Saturday, 31 January 2009

Lagunaria patersonia

Lagunaria patersonia (Andrews) G. Don.
A General History of the Dichlamydeous Plants 1: 485. 1831.

Cow-itch Tree, Pyramid Tree, White Oak (on Norfolk Island), Sally Wood (on Lord Howe Island).

One species from, Norfolk Island, Lord Howe Island (and possibly Qld)
The second most abundant tree on Norfolk Island (after the Araucaria).

P. Green (Kew Bulletin 45:241, 1990) Correct epiphet for this species is patersonia.

Named for Col. William Paterson (1755-1810), onetime Lieutenant-Governor of New South Wales, who was on Norfolk Island between 1791 and 1793 and sent the seed from there to Britain in 1792. "This plant has been known in a few collections that possess it by the name Patersonia. Patersonia, therefore, as an intentional substantive name in apposition, seems to be the correct epiphet. Sims (1804). Horticultural Flora of South-Eastern Australia, Barley et al, 2005

Hibiscus patersonius Andrews Botanist's Repository, for new, and rare plants 4: , t. 286. 1803.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised to find this plant on your list, given its remote endemism,hardiness and beautiful flowering. Watch out for the glassy fibres around the fruit;agony! Not one of my favorites, with its sallow grey leaves and dull bark,and it is now a weed on parts of the Australian coast. I have noticed that brilliantly coloured Harlequin beetles use it, and sometimes bejewel the trunk in huge clusters. I wonder whether they arrived with it from Norfolk Island, and if they made it to Portugal? There is another little Malvaceous representative from Phillip Island, a smaller island visible from Norfolk I. Hibiscus insularis has been rescued from extinction at the mouths of rabbits and goats that have denuded its home. It is very compact in leaf and flower, rarely more than a low shrub and excellent for low hedging by the seaside.