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No. 48: Callitris Muelleri,

Benth. and Hook. f.

Botanical description.

— Species, C. Muelleri, Benth. and Hook. f., ex F.v.M., Census, 109.

A handsome, pyramidal, glabrous tree of 40 feet, with a diameter of trunk of 9 to 12 inches.

Branchlets. — Very angular and coarse, occasionally dimorphic (e.g. Eden).

Male amenta. — From rarely solitary to clusters of 4, short and thick.

Fruit-cones. — Globular, 3/4 to 1 inch diameter, sometimes as large as those of any species, neither angled nor furrowed, the valves 6, very thick, strictly valvate, smooth outside, with a minute dorsal point below the summit, the smaller valves about half the breadth of the larger ones, though not very much shorter. The inside of the fruit of a tesselated appearance; central columella single.

Fertile seeds. — Deep red brown.

Bentham (B.Fl. vi, 237) says: "This species requires further investigation." There is no doubt that its affinity to C. propinqua is very close, and to C. calcarata nearly as close. Bentham's remark is a natural one, for the delimitation of some of the forms is very difficult.

Botanical Name.

— Muelleri, after the late Baron von Mueller, Government Botanist of Victoria.

Vernacular Names.

— This tree is usually known as Cypress Pine. The names "Port Jackson Pine," and "Illawarra Mountain Pine should be received with caution, as C. cupressiformis may be included.

Synonym.

— Frenela Muelleri, Parlat. in DC. Prod. xvi, 2, 450. This species name has been mixed up with C. fruticosa, R.Br., and I will try and clear the matter up.

C. fruticosa, R.Br. ex L. C. Rich. Conif. 49 (1826), and therefore Frenela fruticosa, A. Cunn., ex Endl., l.c. It is probably a Tasmanian specimen of Frenela australis, R.Br., that R. Brown had originally designated under the name of Callitrisfruticosa, which does not occur in his herbarium." — (B.Fl. vi, 239)

Mueller often labelled Blue Mountain specimens of C. Muelleri "C. australis, R.Br.," in the early days.

Mueller wrote to me, 8th June, 1891, —

Callitris fruticosa awaits also yet elucidation. I think it is one with very coarse foliage (unusually thick branchlets) and usually of shrubby growth, and originally only about Port Jackson, where it way have become extinct.

Neither Bentham nor Mueller saw Brown's species. Bentham surmised that it was from Tasmania, Mueller from Port Jackson. If Mueller's view is correct, then it is the plant we know as C. Muelleri.




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Parlatore, in DC. Prod. xvi (2) 450, gives Frenela fruticosa, var. arborea, Mueller, as a synonym of F. Muelleri. I agree with this, having seen the specimens.

I have seen L. C. Richard's work. T.18 consists of an elaborate series of detail drawings of C. rhomboidea (cupressiformis) under No. 1. No. 2 (on the same plate) consists only of a drawing of one cone, under the name C. oblonga. The drawing might have been better, but I see no reason to differ from those who attribute it to the Tasmanian C. oblonga, especially as in the brief description we have "squamis oblongis," which those of C. Muelleri certainly are not. Richard gives as a synonym of his species "Callitris fruticosa, R. Brown, M.S." After describing his species he adds "Habitat ad portum Jackson. Ex Londino specimena ad me misit, R. Brown." It seems to me that the confusion has entirely been caused by attributing this specimen to Port Jackson instead of Tasmania.

Leaves.

— The coast form has especially angular branchlets, which are even decurrent. aking generally, the length of the internodes is greater in Muelleri than in calcarata, but the shape of the rudimentary leaves is identical in the two species.

Fruit.

— The fruit resembles that of C. propinqua a good deal, but is, apparently, never tuberculate. That this species runs into C. propinqua I have no doubt.

Timber.

— A figured Cypress Pine timber of no special character. It is not very abundant, and since it comes into competition with excellent hardwoods it is not often used.

Size.

— Usually a small tree, but I have seen it up to, perhaps, 40 feet in height, with a trunk of 12 inches.

Habitat.

— Port Jackson, also South Head (Port Jackson), "et austro-orientale ad Port Phillip Heads"note (Parlat. in DC. Prod. xvi (2) 450). I look upon this species as confined to New South Wales, (Central and South Coast and the Dividing Range). It is usually found in rocky (sandstone) situations.

Mueller's "Frenela fruticosa, var. arborea," came from Lane Cove River, Port Jackson. It bears the collector's note, "Habit rigid, compact, 20–30 feet." It is at present not rare about Middle Harbour, Port Jackson, and also George's River.

Going north, I have it from Brisbane Water (not to be confused with Brisbane River) at "Woy Woy, on the tops of the high table-land, some of them grow to a fair-sized tree-very handsome."- (A. Murphy.) South, I have collected it near Eden, on the Victorian border. A Berrima specimen (Woolls) is labelled F. Endlicheri (synonym of C. calcarata) by Parlatore, which name was accepted in B.Fl. vi, 238, is C. Muelleri.

On the Blue Mountains it is not rare, and the most westerly locality known to me is Rylstone.

Footnotes Issue No. 48.

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