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.)

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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.