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.