Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Angophora floribunda

Curtis's Botanical Magazine Nº 5480 Vol. XC (1864)
Angophora floribunda ( Sm. ) Sweet
Sweet's Hortus Britannicus 1830
Metrosideros floribunda Sm.
Transactions of the Linnean Society of London, Botany 3 1797
Type Information
"Port Jackson, N.S.W." [Given by G.J.Leach, Telopea 2 (1986) 769 as "Port Jackson, N.S.W., White s.n., 1795. (LINN, Herb. Smith No. 877.7, photo!)."]. nom. illeg. non Metrosideros floribunda Vent. Base name for Acmena floribunda (Smith) DC.; Angophora floribunda (Smith) Sweet. The type collection was more than likely collected in 1794 not 1795 (White left the colony in 1794) - the latter date probably being the date of receival by Smith. (IPNI)
Curtis's Botanical Magazine Nº 5480
Acmena floribunda; foliis pellucido-punctatis ovali-lanceolatis utrinque acumi-
Acmena floribunda. De Cand. Prodr. v. 3. p. 262.
Metrosideros floribunda. Sm. Trans. Linn. Soc. v. 3. p. 267. Vent. Malmais, t. 75.
Angophora floribunda, G. Don.
ß. elliptica ; foliis elliptica acuminatis, bacca alba. De Cand. l. c.
Eugenia elliptica. Sm. I.e. p. 281. Sims, Bot. Mag. t. 1872.
Eugenia Smithii. Pair.
Myrtus Smithii. Spreng. Syst. Feget, v. 2. p. 484.

However beautiful and striking this plant (native of New South Wales) may be, loaded, too, as our tree, above twenty feet high, is, with its charming clusters of bright purple berries, its flowers are quite unattractive, and perhaps amongst the smallest and inconspicuous of all the Myrtle tribe. These flowers appear, like those of many other Australian trees and shrubs, in the winter season, and the berries succeed them in the early spring, causing the extremities of the slender branches to bend down by their weight. The tree is too large, however, for successful cultivation in an ordinary greenhouse, but well suited to our winter garden. De Candolle, I think with justice, refers Sir James Smith's Eugenia elliptica to this species, considering it a variety with white berries and broader foliage, depending on the paler or almost white colour of the berries. This Eugenia elliptica is figured by Sims in the ' Botanical Magazine l. c. ; but the figure does not do justice to the species, and is destitute of flowers, while, on the other hand, the fruit was unknown to Ventenat, who has well represented a flowering specimen.

Descr. A tree in our conservatory, attaining a height of twenty feet, and very much resembling a gigantic large-leaved Myrtle (Myrtus communis). Leaves very dark-green, two to three inches long, ovato-lanceolate, acuminate, pellucido-punctate, short-petioled. Panicles terminal, thyrsoid. Flowers very small. Calyx turbinate or subsemiglobose, with five very indistinct teeth. Petals quite minute, elliptical-cuneate, erect, much shorter than the numerous stamens. Ovary incorporated with the fleshy base of the calyx, which eventually becomes a globose, rich-purple subpellucid berry, the size of a large pea, umbilicated at the summit, of an acid flavour, but destitute of aroma.

Fig. 1. Flower. 2. The same, cut through vertically, showing the stamens and style. 3. Ovary, cut through transversely :— magnified
Described by Oates as growing at Monserrate in 1923: "Metrosideros floribunda (with masses of long adventitous roots hanging from the branches)". Aerial roots? - sounds more like Metrosiderus robusta. But there is a large "lilly pilly" growing at this spot (part of the area called Australia, next to some Podocarpus) maybe this needs a closer look - if it ever flowers in such deep shade.

No comments: