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Part XLIX.

  ― 159 ―

No. 179: Hakea lorea,


A Western Cork-tree.


Botanical description.

— Genus, Hakea. (See Part XLVI, p. 105)

Botanical description.

— Species, H. lorea, R.Br., Proteaceas Novas, p. 25 (1830).

A tall shrub or tree attaining 20 feet.

Leaves terete, smooth, often above 2 feet long, and rarely under 1 foot, very rarely (on barren branches ? on young plants ?) a few once or even twice forked or trifid.

Racemes cylindrical, in the upper axils, sometimes forked or in a terminal cluster, more dense than in H. Cunninghamii, from under 3 inches to fully 6 inches long, the rhachis, pedicels and perianths densely pubescent with shorter hairs much less appressed than in H. Cunninghamii.

Perianth tube nearly four lines long, slightly dilated below the middle, revolute upwards.

Torus oblique, but less so than in H. Cunninghamii.

Gland large, horseshoe-shaped.

Ovary stipitate; style long, with a very oblique broadly stigmatic disk. (B.Fl. v, 496)

In describing the plants of the Elder Exploring Expedition collected by Mr. R. Helms, Mueller and Tate say:—

Hakea lorea, R. Brown. South Australia:— Arkaringa Valley and near Everard Range.

Western Australia:— Cavenagh and Barrow Ranges. "Cork-bark tree," attaining to 20 feet; bark corky, deeply fluted, three and a half inches at most, half an inch at least in thickness. (Proc. Roy. Soc. S.A., xvi, 362) In describing his Hakea suberea, S. le M. Moore gives it the synonym (H. lorea, Mueller and Tate, non R.Br).

He further says:—

Specimens of the same tree were obtained by Mr. Helms of the Elder Expedition in the Cavenagh and Barrow Ranges. In the report of that Expedition these specimens are referred to Hakea lorea, R.Br., a course I find it impossible to acquiesce in, at the same time feeling doubts as to whether there can he authentic specimens of H. lorea at Melbourne. Two congeners more easily separable it would be scarcely possible to find. The chief differences lie in the shorter and slenderer leaves of H. suberea, its short, stout pedicels not longer than the perianths, the latter organs larger and much broader with a dilated base, the larger anthers, the bigger gland, subsessile ovary, and elongated stout style. Moreover, the distribution of the vascular scars left upon the stem after the fall of the leaves, a point to which Meissner attaches importance, is different in the two, H. suberea being, in this respect, more like H. Cunninghamii, R.Br.

This tree was seen from the Black Gin soak, between Goongarrie and Mt. Margaret, northwards to our farthest point-some high granite rocks fourteen miles north of Lake Darlot. Wherever it occurs, subterranean water is supposed to be somewhere in the vicinity, and experience has so far, I believe, justified the supposition.

My specimen — unfortunately only a single one and not very good — agrees perfectly with that of the Elder Expedition in the Kew Herbarium. (Journ. Linn. Soc. Bot., xxxiv, 224.)

  ― 160 ―
Commenting on these observations, Mr. W. V. Fitzgerald (Journ., Mueller, Bot. Soc. W.A., i, 60) remarks:—

The Eastern Gold fields' form of this species has been recently described as a distinct species, under the name of H. suberea, by Moore. Having examined specimens of the typical H. lorea and compared them with the Gold-fields plant, I failed to observe any combination of characters of sufficient importance to justify the creation of a new species.

There the matter must remain for the present. I have one of Helms' Everard Range specimens, but it is leaf only. I cannot, however, see any difference between it and leaves of the same species from the Eastern States.

I shall be glad if correspondents in Western Australia will collect flowering and fruiting specimens of such "Cork-trees" and "Cork-woods" as have foliage similar or nearly similar to that of Plate 183, and then we shall see whether the foundation of Hakea suberea is justified or not.

Variety fissifolia, F.v.M.

The leaves are sometimes once or twice forked or trifid (as pointed out by Bentham), the prongs of the forks being 1 or 1 1/2 inch or so long. This gives the foliage a very different appearance from that of the type in which the foliage is simple and very long. Mueller (Fragm. vi, 190) suggests the name fissifolia for this form, and draws attention to its resemblance to H. purpurea, Hook., which is certainly apt.

Botanical Name.

— Hakea, already explained (see Part XLVI, p. 106); lorea, Latin, made of leather thongs, in allusion to the thong-like leaves.

Vernacular Name.

— "Cork tree" is a common name, owing, to the fissured, corky appearance of the bark. There are, however, several trees in New South Wales which go by this name, and therefore I have called this particular one "A Western Cork-tree" (ie, in contradistinction to the coastal New South Wales ones).

Aboriginal Name.

— I know of none to be attributed to this with certainty, but it is simply impossible for the aborigines to have avoided knowing the tree and giving it a name.


— Grevillea lorea, R.Br., in Trans. Linn. Soc., x. 177; Prod. 38O.


— I have already drawn attention to the leaves under the variety fissifolia. Mitchell likened them to those of the She-Oaks (Casuarina), but they are not jointed. They have a drooping habit.


— The flowers of all Proteaceæ contain more or less honey, but those of this species contain it abundantly. Writing from the Grey Range, New South Wales, Mr. Baeuerlen reported "Flowers rich in a brown sticky treacle."

  ― 161 ―


— Brown had not seen a fruit at the time of description of the species, nor was it seen by Bentham. Bailey (Queensland Flora, p. 1346) appears to have been the first to describe it, which he does as follows:— "Fruit 1 1/4 inch long, ovate, somewhat flattened, and about inch broad the flat way."


— This interior tree is rather rare, but the timber is much prized for bullock yokes, being very strong and durable.


— It is found in the drier parts of all the mainland States except Victoria.

Following are the localities given in the Flora Australiensis (v, 496):—

N. Australia. — Attack Creek, McDouall Stuart's Expedition.

Queensland. — Shoalwater Bay, R.Brown; Port Denison, Fitzalan; Rockhampton, Thozet; Cape River and Nerkool Creek, Bowman; Dyngie, Miss Ross; also in Leichhardt's collection.

Bentham, however, adds "Several of the above quoted specimens are not in flower, and are therefore in some measure doubtful."

The type locality is "within the tropics" as defined by Brown at p. vii of Preface to his Prodromus, referring to Queensland and Northern Queensland.

Brown gives Shoalwater Bay as one locality for Grevillea (afterwards Hakea) lorea. (Trans. Linn. Soc., x, p. 177). Shoalwater Bay is, of course, near the modern Bowen.


I have a specimen collected by Robert Brown in Northern Queensland. The leaves are about 26 inches long (see Plate).

I am indebted to Mr. F. M. Bailey for specimens from the following localities:— Springsure. This is a little south of Emerald, on the Central Railway (? Collector); Bouldercombe, a few miles south of Rockhampton (G. Smith); Beaufort, near the Belyando and in the Mitchell country, to be referred to presently (C. W. de Burgh Birch).

In the scrubs near this camp [Mount Mudge, 2,247 feet, near the sources of the Belyando, near 24° S. lat., and 147° E. long., a few miles south-east of Ashinhurst, Central Railway, Queensland. — J.H.M.], Mr. Stephenson discovered a very remarkable tree, apparently a Casuarina, having long drooping hair from its upper boughs. (Mitchell's Tropical Australia, p. 241.)

At p. 285 of Mitchell's work is a rough sketch of this tree, with a note that the same tree was found at the camp of 24th August, viz., about 50 miles due west of the modern Emerald. Mueller (Fragm. vi, 190) suggests that the above passages refer to Hakea lorea, and I have no doubt correctly.


Robert Brown (App. Sturt's "Central Australia," ii, 87) says: "A single specimen also occurs of Grevillea (or Hakea) lorea, but without fructification." This probably came from the north-west angle of New South Wales.

Mr. W. Baeuerlen collected it at Olive Downs, Grey Range, which is in the Sturt country.

  ― 162 ―

I have already quoted the South Australian localities cited by Mueller and Tate.

We have it also from "Near the MacDonell Range" (Lieut. Dittrich, quoted by Mueller in "Australasian Journal of Pharmacy," Novr., 1886).


I have already quoted Mueller and Tate for some localities of this State. Mr. Fitzgerald (loc. sit.) states as follows:—

Scattered throughout the eastern interior, chiefly north of Mount Malcolm, extending east to the South Australian border and west to near Shark's Bay, but apparently does not penetrate, the tropics.

Occurring in small clumps, covering considerable tracts of country or lining the banks of dried watercourses. It is common in the vicinity of Mt. Malcolm, Tuckanarra, and other gold-field centres, growing usually in granitic areas, and among many prospectors has the reputation of denoting the proximity of fresh water.

It is also from Ularing, say 50 miles south-west of Menzies (Young), Herb. Melb.


Plate 183: Western Cork Tree. (Hakea lorea, R.Br.) Lithograph by Margaret Flockton.

  • A. Twig showing leaves which are about 26 inches long. (Collected by Robert Brown in north coastal Queensland, and typical for the species.)
  • B. Raceme of flowers. (Bouldercombe, Queensland, G. Smith, Herb. Queensland.)
  • C. Bud.
  • D. Flower.
  • E. Flower — the stigma slips out of the corolla-tube usually without separating the four lobes, which contain the anthers.
    • (a) Corolla.
    • (b) Ovary.
    • (c) Style.
    • (d) Stigma.
  • F. Portion of flower, corolla removed, showing —
    • (a) Hypogynous gland.
    • (b) Stipitate ovary.
    • (c) Style.
    • (d) Stigma.
  • G. Anther.
  • H. Stigmatic disc.
  • I. Fruit from Ularing, W.A. (Herb. Melb.)
  • K. Winged seed.

This is one of the few drawings which has not been prepared from exclusively, or nearly exclusively, New South Wales material. I have not specimens of the typical form from New South Wales, only of the variety fissifolia from this State, and I trust that publication of this plate will lead to records of New South Wales localities for the species.

  ― 163 ―

No. 180: Eucalyptus Thozetiana,


Thozet's Gum.


Botanical description.

— Genus, Eucalyptus. (See Part II, p. 33)

Botanical description.

— Species, E. Thozetiana, F.v.M., in "Eucalyptographia" (under E. gracilis), 1879.

This affords another instance of a plant imperfectly described ("Eucalyptographia") being distributed in herbaria, and then, years after, being adequately described. Mr. R. T. Baker first described it adequately from complete material. Following are almost entirely his words:—

An erect, graceful tree, rarely attaining a height of over 70 feet. [The average height given to me by Mr. C. C. Chapman is about 30 feet, and Mueller quoted 60 feet.]

Timber, brown or black brown, very hard.

Bark, smooth, compact, whitish, decorticating in hard short flakes at the base (Mueller).

Branchlets angular, but soon terete, reddish-coloured.

Juvenile leaves linear or narrow lanceolate.

Leaves mostly alternate, from lanceolate to oblong-lanceolate, under 6 inches long and half an inch wide, occasionally shining. Venation rather obscured in the thick epidermis; lateral veins sparse, oblique, distant; intramarginal vein removed from the edge. Oil glands numerous, but exceedingly small.

Flowers small on axillary peduncles or terminal panicles. Calyx turbinate, angled, gradually tapering into a short pedicel. Operculum conical, blunt.

Fruits small, oval-urnshaped, angled, under 3 lines long, and tinder 1 1/2 lines in diameter, valves depressed. (Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W, xxxi, 1906, 305.)

Botanical Name.

— Eucalyptus, already explained (see Part II, p. 34) Thozeliana, in honour of Anthèlme Thozet (?1826-1878), born in France, and a resident of Rockhampton, Queensland, for many years. He devoted the greater part of his life to the study of the cultivation and the economic products of Queensland plants and of interesting and useful plants generally. His end was hastened through the botanical exploration of Expedition Range, west of Rockhampton, and this species was found on his last trip. For fuller particulars see my "Records of Queensland botanists" in Proc. Aust. Assocn. for Adv. of Science (Brisbane Meeting, 1909), xii, 382.

Vernacular Names.

— I have given the name "Thozet's Gum" to this species. Mr. Baker proposes the name "Lignum Vitæ" for it, but that name is already applied to two Eucalypts, and to one, if not two, species of Acacia.

  ― 164 ―

Aboriginal Names.

— "Yapunyah" or "Napunyah" near Goondiwindi, according to Mr. C. C. Chapman. These names are, however, shared by E. ockrophloia, F.v.M. Synonyms. —

(1) E. gracilis, F.v.M., var. Thozetiana, F.v.M., in "Eucalyptographia" under E. gracilis.

(2)E. calycogona, Turcz., var. Thozetiana, Maiden, in "Critical Revision of the genus Eucalyptus," Vol. i, p. 82.


— Note their narrowness, and their slender, graceful character.


— Evidently a smooth-barked species, with a little rough bark at the butt. Following are collectors' notes:—

"It sheds all the bark except that on the butt of the trunk." (Mr. E. Bowman, on a specimen from the Mackenzie River, from Rev. Dr. Woolls' herbarium.)

"Bark smooth, white, and entirely deciduous. The trunk is beautifully fluted, which appears to be a constant character of this species." (P.O'Shanesy.) This is interesting, for the Western Australian Gimlet Gum (E. salubris) is the only other species described with a fluted bark, so far as I know.


— Mr. R. T. Baker says that it is harder than that of any other Eucalyptus timber known to him. That it is very heavy, close-grained and interlocked, has a chocolate colour, and resembles the Lignum-vitæ of commerce. He suggests its suitability for sleepers, posts, rails, bridges, cogs, mallets, &c.


— Messrs. E. Bowman and P. O'Shanesy found it attaining a height of 60 feet on the Mackenzie and Comet Rivers (Cometville).

"It is like a Mallee, but do not think it has the bulbous stock of a Mallee. The average size of the stems is a diameter of 7-8 inches, with a length of 25 feet (as poles drawn into the station), so that the length may be fairly put at 30 feet." (Mr. C.C. Chapman, of Newinga.)

These two localities are some hundreds of miles apart. It is evidently a very large tree about Cometville, and it may be that it does not attain its greatest size even there.


— Originally found on the Expedition Range, say 120 miles west of Rockhampton, by M. Thozet.

Mackenzie River (E. Bowman); Comet River, at Cometville, (P.O'Shanesy).

These two rivers run into each other at Cometville. Warrego River (F.M. Bailey).

No part is stated; Cunnamulla and Charleville are on the Warrego. Flinders River, probably, but not very good specimens (F.M. Bailey). Tandwanna, a few miles north-west of Newinga (C. C. Chapman).

  ― 165 ―
Plentiful at Newinga Station, which is 65 miles west of Goondiwindi. Newinga is on the Barwon or Macintyre River where it separates New South Wales from Queensland. I have not actually got it from the left (New South Wales) bank, but it is very abundant on the right bank, and it is the usual practice, when a species occurs on the border line of two States, to record it for both States. At the same time I hope collectors will look out for it actually within New South Wales territory. Baron von Mueller told me that when a species was recorded 15 miles from a border he recorded it in both States. That may turn out to be correct in practice, but it would be desirable to use this assumption very carefully.

The localities for E. Thozetiana therefore, so far as we know them, are the typical one of the Expedition Range and the Mackenzie and Comet Rivers (say Cometville) in the same district; secondly, the Goondiwindi district, on the New South Wales border of Queensland, with the Warrego as an intermediate locality.

It is evident that the species is of wide range, but we require very much more collecting to definie that range, and to put us into possession of more facts concerning this interesting species.


Plate 184: Thozet's Gum. (Eucalyptus Thozetiana, F.v.M.) Lithograph by Margaret Flockton.

  • A. Sucker leaves from Newinga Station, St. George, Goondiwindi Rd., Q.
  • B. Twig with buds and fruit. From the type, Expedition Range, viâ Rockhampton, Q. (Thozet).
  • C. Flowering twig from the Mackenzie River scrubs. (Herbm. of late Rev. Dr. Woolls).
  • D. Anther.

  ― 166 ―

No. 181: Acacia rubida,

A. Cunn.

Red leaved Wattle.


Botanical description.

— Genus, Acacia. (See Part XV, p. 103)

Botanical description.

— Species, A. rubida, A. Cunningham, in Barron Field's New South Wales, 344 (1825).

Following is the original description:—

Acacia rubida. Foliis ovato-lanceolatis; apice obliquis mucronatis; mucrone innocuo; margine superiore uni- glanduloso, racemis pedunculatis (parvis) axillaribus terminalibusve, costae margine que foliorum rubido-coloratis. A shrub frequent on the edge of mountain-rills, Blue Mountains. (Allan Cunningham in Field's N.S. Wales, 344.)

Then we have the description in English by Don:

A. rubida (Cunningh. in Field's New South Wales; p. 344). Phyllodia ovate-lanceolate, ending in an oblique innocuous mucrone at the apex, bearing a gland on the upper margin; racemes small, pedunculate, axillary, and terminal; the rib and margins of the leaves coloured with red. Native of New Holland, frequent on the edge of rills on the blue Mountains.

Reddish Acacia. Fl., April, June. Clt, 1823. Sh., 4 to 6 feet. (Don's Gen. Hist. Dichlammydeous Pls., Vol. 2, p. 406)

The description in Bentham's revision of the genus follows:

A. rubida (Cunn. in Field's N.S. Wales, 344), glaberrima, ramulis angulatis, phyllodiis elongato- lanceolatis acutis breviter calloso-mucronulatis rectis V. leviter falcatis crassiusculis basi longe angustatis uninerviis tenuiter marginatis, venis inconspicuis, glandula a basi distante, racemis phyllodio plerisque brevioribus, capitulis parvis 10–20-floris ovarioque glabris. A. amoena, Sieb. Pl. ex., non Wendl-Planta siccitate rubescit, Phyllodia pleraque 3-poll. longa, 4–6 lin. lata. Racemi numerosi, 10–12-cephali. Pedunculi 2–3 lin. longi. Rami inferiores etiam floriferi folia saepe ferunt bipinnata, petiolis pubescentibus, glandula basilari immersa, jugalibus nullis, pinnis 4–7 jugis foliolis 10–15-jugis oblongo-falcatis mucronulatis crassiuseulis glabris subciliatis-Blue Mountains, Cunningham, Sieber, n. 452. (Hooker's London Journal of Botany, Vol. 1, 355.)

Bentham's description in English is as follows:

A. rubida, A. Cunn. in Field, N. S. Wales, 344. A tall shrub, quite glabrous, allied to A. amoena, and perhaps a variety; branchlets angular.

Phyllodia lanceolate, often faleate, rather acute, much narrowed towards the base, mostly about 3 inches long rather thick, 1-nerved, with nerve-like margins, the veinlets inconspicuoug, and never more than 1 marginal gland.

Racemes shorter than the phyllodia, with several, often 10 to 12, rather small heads of 10 to 15 flowers, mostly 5-merous.

Sepals half as long as the petals, usually coherent.

Petals smooth.

Pod unknown. (B.Fl., ii, 366.)

  ― 167 ―
Mr.R.T Baker (Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W., xxii (1897), 695) described and figured the pot and seed. His words are as follows:—

Pod 4 to 5 inches long and 4 lines broad, slightly curved or straight, vales thinly coriaceous.

Seeds longitudinal, oblong; funicle slightly or not at all enlarged under the seed, encircling it in a double-fold, and occupying the space between the seed and the margins of the valves.

It may be added that the valves are often glaucous. As regards the funicle encircling the seed, it will be seen, on reference to the plate now published, how variable this character is.

The funicle terminates under the seed in a club-shaped aril, then almost or more than encircles the seed, doubles back on itself, again encircles the seed, doubles back sharply, and then, by one or more folds, attaches itself to the margin of the valve.

Four other seeds with their funicles showing are figured, showing variations of the above, and I have wan other variations.

The ovarium, is glabrous. The tops of the sepals are besprinkled with short hairs.


— I will deal with the relations of this species to A. amœna Wendl., to which it is most closely related when I come to that species (in Part L).

Botanical Name.

— Acacia, already explained (see Part XV, p. 104) rubida, Latin, of a deep red colour, refering to the foliage. See "Leaves."


— This is one of the species in which true leaflets, as well as the phyllodia, are present. The reddish-brown colour of the foiage, particularly observable on the true leaflets, but often also on every phyllode, is a character which is easy of observation.


— The species occurs in Northern Victoria and Southern Queensland, and from end to end of New South Wales, chiefly in rocky, elevated localities.

It was for long supposed to be confined to New South Wales, and the following localities are quoted in the Flora Australiensis:—

New South Wales. — Port Jackson to the Blue Mountains, Sieber,n. 452; head of the Gwydir, Leichhardt; Clarence River, Beckler? (Specimens not in flower.)

Following are some localities represented in the National Herbarium, Sydney (so far as I know the Victorian and Queensland localities now given are new for those States):—


Thornleigh, Sydney (W.W. Froggatt); Woodford, Blue Mountains (J.H.M.); Faulconbridge, Blue Mountains (R.H. Cambage and J.H.M.), two localities alongside Cunningham's old track, close to where he obtained his type-specimens. We now turn south.

Cataract Dam (J.H.M.); Bowral to Bullio (R.H. Cambage and J.H.M.); Bowral (W. Greenwood); Berrima (J.L. Boorman and J.H.M.); Wingello (J.L. Boorman., J.H.M.).

  ― 168 ―
"Small erect tree, No. 3. Steep sides of Shoalhaven gullies, Glen. Rock, February, 1865. C. Moore." This specimen was labelled A. amœna, Wendl., by Mueller. Glenrock is near Marulan, not far from Wingello.

Gundaroo (Rev. J.W. Dwyer); Queanbeyan (Forester Harris, 1893); Clyde Mountain, near Nelligen (J.L. Boorman); Michelago and Little Tinderry Mountain (J.L. Boorman and E. Betche); Cooma (J.H.M.); Cowra Creek, N.E. of Cooma (R.H. Cambage); Tumut (J.L. Boorman, J.H.M.)

Going north, we have it from the Walcha district (J.F. Campbell). Bentham. has recorded it from the head of the Gwydir.

It has been found mostly in southern localities, and it remains to be found in the rocky country connecting the southern with the Blue Mountains localities. We now want the connecting localities from the Blue Mountains to New England, the recording of which is simply a matter of opportunity.


It occurs near Stanthorpe, Queensland (J.L. Boorman).


Buffalo Mountain (West coll. through C. Walter). Rocky Mountains on the Macalister River 2-4,000 feet (Mueller). This specimen was referred both by Mueller and Bentham to A. amœna, Wendl., see B.Fl. ii, 366. It is only in fruit, but its phyllodes are those of A. rubida, while, in my opinion, so are its valves and seeds.


Plate 185: Red Leaved Wattle. (Acacia rubida, A. Cunn.) Lithograph by Margaret Flockton.

  • A. Phyllode and bipinnate leaf.
  • B. Flowering twig from Faulconbridge. A type locality.
  • C. Flower-head.
  • D. Individual bud.
  • E. Flower with bract (a).
  • F. Flower opened out, showing —
    • (a) calyx.
    • (b) corolla.
    • (c) pistil. (stamens removed).
  • G. Narrow phyllode form, from Cooma.
  • H. Pod.
  • I. Seed. Seeds showing variation in the funicle (all enlarged):—
  • K. From Wingello, N.S.W.
  • L. From Faulconbridge, N.S.W.
  • M. FromRocky Mountains, Macalister River, Victoria.
  • N and O. From Little Tinderry Mountain, N.S.W.

  ― 169 ―

No. 182: Ceratopetalum gummiferum,


The Christmas Tree or Bush.


Botanical description.

— Genus, Ceratopetalum. (See Part VI, p. 127.)

Botanical description.

— Species, C. gummiferum, Sm., Bot. Nov. Holl., t. 3.

A tree attaining 30 to 40 feet.

Leaflets 3, lanceolate, in some specimens all under 1 1/2 inch long, in others mostly twice that size, obtuse or obtusely acuminate, obtusely serrulate, narrowed at the base, coriaceous, shining, penniveined and strongly reticulate.

Cymes or panicles loosely trichotomous, the common peduncle shorter or longer than the leaves.

Calyx-lobes in flower scarcely above 1 line long, in fruit linear-oblong, fully inch long.

Petals rather shorter than the calyx, deeply cut into 3 to 5 very narrow lobes.

Stamens as long as the calyx.

Fruit without the wings above 11/2 lines diameter, the adnate calyx-tube strongly ribbed. (B.Fl. ii, 442.)

Botanical Name.

— Ceratopetalum, already explained (see Part VI, p. 127) gummiferum, Latin, gum-bearing. See "Exudation" below.

This, Mr. White informs us, is one of the trees, for there are several, it seems, besides the Eucalyptus resinifera (mentioned in his Voyage, p. 231) which produce the red gum, i.e., the astringent kino which was early sent to England for medicinal purposes, having previously been tested by Surgeon-General White and the doctors here. (Smith, original description, p. 10)

The Family Cunoniaceæ.

Ceratopetalum is found in the "Flora Australiensis" under Saxifragaceæ. The Cunoniaceæ are united in all British systems with the Saxifragaceæ, but are kept as a distinct Family in Engler's "Natürliche Pflanzenfamilien." They are distinguished chiefly in habit from the true Saxifragaceæ; they always have opposite or whorled leaves, with often very conspicuous stipules, and are always trees or shrubs, while the latter have alternate or radical leaves without stipules, and are mostly herbaceous, though the whole tribe of Escalloniæ consists of shrubs or small trees.

Bentham and Hooker's system in the "Genera Plantarum" is "Natural" only in the main groups — and not even that; the position of the Gymnospermæ is quite unnatural — the grouping of the families into Polypetaleæ, Monopetaleæ, and Monochlamydeæ is almost as artificial as Linne's system, based on the stamens.

  ― 170 ―
At the same time, the "Genera Plantarum" was an enormous step in advance. Mueller's system, published in his "Census," is almost as unnatural; he, merely gives one artificial system in place of another. Engler, profiting by study of the earlier systems, and with access to vast stores of additional information, to which he himself contributed, has produced the most natural system at present Known, though it is doubtless not yet a perfect Natural System. The extent of the Families is still somewhat a matter of opinion; it does not matter much whether the Cunoniaceæ are regarded as a separte Familly, or as Tribe of the Saxifragaceæ, but as we are mainly following Engler in the rearrangement of the Families in the new Census of New South Wales plants, it is convenient to follow his view with regard to the extent of the Families as far as possible.

Vernacular Names.

— "Light-Wood," "Officer Plant," "Christmas Tree." "A beautifull flowering plant, rendered conspicuous from afar by the brilliant scarlet colour of the persistent calyxes of its numerous flowers; used for the decoration of churches at Christmas, whence one, of its local names."

So wrote Sir William Macarthur nearly sixty years ago "Officer Plant " is an allusion to the bright coloured tunics of the officers, and the name "Light Wood" was given to this tree the very first year of settlement.

Aboriginal Name.

— I know of none, though. it is not possible that such a conspicuous plant could have escaped their special notice.


— The flowers Are white, small, and very dainty, But they are not particularly conspicuous. What are usually known as the "flowers" are the enlarged calyces which heighten in colour to a more or less deep scarlet.


— By well wounding the, tree, or, better still, by felling a tree and cutting it into logs, there exudes a kino of exceptionally beautiful appearance. It is of a rich ruby colour, perfectly transparent, very tough, though when it has become thoroughly hard it. breaks with a bright fracture. It is exceedingly astringent, sticks to the teeth, and obviously contains a large propportion of gummy matter.

The resinous substance also exudes from the leaves, which causes them to slightly stick to the papers as dried Specimens.

The first parcel of C. gummferum gum I received was in small tears of a beautiful ruby colour, perfectly transparent, and having a bright fracture. It is powerfully astringent to the taste, sticks to the teeth, and obviously contains a large proportion of gummy matter. This sample was removed from the cut ends of a log, from which it, exuded in small drops and in thin pieces which dried very quickly. The tree was 6 to 9 inches in diameter. It seems, as far as our experience goes at present, that ringbarking or wounding the tree, or even cutting it, down merely, is of little avail to obtain the gum; the tree must be cut into

  ― 171 ―
logs or pieces, so that the timber is open at both ends, before the gum will exude in any quantity. It remains to be seen whether the gum exudes most freely in summer.

I have received a cake of the substance obtained by draining the ends of a severed log on to a plate. When first received it was exceedingly tough; but on exposure to the air for two or three months, it fractured without difficulty between the fingers. The fractures are quite bright. It has no odour. To cold water it imparts a dark, rich orange-brown colour; at the same time, the insoluble portion forms a bulky gelatinous mass.

In bulk, the gum of C. apetalum appears in no way different from that of C. gummiferum. It, however, smells more or less strongly of coumarin, which is also contained in abundance, in the bark. It is obtained either by, wounding the tree or by felling it. In cold water it swells up largely, and at the same time, possesses a good deal of coherence. It imparts to the water a pale orange-brown colour and an intense odour of coumarin.


— "He (Surgeon-General White) further remarks that it is the only wood of the country that will swim in water." (Smith; original description, p. 10) This is the earliest reference to the timber. It shows that trees of fair size grew about Sydney, and, knowing as we do the great demand there was for soft wood, one can readily understand how the plant, as a tree, Would soon be exterminated in the vicinity of the infant town.

This wood is fine-grained, of a reddish colour, and is used occasionally by turners. It is useful for tool handles. A slab of this wood in the Technological Museum,which has been seasoned over twenty-five years (having been exhibited at the London International Exhibition of 1862), hug a weight which corresponds to 41 lb. 14 oz. per cubic foot.

In the South Coast district it is used for house-work, butter kegs, &c. (Forester J. S. Allan).


— This plant is usually called "Christmas-bush" for the reason that the people of Sydney, where the plant is in such great demand, ralely see it in any other form than that of a bush, i.e,. young plants or second growth. I have told many Sydney people, much to their surprise, that it attains the magnitude of medium sized or even large tree.

Following are some figures:—

Bermagui district. Height 40–90 feet, diameter 1-2 feet. (Forester J.S. Allan.) Termeil Creeck, Bateman's bay district, 50 feet high, diameter 1 foot (J.H.M.). The above are South Coast localities.

  ― 172 ―
At Linden, Blue Mountains, there is one specimen (see photo.) over 30 feet high, and over 18 inches in diameter (Dr. A. Houison and J.H.M.).

Port Macquarie to Comboyne Brush, 20–30 feet to first branch, and up to 4 feet or more in girth. (Forester G.R. Brown.)

Head of Bellinger, 25–30 feet high, diameter 12–15 inches. (Forester Mecham.) Murwillumbah, Tweed River, 20 feet high, 8 inches diameter. (Forester Pope.) Moonambah, Tweed River, 60 feet high, 15 inches diameter. (W. Baeuerlen.)


— It is confined to New South Wales, so far as we know, but in view, of the fact that it is of large size in the Bermagui district, I expect to hear of its discovery in East Gippsland, Victoria, sooner or later. It extends to the Tweed in New South Wales, and one may be absolutely certain that it will be found across the border in Queensland.

In the Flora Australiensis it is recorded from Port Jackson to the Blue Mountains only. It is found in various places about Sydney, and I know a plant of it (which is never permitted to flourish) in the Sydney Domain.

In the Blue Mountains we have it from Lapstone Hill (R.H. Cambage), while it is a large tree at Linden (Dr. A. Houison, J.H.M.). This is the farthest west known to me.

Following are coastal localities:—

South. — Kiama to Bermagui (east of Coast Range) (Forester J.S. Allan, Milton); Termeil Creek (J.H.M.); Conjola, near Milton (W. Heron).

North. — Stroud (A. Rudder). In small patches from about 2 miles north of Camden Haven River southwards to John's or Stewart River, and within 8 miles of the coast. There is a patch from Port Macquarie to Comboyne Brush, I suppose about 30 or 40 acres. (Forester G. It. Brown.)

Chiefly in the high lands at the head of the Bellinger. (Forester Mecham, Bellingen.) Occurs abundantly in dry beds and on banks of rivers and creeks. (Forester Pope, Murwillumbah.)

At Moonambah, Tweed River. (Mr. W. Baeuerlen, through Mr. R.T. Baker.) Copmanhurst, Upper Clarence River. "Common in this district on sand." (Rev. H.M.R. Rupp.)

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Plate 186: Christmas Tree. (Ceratopetalum gummiferum, Sm.) Lithograph by Margaret Flockton.

  • A. Twig of normal flowers.
  • B. Flowers in a more advanced stage, from the original plate in Sir J.E. Smith's "Zoology and Botany of New Holland." MDCCXCII.
  • C. Flower opened out, showing —
    • (a) Calyx-lobes.
    • (b) Petals.
    • (c) Stamens.
    • (d) Perigynous disc.
    • (e) Pistil.
  • D. Flower with stamens removed.
  • E. Portion of flower showing Pistil, &c.
  • F. Petals, various forms. Note how in shape they are like stags' horns, and hence " Ceratopetalum."
  • G. Fruit, calyx-lobes, petals and stamens persistent.


Ceratopetalum gummiferum, Martin's Folly, Linden, Blue Mountains. (Photo., Dr. A. Houison.)

Supplementary Material Added With Volume 5

No. 182. Part XLIX.

Ceratopetalum gummiferum, SM.



Habitat. - Series of trees on the top cliff path between Echo Point, Katoomba, and the Meeting of the Waters, Leura,-ahout half way (T.D. Mutch).

  ― 174 ―

Appendix XLIX: Some Timbers which cause Irritation of the Skin and Mucous Membrane.


This is a subject concerning which little information has been systematically collected. I drew attention to the matter in the Agricultural Gazetle for N.S.W., December, 1909, this being a second paper, Poison Ivy (Rhus), having been dealt with in the February issue. The Philippine Journal of Science, iv, 431, in dealing with "Indo-Malayan Woods," has some brief notes on Poison Woods, by F.W. Foxworthy, which supplements my notes. Dr. Foxworthy's paper was not received in Sydney until January, 1910.

New South Wales and some other Australian. States are rich in forests, and will become increasingly interested in the timbers of other nations for manufacturing and structural purposes, as time goes on.

I offer some notes which may have the result of causing deeper consideration to be given to the subject than it has hitherto received.


Dysoxylon Richii, C.DC. (D.alliaceum, Seem.), native name Maotamea, is found in several Polynesian islands. Dr. Funk, of Apia, Samoa, informs me that the sap or sawdust causes a kind of eczema on the hands, also eye inflammation, and a burning feeling in the throat.

Dysoxylon Muelleri, Benth. ("Red Bean").-This well-known furniture wood of New South Wales has been accused as follows:— Some cabinet-makers report that after working at it for "four or five days they begin to suffer from a virulent form of influenza, accompanied by violent fits of vomiting and bleeding at the nose, while, if they cut themselves in handling, the timber, blood-poisoning almost inevitably ensues. Remarkably enough, the more seasoned the wood is, the worse it becomes."

It appears to me that the language of exaggeration has been here employed.

So far as I can glean, the wood, and particularly the sawdust, is exceedingly irritating to some people, and it has indeed, induced severe dermatitis, and also irritation of the mucous membrane. We have, of course, several species of Dysoxylon (of which D. Fraserianum is the most important) which produce commercial timbers in New South Wales.

Chloroxylon Swietenia, DC. ("East Indian Satin-wood.")

Some time ago reference was made to the irritant properties of East Indian Satin-wood (Chloroxylon, Swietenia) on the workers in that wood, and it has been alleged that it was partly responsible for an outbreak of dermatitis among workmen employed at a saw-mill in Scotland some years ago. We now observe, from the Bulletin of the Imperial Institute, that an investigation of the constituents of the wood has been made at that institute, and the results have been recently communicated to the Chemical Society by Dr. Auld, of the Scientific and Technical Department.

The wood contains a considerable amount of calcium oxalate, a peculiar protein compound, two inert resins, a yellowish-brown fixed oil, and a small quantity of an alkaloid. The oil does not appear to exert any irritant action on the skin.

As it cannot be identified with any known substance, the alkaloid has been given the name Chloroxylonine.(Indian Forester, xxxv (1909), 662.)

  ― 175 ―


See my paper in the Agricultural Gazette, N.S.W., for February, 1909, "The Poison Ivy (Rhus radicans) and its close relations." I do not Wish to draw especial attention to this plant at this place, for I am dealing mainly with. timbers but Dr. Foxworthy (loc. cit.) has shown that in the Philippines the timbers of some Anacardiaceæ are undoubtedly irritant:—

The principal poisonous woods of this part of the world are a few Anacardiaceæ, which cause a skin irritation similar to that produced by the "Poison Ivy" and "Poison Oak (Rhus spp.) of temperate regions. These woods are produced by species of Gluta, Holigarna,Melanorrhœa, Semecarpus, and Swintonia; and they are usually known by the name of "ringhas" in the Malay region.

When seasoned, the wood is much less likely to cause poisoning than when fresh. The seriousness of such poisoning is often exaggeratted, and many persons are entirely immune to this class of poisoning.


Castanospermum australe, A. Cunn. (the "Black Bean"). — This well-known furniture timber of New South Wales and Queensland has, like the Red Bean (Dysoxylon Muelleri), been accused of injuriously affecting the health of workmen.


Eucalyptus maculata, Hook. (the "Spotted Gum"). — In parts of Queensland, timber-getters and sawyers who handle Spotted Gum are sometimes affected with a rash, called "Spotted Gum rash." I asked a number of timber experts: "Do you know any district in which this skin complaint prevails, and can you furnish any particulars in regard to it?"

Most questionees never heard of it, but Mr. A. Vogele, Mt. Douglas, Paterson, N.S.W., reports:—"Spotted Gum rash prevails here. Some are affected more than others. One of my neighbours who worked with me in the bush for years, felt its influence if only working, beside a Spotted Gum; to work one up was out of the question. If persisting in doing so he would itch, and afterwards break out in pimples. Every occasion he got affected more; at length he had to sell his selection on account of it.

Eucalyptus hemiphloia, F.v.M. ("White or Grey Gum"). — I have heard on one occasion of this timber causing a rash in a man, or at least of a rash being attributed to this timber. Nor is this irritation confined to Eastern Australia.

Eucalyptus marginata, Sm. (probably).

Port Hedland, January 26, 1910.

The steamer "Gorgon" arrived here yesterday, but the union lumpers refused to work under the rates asked for.

The union's principal reason for asking for an increase in the wage previously given is that the poison on sleepers inflames their flesh wherever it touches them, their hands, arms, and faces swelling up. When the stuff is dry matters are worse, as it gets on their bodies, and men have had to lay up in consequence. — Extract from Western Mail, Perth, West Australia, 29th January, 1910.

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The sleepers are most probably Eucalyptus marginata, the "Jarrah," but I have never heard of Jarrah being accused of being irritant before. I could obtain no further information in Western Australia.

I shall be glad of plarticulars in regard to the supposed irritant character of Eucalyptus timbers from any part of Australia.


Thuja Douglasii, Carr. — A curious case of a woman being poisoned by handling the branches and leaves of this tree while gardening is recorded by Neudorffer in the Centralb. f. Innere Medicin.note

The symptoms were spasmodic convulsions, dyspnœa, and coma. Other persons appear to have been more or less affected who were working at the same employment. It appears probable, therefore, that the tree, which is cultivated for ornamental purposes, contains some poisonous ingredient to which some persons are more susceptible than others.

I admit this plant to the present list with doubt. But attention should be widely drawn to such a well-known tree, in order that we may ascertain what are the real facts of the danger of handling it.

It will be noted below that the wood of the Yew (Taxus baccata) and of the Savin (Juniperus sabina) are irritant.


Excæcaria agallocha, L.; Excæcaria parvifolia, Muell., Arg. — "Blind your eyes." These two yield an acrid juice which is more or less volatile, and which, if it gets into the eyes, will produce temporary loss of sight and other local irritation. Both are natives of Australia, and the latter also of the East Indies. Concerning it Dr. Foxworthy, op. cit., says:—

Excæcaria agallocha, L., the "eye-blinding plant" of India, is of evil repute. The wood contains an extremely acrid dark-coloured gum, which is very irritant in contact with the skin, and is said to cause blindness if rubbed on the eyes. It is said that the coolies who work this wood for charcoal stiffer a great deal from the effects of the fumes of the burning wood.


Poisonous Woods.

A number of woods show in less or more degree during their technical use disturbances of health. Some of these are woods which possess neither odoriferous nor colouring matter, and the opinion that these bodies are the source of the poisonous action is, therefore, untenable. Amongst indigenous woods the following possess poisonous properties: Taxus baccata, Juniperus sabina, Cytisus laburnum, Rhus tiphina, Rhus Cotinus, and Coriaria myrtifiolia. These, however, are seldom used, and then only in small pieces. Of foreign woods, poisonous properties have been found in Buxus sempervirens, Hippomane mancinella, Excæcaria agallocha, Amyris balsamifera, Convolvulus scoparius, and Santalum album, and various satin woods.-J. Grossman (Bayr. Ind-u. Gewerbebl., 1910, 51; through Jahresber d. Pharm., 45, 12, 1911), in The Pharmaceutical Journal and Pharmacist.

  ― 177 ―


Irritant Woods.

In connection with our (Gard. Chron.) article on Plants and Skin Irritants," printed on p. 110, the following contribution on "irritant" wood, which we extract from the Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, is interesting:—

In the course of the past year inquiry was made by the Factory and Workshop Department into the effect of irritant woods, and the extent to which they are used in this country. For example, in the case of satin-wood, there was inquiry into (1) the extent and class of work in which it was used; (2) the evidence there is as to its irritant action on the skin; (3) the precautions taken in its use. Much confusion was found as to the kind of wood referred to as satin-wood, the two covering East and West Indian satin-wood and satin walnut. The first two are practically confined to high-class furniture and furniture-making, and to decoration of cabins and overmantel work in ships. Occasionally thermometer stands, backs of toilet brushes, and similar articles are made of it. In those trades it is used as an inlay or veneer, involving little exposure to irritant dust. East Indian satin-wood possesses much more irritant properties than the West Indian variety. Satin walnut appears to be no more harmful than deal. The East Indian wood is only used in two shipyards. It causes an eruption on the skin of the worker exposed to the dust or shavings produced during manufacture; but some persons are much more susceptible to its effect than others. One man stated to the Inspector that if he only placed a shaving of the wood on the back of the hand, it caused a sore on the skin at that point. The injurious effects, however, appear to be only temporary. Exhaust ventilation is in use for carrying off dust, &c., from the machines in most of the works, including one of the shipyards in which the East Indian wood is used. Reference to occasional contact action on the skin is made as to teak by Mr. Inspector Wright (North London), who refers to reports of swollen arms and eyes by Mr. Shannin (Liverpool), and by Mr. Grant (Preston), as to teak and olive-wood. The Inspector in Sheffield states that " in the manufacture of knife scales and tool handles the following woods are considered to be irritant:—Some of the ebonies, magneta rose-woods, West Indian box-wood, cocos-wood, and partridge-wood. Irritation of the eyes and nose is caused also by woods of the mahogany type. East Indian wood had to be discarded in the shuttle trade owing to its irritating action on the eye." Mr. Lewis (Manchester) states that salica-wood, from Cuba, was stated to give off "a fluffy dust under the machines and hand planes, the effect of which upon the workers is to cause a running of the eyes and nose, and a general feeling of cold in the head. The symptoms pass off in an hour or so after discontinuance of work." Eczematous eruptions are said to be produced by the so-called Borneo rose-wood-a wood used owing to its brilliant colour and exquisite grain in fret-saw work; but the Director of the Imperial Institute, Sir Wyndham Dunstan, who has interested himself in this wood, has failed to discover injurious properties in it. — Gardeners' Chronicle, 29th August, 1908, p. 167.

The above refers more or less to Chloroxylon Swietenia, already referred to.

Footnotes Appendix Part XLIX.

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