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Part X

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No. 35: Eucalyptus punctata,


A Grey Gum

(Natural Order MYRTAGEÆ.)

Botanical description

— Genus, Eucayptus. (See Part II, page 33)

Botanical description

— Species, E.punctata, DC.

Branchlets. — Robust and very angular.

Leaves. — Scattered, elongate or sickle-shaped lanceolar, of thin consistence, beneath slightly paler and there not shining; the lateral veins numerous, very subtle, and much spreading, the circumferential vein close to the edge; oil dots numerous, imperfectly transparent; umbels axillary and solitary, or, at the summit of the branchlets paniculated; their stalks broad and strongly compressed, bearing generally from three to ten flowers.

Calyx-tube. — Almost semiovate or nearly hemispherical, merging gradually into an angular, rather thick, stalklet, of about the same or greater or lesser length.

Opercculum. — Semiovate conical, as long as the tube or somewhat longer.

Stamens. — All fertile, inflexed before expansion ; anthers almost oblong, but upwards broader, opening with longitudinal parallel slits.

Stigma. — Not or hardly broader than the style.

Fruit. — Nearly semiovate, three or oftener four, rarely five-celled, not large nor angular, rim finally rather broadish, flat, or convex; valves short, deltoid, at last exserted or convergent from the rim. (Mueller, in "Eucalyptographia.")

Variety grandiflora, Deane and Maiden (Proc. Linn. Soc., N.S.W., 1901, p. 133). This is a large-flowered and large-fruited form.

Leaves punctate. Buds all ovoid. Double operculum. Rim at junction of calyx and operculum very sharp. The calyx-tube usually angled. Fruits, 7 to 8 lines in diameter. Valves usually not much exserted.

I have an intermediate form (from Wyee), with valves well exserted; shape hemispherical, or nearly so, to conoid. Rather broad rim. Bark and timber not to be distinguished from that of normal punctata. This large-fruited form is wellmarked, and well worthy of being a named variety. As in resinifera, so in punctata, there is no line of demarcation between the normal and grandiflora forms, the transition being gradual.

Comparing this with the normal or small-fruited form, Mr. Augustus Rudder, a forester of considerable experience, writes in the Agricultural Gazette:—

This is one of two trees with the same vernacular (Grey Gum). In general appearance, to the casual observer, the trees are much alike, but the leaves of this are rather broader, and its fruits and

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blossoms are very much larger than those, of the other variety and the trees generally are not so large, and are more limited in range of habitat, and, as a rule, do not approach so near to the coast, though I have seen it at Raymond Terrace; and near the beach at Charlotte Bay and Wallis Lake, in this district, the two trees often grow together. I have mostly observed it on the lower ranges in the counties of Gloucester and Durham. The timber is red in colour, is hard and very lasting, and is well suited in the round for heavy timbers in bridges and culverts.

I have personally collected it within the range stated. Hitherto this form has only been found north of Port Jackson.

This tree has been frequently confused with the grandiflora form of Eucalyptus resinifera, where herbarium specimens only are available; in the forest the two trees could not be confused for a moment, their bark immediately distinguishing them. The buds also are very different, those of the variety of punctata being, as already indicated, ovoid,note and the rim very sharp, with frequently a double operculum, while that of the variety of resinifera being conical and even rostrate.

The fruits of the variety of resinifera have the valves more exserted, and they sometimes have a tendency to be conical.

Messrs. Baker and Smith (Research on the Eucalypts, p. 128) have evidently overlooked this, and have renamed it var. major, stating —

This is a variety with larger fruits and flowers, and, as far as known, occurs only at Booral New South Wales. — (A. Rudder.)

The same gentlemen (op. cit., p. 127) describe a var. didyma:—

This variety is distinguished from the type by its having two opercula to each bud, and by the difference in its oil. The outer operculum is thin, and is shed very early in the budding stage, so that it is scarcely ever to be found in herbarium material. The fruits always have a broad groove below the rim, and the leaves are also larger and thicker than those of the type, while the wood is also more open in the rain and less interlocked. Otherwise, morphologically, there is little to distinguish it from the type.

It seems a pity to endeavour to establish a variety on such slender morphological grounds.

Botanical Name

— Eucalyptus, see Part II, page 34; punctata, Latin, dotted. In the original description it is stated, "Dots on the under surface of the leaves blackish." These blackish dots are almost invariably present; often the aid of a lens is required to see them properly. They are, however, not characteristic for punctata, being often present in Eucalyptus resinifera and other species.

Vernacular Names

— Botanists are often blamed for not giving one common name, and one name only, to one particular species of Eucalyptus, and when it is suggested that there are difficulties in the way, such a suggestion is attributed to perverseness. I am afraid the millenium will have arrived before the reform hinted at can be carried out. The present species is a good one for illustrating one of the reasons why the "one species one common name" dictum cannot be realised. More than one other species is known as Grey Gum, for

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example, Eucalyptus propinqua and Eucalyptus tereticornis. Then why another Grey Gum? Suppose we call Eucalyptus tereticornis Red Gum (a name by which it is frequently known) instead of Grey Gum; then there will be more or less confusion between it and its brother, Eucalyptus rostrata, the Red Gum par excellence. Or, to come back to the subject of our present Grey Gum, suppose we suppress Grey Gum, having assigned that designation to Eucalyptus propinqua, then there remains the next best and most used name for it, which is Leather-jacket. But consider the number of other trees which have a vested interest in the name of Leather-jacket, which have indeed more claim to the name, because of greater appropriateness and use by a larger number of people, and we at once see that if we appropriate the name for Eucalyptus punctata we shall be as far of our "one species one name" as ever. The fact of the matter is, that so long as people are so obstinate as to please themselves in the matter of names, and so long as the same object presented to different individuals is seen by them in different aspects, so long will this name difficulty continue. The Grey Gum people will not give up their name simply to please the Red Gum people, and so on. The former say: "Our name is the more suitable; we look at the bark,-see how grey it is." The latter say But look how red the timber is."It is of no use to blow up the botanist. He does not give the local names. The people at large do that, and who can control them ? The chief reason why we give "botanical names" is in order to obtain a definiteness not obtained by vernaculars. Some of our species have at least eight or ten common names.

The term Grey Gum is applied to punctata because of the dull grey appearance of the bark. The bark has a roughish appearance, in contradistinction to a smooth and even shiny one, possessed by so many of our gums. It has smooth, white patches in places, caused by the outer layer of bark falling off. These white patches in their turn become grey, and the process of exfoliation of the bark is repeated until probably the whole of the bark on the trunk is shed at one time or another. Although rather difficult to properly describe, the bark of the Grey Gum is so characteristic that, when once pointed out, it could not be confused with the bark of any other hardwood tree.

It is called "Black Box" at Capertee, owing to the darkness of the bark, and Mr. Forester Sim, of the same place, says it is also called "Slaty Gum." The smooth bark is sometimes of a yellow ochre or pale brown colour, hence it might then be appropriately called "Brown-barked Gum."

Aboriginal Names

— George Caley, the botanical collector for Sir Joseph Banks, stated — 9th February, 1807 — that "Mandowe," or "Mundowey," was the name given by the blacks of the Sydney district. It is interesting to note that, half a century later, Sir William. Macarthur gave the name "Maandowit," as the aboriginal name of the Camden blacks, for the local Grey Gum.


— Eucalyptus tereticornis, Sm.; var. brachycorys, Benth. (B.Fl. iii, 242).

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Leaves (Oil)

— Messrs. Baker and Smith (Research on the Eucalypts) give the following particulars in regard to the oil of this species, and of the so-called variety didyma:—

Species.  Specific gravity at 15°C.  Specific rotation, [a]D  Saponification number.  Solubility in Alcohol.  Constituents found. 
E.punctata  0.9129 to 0.9922  -2.52° to +4.44°  18.78  1 1/4 Vols. 70%  Eucalyptol, pinene, aromadendral. 
E.punctata var. didyma.  0.9033 to 0.907  -4.63° to -6.53°  10.9 to 11.6  7 vols. 70%. to vols. 80%.  Eucalyptol, pinene, aromadendral. 


— Large handsome flowers, with a sour offensive smell like sour gum arabic.


— Attention is directed to the fact that this is one of the species displaying considerable variation in the size and shape of the fruit.


— It belongs to the smooth-barked group of gum-trees, and yet as compared with the silky smoothness of the White Gum (hæmastoma), or of the Blue Gum (saligna), its bark is raspy to the touch. As a whole, its trunk may be said to have a dirty appearance, often inclining to a yellowish or brownish cast. Large pieces of thin, dark-coloured outer bark give it a blotched appearance. I have already alluded to this in speaking of "Vernacular names."


— It is so much like Ironbark in appearance that it is difficult to discriminate between the two timbers. That will be the best guide to its appearance. An expert would usually detect the substitution for Ironbark (if lie suspected any substitution), by noting that a chip of Grey Gum is more brittle than that of Ironbark; it also cuts less horny. Nevertheless, the two timbers are wonderfully alike, and for many purposes Grey Gum is an efficient substitute for Ironbark, for it is remarkably durable. Its inferior strength, as compared with Ironbark, precludes its use as girders of any length, and when substituted for Ironbark in sleepers the bolts and spikes work loose in them. I would encourage it use in every possible way for wood-blocks. The chief objectors to its use at the present time are the saw-millers themselves, as the logs often contain gum-scabs or gumveins. At present, where unblemished timber is insisted upon for wood-blocks, a saw-miller cannot afford to cut up Grey Gum (although it frequently turns out unblemished), because of the risk of having it condemned. I will speak on this subject in connection with Bloodwood, and would emphasise the opinion that woodblocks should not be condemned becausethey contain a few gum-scabs or veins. Such excess of care practically leads to great waste of really valuable timber. It is recommended for paying-blocks, as already stated. It is in high repute for posts, having excellent records when employed in this very trying situation. I have seen it used for felloes and for shingles. It is very largely used as an Ironbark substitute for railway sleepers, which fact is in itself testimony to its excellence.

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The use of shingles in this State is borrowed from England. In Gilbert White's Natural History of Selborne, at Letter IV of the "Antiquities of Selborne," he speaks of their value and durability for roofing in the following passage:—

The whole roof of the south aisle, and the south side of the roof of the middle aisle, is covered with oaken shingles instead of tiles on account of their lightness, which favours the ancient and crazy timber frame. And, indeed, the consideration of accidents by fire excepted, this sort of roofing is much more eligible than tiles. For shingles well seasoned, and cleft from quartered timber, never warp, nor let in drifting snow; nor do they shiver with frost; nor are they liable to be blown off, like tiles; but, when nailed down, last for a long period, as experience has shown us in this place, where those that face to the north are known to have endured, untouched, by undoubted tradition, for more than a century.


— (a) Astringent: This tree yields a dark brown kino, which (amongst the kinos already known) is perhaps characteristic. When freshly exuded it has much the colour and viscosity of molasses, and has a somewhat vinous odour not easily described. In the course of a day or two it solidifies into a friable mass. It is highly astringent. (b) Saccharine: The Rev. Dr. Woolls first drew attention to the existence of manna in this species. I have seen manna on this tree frequently, but only on the edges of leaves which have been eaten by some insect.

Mr. H. G. Smith,note however, records (and gives a full account of) a saccharine exudation whose origin does not appear to be clear. "When exuding it must have been liquid, as it had run down the tree." The material obtained was more or less mixed with bark and debris, caused by boring beetles. An exudation of this character is very interesting, and I only know of one other instance of the kind, i.e., where a saccharine mass from Eucalyptus Stuartiana, Dalgety, Snowy River, was sent to me a few years ago. Mr. Smith's analysis is ample, but we require further investigation in regard to the physiological aspect, i.e., the way in which sugar in such large quantities has been manufactured, and has exuded from the tissues of the plant.


— A tree of large size, although not of the largest. Its height may be given as, say, 60 to 80 feet, with a diameter of 2 or 3 feet.


— It appears to bc confined to New South Wales. It is found in the coast districts and main dividing range and spurs. Conjola, near Milton, appears to be the most southerly locality recorded. In the north it has been collected as far as Lismore. In the west it occurs near the Jenolan Caves, at Capertee, and Rylstone.


Plate 37: A Grey Gum (Eucalyptus punctata, DC.) Lithograph by M. Flockton

  • A. Sucker leaf.
  • B. Flower-bearing twig,
  • C. Fruits.
  • D. Fruits of variety grandiflora, Deane and Maiden.

Footnotes Issue No. 35

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No. 36: Albizzia Pruinosa,


A Stinkwood

(Natural Order LEGUMINOSÆ.)

Botanical description

— Genus, Albizzia, Durazz.

Calyx. — Campanulate or tubular, 5- or rarely 4-toothed.

Corolla. — 5- or rarely 4-lobed, with a cylindrical tube.

Stamens. — Indefinite, usually numerous and long, united at the base in a tube enclosing the ovary.

Pod. — Linear or oblong, straight or nearly so, flat, thin, rarely coriaceous, indehiscent or opening without elasticity in 2 valves.

Seed. — Usually orbicular, along the centre of the pod; funicle filiform.

Trees or shrubs, without prickles.

Leaves. — Twice pinnate, with a gland on the petiole below the pinnæ, and others between or below some or all of the pinilæ, and leaflets.

Flowers. — In globular heads or rarely cylindrical spikes, usually hermaphrodite.

Stamens. — White or pink, rarely yellow, much longer than in Acacia. — (B.Fl. ii, 421).

Bentham (B.Fl. ii, 422) places this tree under Pithecolobium. I follow Mueller in placing it under Albizzia. See an important paper by the latternote where it seems fully proved that the Australian species come under Albizzia. Whether or no, the South American species with fleshy pods, hence eaten by apes and monkeys, should be placed under Pithecolobium (Greek pithes an ape).

Bentham distinguishes between the two genera as follows:—

Pod flat and thin, straight scarcely falcate. — Albizzia.

Pod curved or twisted, 2-valved, and often reddish or pulpy inside, or separating into indehiscent articles. — Pithecolobium.

and his reasons in favour of separating the two genera, as given in B.Fl. ii, 421, should be perused.

Botanical description

— Species, A. pruinosum, F.v.M., in Journ. Bot. x, 9.

A beautiful tree, the young branches, foliage, and inflorescence rusty with a short pubescence, or glabrous.

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Pinnæ. — Very irregularly in one or two pairs, with or without an odd one, the petiole and each rhachis varying from 1 to 6 inches long; leaflets usually three or four pairs on the terminal pinnæ, but very irregular in number, size, and shape, mostly broadly oblong or rhomboidal and acuminate, rarely very obtuse, the larger ones often 2 or 3 inches long, but mostly smaller.

Peduncles. — Two or three together in the upper axils or shortly racemose.

Flowers. — Numerous, in globular umbels, on pedicels of about 2 lines.

Calyx. — Small, shortly toothed.

Corolla. — Fully 2 lines long.

Pod. — Several inches long, 7 to 8 lines broad, flat but much curved and twisted, the upper inner margin thickened and continuous; the outer one much sinuate and undulate, the valves smooth and reddish inside.

Seeds. — Ovate transverse.

Funicle. — Rather thick, but terete, folded under the seed. — (B.Fl. ii, 423, as Pithecolobium).

Botanical Name

— Albizzia, in honour of an old and noble Florentine family — the Albizzia — to whom the genus was dedicated by Durazzini, in the year 1772; pruinosum, Latin, frosty, or liable to frost, hence in botanical descriptions, having a whitish or frosted appearance, which the leaves of this tree sometimes have.

Vernacular Name

— It is sometimes called, "Stinkwood" from the sour and rather unpleasant smell of the freshly-cut timber.

Aboriginal Names

— "Malla Waundie" of those of the Clarence and Richmond; "Talingora" of some Queensland aborigines.


— Pithecolobium umbrosum and Acacia umbrosum, A. Cunn., in the Cat. N.S.W. Products for the London Exhibition of 1862. Acacia sapindoides, A. Cunn., ex. Sweet, Hort. Brit. ed. iii, 198; Hill, in Cat. Queensland Exhibits, Lond. Exhib., P. 30.


— Wood of a light yellow colour, becoming brown near the centre; of a very disagreeable odour when newly cut. Wood soft, not durable.

In the Cat. of N.S.W. Timbers, London Exhib., 1862, it is stated that the timber is hard and occasionally used for carpenters' tools. Hill speaks of it as soft, but tough. The fact of the matter is it is not an important timber tree at all, being only occasionally used for economic purposes.


— The gum of this species is only partially soluble. It is rare and is not likely to be of commercial importance. Following is a notenote on a specimen:—

This sample is in small amber-coloured pieces and is very much admixed with woody matter. It is fairly transparent, and breaks with a bright fracture. It is only partly soluble in water, the soluble portion being arabin. it forms a fairly adhesive liquid. It gives no precipitate with ferric chloride, nor does it form a jelly, and only slightly darkens when heated with dilute soda. The unsoluble portion is soluble in dilute alkalis, and is precipitated as arabin on acidifying with acetic acid and adding alcohol.

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— It is but a small tree, say 30 to 50 feet high, and with a stem diameter of 6 to 12 inches.


— It is a brush tree, being a denizen of dense brushes. It is confined to the eastern parts of New South Wales and Queensland. In the Flora Australiensis it is recorded as far south as Kiama and the Illawarra. Mr. Baeuerlen has collected it on the Shoalhaven. It is not very rare on our northern rivers. Dallachy collected it at Rockhampton, Queensland, which appears to be the most northerly locality so far.


Plate 38: A Stinkwood (Albizzia pruinosa, F.v.M.) Lithograph by M. Flockton

  • A. Flowering twig.
  • B. Individual flower, showing stamens and pistil.
  • C. Calyx and corolla.
  • D. Stamens.
  • E. Legume (pod) showing the frequently circular twisting.
  • F. Pod, showing seeds.
  • G. Seed, with funicle.
  • H. Seed (enlarged), the shading round the margin rather too much accentuated.

Footnotes Issue No. 36

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No. 37: Flindersia maculosa,


The Leopard Wood

(Natural Order MELIACEÆ.)

Botanical description

— Genus, Flindersia, R.Br.

Calyx. — Small 5-lobed.

Petals. — Five, imbricate in the bud, spreading.

Disc. — Broad, concave.

Stamens. — Five, inserted on the outside of the disc, with as many or fewer staminodia alternating with them, sometimes wanting; filaments subulate; anther versatile.

Ovary. — Five-celled, 5-lobed.

Style. — Short, thick, inserted between the lobes.

Stigma. — Capitate; ovules 4 to 6 in each cell.

Capsule. — Oblong, hard, tuberculate or muricate, opening septicidally in 5 boat-shaped valves or cocci, without any persistent axis.

Seeds. — Flat, winged, two or three on each side of a flat placenta, which almost divides each cell into two; albumen none; cotyledons flat, radicle very short.


Leaves. — Alternate or more frequently opposite, pinnate or rarely simple, marked with pellucid dots.

Flowers. — In terminal panicles.

Botanical description

— Species, F. maculosa, F.v.M., ex Benth. in B.Fl. i, 388.

A small tree, the trunk remarkably spotted by the falling off of the outer bark in patches.

Leaves. — Opposite or nearly so, glabrous, coriaceous, the glandular dots often only visible on the young ones, in some specimens all simple, linear oblong or lanceolate, obtuse or emarginate and mucronate, 1 to 2 inches long, or rather more; in other specimens a few of the leaves break out into two or three narrow continuous lobes; in others, again, all are pinnate, with three or five leaflets, like the simple leaves, but smaller, and a winged common petiole.

Panicles. — Terminal, rather dense, usually shorter than the leaves.

Sepals. — Scarcely 1 line long.

Petals. — About 2 lines long glabrous.

Capsule. — Oblong and muricate, like those of the other species, but much smaller, often not more than 1 inch long when fully ripe.

Seeds. — Winged at both ends and along, the back. — (B.Fl. i, 388)

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Botanical Name

— Flindersia, in honour of Captain Matthew Flinders so honourably identified with the early exploration of the Australian coast; maculosa, Latin, spotted, in allusion to the appearance of the bark.

Vernacular Names

— "Leopard Tree" and "Spotted Tree" are the two commonest names given to this tree, in allusion to the appearance of the bark. It is sometimes called "Prickly Pine," a most unsuitable name, for a reason which will be understood when the notes on the early growth of the tree are perused.

Aboriginal Names

— "Murki " of the aborigines of the Lower Lachlan, according to the late Mr. K. H. Bennett, of Ivanhoe, viâ Hay.


— 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.

Early Growth of the Tree

— In its early stage it forms a tangled mass of long thin branches. These branches are not spinous or prickly, but form a hedge, so that while stock (chiefly sheep) prune the peripheral branches they cannot eat the whole of. them. As growth advances, a leading shoot shows itself and is pro- tected by the branchy entanglement which encircles the main stem for several feet. By degrees these tangled branches atrophy and leave more or less of the stout main stem with its characteristic blotchy or spotted bark. Sometimes the tangled branches persist for a considerable period near the ground, sometimes the stem is clean and the tangled mass is several feet up. In some cases the portion near the ground, in others that several feet above it, alone persists; in fact different trees show much variation.

The life history of the trees is excellently shown in the accompanying three photographs by Mr. W. S. Campbell, which are taken from the Agricultural Gazette for November, 1899, p. 1167.


— During periods of drought sheep become exceedingly fond of the leaves of this tree, which they greedily devour., as well as the twigs up to the size of a goose-quill, and hence the tree is in danger of extermination, as it has not the recuperative power of some trees. This tree in particular should only be pollarded. Nature's method of protecting it from browsing animals has already been alluded to.

Mr. R. W. Peacock says:—note

The "Leopard Tree" is very much prized for its fodder value, both cattle and sheep being very fond of it. It is one of the few which cattle thrive upon, and I have known milking cows fed almost solely upon it to give a fair quantity of milk. It is very easily recognised owing to its spotted appearance, which is due to the outer bark falling off in patches. It is fast becoming scarce owing to the partiality of stock for it. During its young stage the tree throws out a lot of angular lateral branches, which protect it in some measure.

I have heard some people speak disparagingly of this tree, but upon extensive inquiries I find that their prejudices have not been substantiated, it being held in high esteem by those who feed very extensively upon it. It does not supply the quantity of foliage that many of the others do, although attaining the height of about 40 feet.

  ― 213 ―

Leopard Tree (Flindersia Maculosa: First Stage of Growth; Second Stage; Mature Tree

  ― 214 ―

Mr. F. B. Guthrie has given in the Agricultural Gazette the following analysis of leaves:—

Water   11.70 
Ash   3.42 
Fibre   11.43 
Ether extract (oil, etc.)  3.92 
Albumenoids   9.31 
Carbo-hydrates   30.22 
Nutrient value   48 l/4 
Albuminoid ratio   1:4 1/4 
Tannin (Oak bark)   2.9 

The young leaves are very aromatic, and the oil-dots may be plainly seen, showing the affinity to Rutacæ as already pointed out by Engler.


— The fruit when quite ripe tends to be flat like a five-pointed star. It is reddish brown externally. The fruit depicted is just opening io shed its winged seeds.


— Its characteristic appearance has already been alluded to.


— This is a small tree, and not important as a timber. At the same time it is used to a small extent. The timber is used for shingles, staves of tallow casks, and pick-handles. — (Hill). It is of a bright yellow colour when fresh, and exceedingly tough. Unlike many other timbers in the and western districts of New South Wales it is very elastic, and is, therefore, used for the poles and shafts of drays, buggies, etc. A writer says, "It is white and very light, and is used by the blacks for making their ‘heilamans’ or shields. For all other purposes it is utterly worthless." Others say, "No good except for bullock-yokes." I saw it made into tool-handles at Bourke. In the rough state (i.e., with the bark on) it is used for fencing, but it is useless for building purposes, as a coleopterous insect soon destroys it. About Wilcannia, N.S.W., it is, however, considered very durable by some, when sawn and used for inside work.


— This is probably the tree referred to by Mitchell, in the following passage:

In the ground beyond the plains (near the Darling) . . . . and an Acacia, with a white stem, and spotted bark, there grows to a considerable size, and produces much gum. Indeed, gum acacia abounds in these scrubs, and when the country is more accessible, may become an article of commerce. — (Three Expeditions, 1. 201)

For an account of the gum arabic from this tree. one of our best soluble gums, see the following paper.note Dr. Lauterer also gives an analysis of this gum.

During the summer months large masses, of a clear amber colour, exude from the stem and branches. It makes good adhesive mucilage, has a splendid taste, and is eaten by the aborigines. It is commonly used by bushmen as a remedy in diarrhoea.

  ― 215 ―

Two samples have been examined by me, and the following is an account of them. In view of the scarcity of good gum-arabic, it would be a useful addition to our raw products if abundant supplies of it could be obtained. I have not heard of a gum being yielded by any other Australian species of Flindersia in quantity.

Sample I. — From between the Lachlan and Darling Rivers, N.S.W. A most valuable gum. It is in pieces as pigeons' eggs, and I have seen a piece half as large as an emu egg, clear and of excellent quality, with only a small portion of bark at the place of attachment to the tree. In parts of the interior it is said to be fairly abundant. In some cases it remains in the liquid state on the trees fox. some little time before hardening, or else exudes very rapidly, for it is frequently brought to Sydney in pieces as long as an ordinary earthworm, and of the same average diameter.

It dissolves readily and completely in cold water. It hardly appears to affect the transparency and absence of colour of pure water. In this respect it may be ranked very closely to picked Turkey gum-arabic. It possesses the faint cloudiness which an aqueous solution of gum-arabic soon assumes.


— Height 20 to 40 feet, with a stem diameter of 12 to 18 inches.


— This is a dry country species. It occurs only in New South Wales and Queensland. ln our own State it is found over a large area of the Western Division ' e.g., in the vicinity of the Darling, Lachlan, Bogan, Macquarie, Castlereagh, and other inland rivers. I have it from a number of localities, but would be glad to hear of it from others in order to construct a " curving boundary" of its range.

As regards Queensland, Bailey only records F. maculosa from St. George, and F. Strzleckiana from "Brigalow Scrubs of the Leichhardt district and other inland parts."


Plate 39: The Leopard Wood (Flindersia maculasa, F.v.M.) Lithograph by M. Flockton

  • A. Flower, side view.
  • B. Flower looked at from above.
    • a. Petal.
    • b. Anther.
    • c. Disc.
    • d. Ovarium.
    • e. Stigma.
  • C. Portion of flower.
    • a. Filament.
    • b. Disc.
    • c. Ovarium.
    • d. Stigma.
  • D. Anther, front and back view.
  • E. Section through ovarium.
  • F. Calyx.
  • G. Fruit (capsule) in act of dehiscence.
  • H. A valve of the capsule.
  • I. Winged seed.

Footnotes Issue No. 37

Supplementary Material Added at the End of Volume 2

No. 37. Part X.

Flindersia maculosa, F.v.M.


(Natural Order MELIACEÆ.)

Synonyms. — See vol. i, p. 210.

In Catal. Queensland Forestry Museum, 1904, there is quoted a Flindersia Strzeleckiana, var. latifolia, — I do not know on what authority, and the following notes are given concerning it: —

Not plentiful, but trees are often met with in southern coastal scrubs, usually in steep rugged country.

A rather small tree, having a grey and dark-brown spotted (leopard-like) bark. Wood yellow, close-grained, very tough and durable. It much resembles Crow's Ash (Flindersia).

Chief Uses. — Not well known, and, consequently, not much used at present, but is, no doubt, very suitable for general building purposes. It bends well, and would make good staves for casks.

Specimens of the opposite leaved form were collected by Mr. R. Etheridge, at Dunlop Station, Louth, New South Wales.

Early growth of the tree. — See vol. i, p. 212.

I have drawn attention to the interesting dimorphism in this species.

In sending me a sketch of Fraxinus oxycarpa, an Ash whose early growth is remarkably like that of Flindersia maculosa, Dr. L. Trabut, of Algiers, gives me the following note. This particular form of dimorphism would appear to be peculiar to desert plants.

We have also Fraxinus dimorpha of the Mountains of the South, which go to 1,700 — 2,200 metres (5,525 — 7,150 feet). It is, I believe, desert-loving, but its growth is very slow. It remains in the state of a spinous bush for fifteen or twenty years, then from the centre of the bush there rises a tree with leaves very different (dimorphic). The indigenes utilise it for cattle-feed.

Supplementary Material Added to Volume 3

No. 37. Part X. Flindersia maculosa, F.v.M, THE LEOPARD WOOD. (Family MELIACEAE.)

Aboriginal Name. — See vol. i, p. 210. "Bocalla."- (A. W. Mullen, Bourke.)

Leaves.- See, vol. i, p. 212. Edible for stock. Stock eat the small sticks of Leopard Wood, and if its use is prolonged, pith balls are developed in the sheep's stomach.- (A. W. Mullen, Bourke, per favour of C. J. McMaster Chairman, Western Lands Board.)

Timber — See vol. i, p. 214. Wood sometimes used for shafts. Makes good tables when sawn and well-seasoned, but subject to boring insects. Ornamental tree; will stand Iopping. Very good for mallets. — (R. J. Dalton, Wanaaring.)

White, soft wood, has the same characteristics as Whitewood (Atalaya hemiglauca). — (A. W. Mullen )


"Leopard tree," Coolabah, near Bourke, March, 1904. — (R. W. Peacock.)

Mr. C. J. McMaster furnishes the following information:-

Leopard Wood, also called Bocalla, Fort Bourke, near Bourke.

Plate 1 shows — in the central figure — the stage of growth before reaching maturity, and the smaller tree on the right a still earlier stage. Plate 2 shows a matured tree.

Photograph 1 illustrates the second stage of growth, and is more characteristic than the photograph given at p. 213, vol. i, of this work. Photograph 2 shows the mature tree with more abundant foliage than that shown at p. 213.

Supplementary Material Added To Volume 4

No. 37. Part X. See also vols. ii, p. 201; iii, p. 165.

Flindersia maculosa, F.v.M. THE LEOPARD WOOD. (Family MELIACEÆ)


Photo showing early stages of growth of the Leopard Wood tree. See vols. i, p. 213; iii, p. 165

These trees grow in large numbers at Lightning Ridge, about 40 miles westerly from Collarenebri, where the above photograph was taken. — (C. J. McMaster, photo.)

Supplementary Material Added With Volume 6

No. 37. Part X. See also vols. ii, P. 201 ; iii, p. 165; iv. p. 164.

Flindersia maculosa F.v.M.


(Family MELIACEÆ.)


Leopard Wood Trees, Collarenebri

An interesting photograph by Mr. S. Jackson, at Cambo Cambo, Collarenebri District, N.S.W. showing the three stages of growth of the Leopard Wood Trees. Mr. Jackson adds the note:-

"The middle tree is full grown, though they grow much larger and it contains two different species of Loranthus flowering on separate limbs, the top clusters are Loranthus Quandong Lindl., and the thin stemmed hanging and lowest cluster is Loranthus linearifolius Hook. f."

  ― 216 ―

No. 38: Macadamia Ternifolia,


The Queensland Nut

(Natural Order PROTEACEÆ.)

Botanical description

— Genus, Macadamia, F.v.M., in Trans. Phil. Inst., Vict. ii, 72.

Flowers. — Hermaphrodite.

Perianth. — Regular or slightly irregular, the tube opening earlier on the under side, and the segments, at least the lower ones, less revolute than in Helicia.

Anthers. — On short filaments inserted a little below the laminae, the connective produced into a gland or very short appendage.

Hypogynous glands. — Equal, distinct or united in a ring or cup round the ovary.

Ovary. — Sessile, with a long straight style, ovoid or clavate at the end, with a small terminal stigma; ovules 2, descending, laterally attached at or near the top.

Fruit. — Globular, indehiscent, with a hard thick putamen, and rather thin fleshy exocarp.

Seeds. — Either solitary and globular, or two and hemispherical; testa membranous.

Cotyledons. — Thick and fleshy.

Trees or tall shrubs.

Leaves. — Verticillate, entire, or serrate.

Flowers. — Pedicellate in pairs, in terminal or axillary simple racemes, the pedicels not connate.

Bracts. — Very deciduous.

Botanical description

— Species, M. ternifolia, Trans. Phil. Inst., Vict. ii, 72 with a plate.

A small tree with very dense foliage, glabrous, or the young branches and inflorescence minutely pubescent.

Leaves. — Sessile or nearly so, in whorls of three or four, oblong or lanceolate, acute, serrate, with fine or prickly teeth or entire, glabrous and shining, from a few inches to about 1 ft. long.

Racemes. — Almost as long as the leaves, with numerous small cowers, the pairs often clustered or almost verticillate.

Pedicels. — At first very short, and not above 2 lines when in fruit.

Perianth. — Minutely pubescent or glabrous, nearly 3 lines long.

Hypogynoums glands. — United in a ring.

Ovary. — Villous; style-end clavate.

Fruit. — With a 2-valved fleshy exocarp; the putamen globular, smooth and shining, thick and woody, often above 1 inch in diameter. (B.Fl. v, 406.)

  ― 217 ―

Variety integrifolia, Maiden and Betche.

In Proc. Linn. Soc., N.S.W., 1896, p. 624, Mr. Betche and I described a Macadamia under the name M. integrifolia, from Camden Eaven, N.S.W. It was stated that it is readily distinguished from M. ternifolia by the petiolate entire leaves, rather small fruits, and less hairy fiowers and inflorescence. Although the tree looks sufficiently different from M. ternifolia, one of us has since examined the material in the Melbourne Herbarium, and we have come to the conclusion (Proc. Linn. Soc., N.S.W., 1899, p. 150) that it can only be regarded as a variety. We found all degrees of transition between the two extreme forms, and have been forced to the conclusion that it is merely another instance of the great variability of the Proteaceous trees from which the Order derives its name.

Mr. F. M. Bailey (Queensland Flora, p. 1330) says:

There are probably three forms of this species, viz., the typical; another with nuts, only half the size of the typical. These nuts I have only received from the Pine River, but hitherto I have never received specimens of other parts of the tree or shrub. The third seems only to differ from the typical form in the leaves being usually more lanceolate, and in habit. It grows in the Maroochie scrubs, and instead of a single stem several arise from a spreading rhizome-like base some little distance from each other. These attain the height of 15 or more feet, and are said after fruiting to die early; the leaves are of a thinner texture than the typical form, but the nut differs in nothing from the common form.

Botanical Name

— macadamia, in honor of John Macadam, M.D., of Victoria, Hon. Sec. of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria at the time the plant was described before that body; ternifolia, Latin, terni (three together), the leaves being commonly in threes. They, however, sometimes form a whorl of four, and in very rare instances, even five.

Vernacular Name

— The name Queensland Nut is in universal use, owing to the tree having been first discovered in the northern State. It was subsequently found in New South Wales also, but the first name is firmly fixed, and is likely to remain so.

Aboriginal Name

— "Kindal Kindal" of the aborigines, who knew the tree well.


— Helicia ternifolia, F. Muell., Fragm ii, 91; vi, 191.


— The variation in the number of leaves in the whorl and of the margin has already been alluded to.

In Bull. del Laboratorio ed Orto Botanico da Siena. Fasc., 2-3 (1898), Prof. Tassi describes, and at Tav. xii figures, a new fungus (Macrophoma Macadamiæ, n. sp.) on this tree.


— This tree bears an edible nut of excellent flavour, relished both by aborigines and Europeans. As it forms a nutritious article of food to the former, timbergetters are not allowed to fell these trees. It is well worth extensive cultivation, for the nuts are always eagerly bought. Is said to take seven years from the time the nuts are planted before the tree reaches maturity and bears fruit.

  ― 218 ―

E. André, in the Revue Horticole, speaks very highly of this ornamental and useful tree. He says:—

The ripe fruit, however, is more particularly interesting. Usually one of the two ovules is abortive, and the surviving one fills the whole of the interior of the shell with its white, firm, close-grained albumen, forming a kernel which is as crisp as that of a hazel nut, but has a higher aroma, and a finer flavour. We have gathered and eaten these nuts in the month of December. Macadamia ternifolia is a tree which should be cultivated, both from an ornamental and economic point of view. Even if it yielded no fruit, it would make a fine appearance in gardens in the south of France, where the specimens already planted have passed uninjured through winters as severe as that of 1890-91, but how greatly enhanced would be the interest and importance attaching to this species if we could look forward to the discovery of some feasible mode of inducing the trees to yield a regular supply of their pleasantly-flavoured nuts.


— Wood firm, fine-grained, and ornamental, as all Proteaceous timbers are, and takes a good polish. It is of a reddish colour, and is stated to be occasionally used for staves, cabinet-work, veneers, shingles, and bullock-yokes. It seems a pity to use our best nut trees for any such purpose.


— I have seen a small quantity of exudation from a log of this tree.


— Rarely more than 30 feet high, with a stem diameter of 8 inches. Forms a fine bushy tree under cultivation.


— Found in most of the brush country on the Tweed and Richmond Rivers, N.S.W. It comes as far south as near Camden Haven, which I believe is the most southern limit. The Queensland localities given in the Flora Australiensis are Pine River and Moreton Bay (W. Hill); Dawson and Burnett Rivers (Leichhardt); with the leaves less toothed, and the flowers rather larger.


Plate 40: The Queensland Nut (Macadamia ternifolia, F.v.M.) Lithograph by M. Flockton

  • A. Perianth, opened out.
  • B. Sessile ovary, with long straight style, clavate at the end.
    • a. Hypogynous glands united in a ring round the ovary.
  • C. Anther.
  • D. Fruit, showing exocarp and putamen.
  • E. Vertical section showing two fleshy cotyledons.
  • F. Leaves of variety integrifolia.

Supplementary Material Added at the End of Volume 2

No. 38. Part X.

Macadamia ternifolia, F.v.M.


(Natural Order PROTEACEÆ.)

See an Illustrated Article by W. J. Allen, in Agricultural Gazette, New South Wales, Oct. 1905, p. 1026.

Supplementary Material Added To Volume 4

No. 38. Part X. See also vol. ii, p. 202.

Macadamia ternifolia, F.v.M. THE QUEENSLAND NUT. (Family PROTEACEÆ.)

Leaves. — See vol. i, p. 217. A well-known Australian plant, M. ternifolia, F. Muell., the " Queensland Nut, " must, according to my analysis at Kew, he considered among the most strongly cyanogenetic [ i.e., producing hydrocyanic (prussic) acid owing to fermentative changes. — J.H.M. ] plants; in the fresh leaf the hydrocyanic acid content was more than 0.1 per cent. Our chemical knowledge of this order (Proteaceæ) is still very slight. (Phytochemical investigations at Kew by the late Dr M. Greshoff, Kew Bulletin, No. 10, 1909, p. 413.


"Queensland Nut" in the Botanic Gardens, Sydney. — (Government Printer, photo.)

Sydney: William Applegate Gullick, Government Printer. — 1904.
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