæum separates in small pieces, thus uncovering partially the livid or cinpamon-coloured inner stratum of the bark and thereby renders it singularly spotted. The wood is pale. Professor Lindley in describing this tree, evidently from flowering specimens only, referred it to the genus Elæodendron or spindleworts.

The Rev. Mr. Goodwin and Mr. Dallachy, on travelling lately over the Darling Plains, towards Mount Murchison, noticed the same tree, which is stated to make its appearance first above Moninda, and specimens with young fruit collected on those localities being communicated, I ascertained that this curious plant belongs to that sub-genus of Flindersia, which I have on account of habitual difference, and its hardly woody fruits, separated as Strzeleckia in Sir. William Hooker's Journal of Botany for 1857, pp. 308 and 309, whilst with a more conservative view I united the only known Strzeleckia in the Fragmenta Phytographia Australia, i, 4, 65 and 66, to Flindersia.

Although I have failed in finding any clear distinction in the flowers or in fruits of Strzeleckia Dissosperma, and Elæodendron, of which I examined original specimens in Sir Thomas Mitchell's collection, I have at present no hesitation in regarding these two plants as distinct on account, of their foliage.

The following diagnosis would characterise sufficiently the Darling plant:— Flindersia maculata (Strzeleckia):— Leaves opposite, rather small, simple, oblong, with cuneate base, with blunt or emarginate apex, and with short petioles; without pellucid dots I branches of the panicle opposite ; lobes of the calyx almost orbicular, ciliolate ; sterile stamens, five or less ; stigma peltate, hemispherical, capsule small, ellipsoid, echinate by acute tubercles, glabrous; its subcells generally two-seeded, seeds around winged.

The leaves are minutely dotted, but the dots rather concealed and not transparent. The capsules deserve notice for the strong aromatic scent by which they are pervaded.

Let us leave consideration of the genus Flindersia for a moment.

The tree was first discovered by Mitchell at the St. George's Bridge, on the Balonne River (depicted in his Journey of an Expedition into the Interior of Tropical Australia). At P. 384 of that work he speaks of —

A new Elæodendron with small panicles of white flowers, formed a forest tree 20 feet high, remarkable for its spotted bark.


  ― 212 ―

Then follows a brief botanical description. One of the original specimens collected by Mitchell is before me as I write. The label reads -" 1846, Novr. Camp. 84, sub- tropical New Holland, Lieut.-Col. Sir T. L. Mitchell," and then Elæodendron maculosum in Lindley's handwriting. The fruit was unknown at the time.

The plant is a Flindersia, as already explained. If it were a mere question of F. Strzeleckiana, F.v.M., and F. maculata, F.v.M., as a specific name, then F. Strzeleckiana must be adopted, as it has a precedence of a few weeks. The Berlin rule of nomenclature No. 7note has been followed by Bentham. in this case, intentionally or not. Its first specific name was maculosum (as Elæodendron) and at present I call the plant F maculosa, F.v.M., ex. Benth., in B.Fl. i, 388.

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