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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.

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