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Height in feet.
Mirbelia reticulata ...
, speciosa ...
For convenience, I have arranged the plants in most sections in the order of the Flora Australiensis.
Large Trees. The division into “Large trees," "Small trees," &c., is solely a matter of convenience for intending planters, and one in regard to which there is room for difference of opinion. "Trees and shrubs, of course, vary a good deal in size, according as the conditions under which they grow are favourable or not.
STERCULIACEE. Sterculias have usually large leaves of a refreshing green, and some of them are deciduous, e.g., the Flame-tree (S. acerifolia) and the Hat-tree (8. lurida). The flowers of these appear before the leaves, the brilliant scarlet appearance of the Flame-tree being very striking. Those of the Hattree are less showy. The Kurrajong (š. diversifolia) is a symmetrical, handsome tree, which should be extensively planted. It will stand severe droughts, provided the temperature does not fall very low. If this tree were better known it would be more appreciated. It is one of the very best of our troes for ornamental planting. S. discolor is a tree with plane-like leaves, pale on the under surface and quite ornamental.
Tarrietin argyrodendron, Benth., the “Buyong" or "Ironwood" of the north coast forests, is a handsome tree, with pale undersides to the lanceolate leaves, and scurfy scales on the young shoots and inflorescence.
TILIACEE. Echinocarpus australis, Benth., “ Maiden's Blush,” is a handsome tree of the coast brushes, with fine large leaves and handsome flowers.
Echinocarpus (Sloanea) Woollsii, F.v.M., the “Carabeen,” or “Yellow Carabeen,” is also a fine tree, found in the northern brush forests. It has smaller leaves and flowers than the preceding, and small hedgehog.like
MELIACE E. Melia azedarach, Linn. (or M. composita, Willd.), is the well-known “ White Cedar.”—This deciduous, quick-growing tree is recommended for street-planting, particularly in the drior parts of the Colony. It has neat foliage, and bears a profusion of small lilac flowers. It does well in clay soils.
Dysoxylon Fraserianum, Benth.; the “Rosewood.”—This is a handsome tree, which grows luxuriantly in the warmer coast districts. D. Muelleri, Benth., is a smaller tree, and D. rufum, Benth., is smaller still. They are all handsome in appearance.
Cedrela australis, F. v. M.; the “Red Cedar.”—This is one of our few deciduous trees. It likes rich soil and shelter. It is a really beautiful tree, and should be oftener seen in gardens. It is hardy as far south as the Illawarra.
Flindersia.-Several species of this genus may be deservedly recommended for cultivation. F. australis (the “ Cudgerie” or “Flindosa”) of our northern brush forests, forms a noble tree, which has been recommended for avenues. F. Bennettiana, our “ Bogum-bogum” or “Teak,” may be similarly referred to. F. Oxleyana, F. v. M., sometimes called “Long Jack,” is also well worthy of cultivation.
RHAMNEÆ. Alphitonia excelsa, Reiss., is the well-known “Red Ash.” Usually a small tree, it may attain a large size. The tree prefers fairly rich soil and a moist situation. Its handsome pale-coloured foliage renders it a pleasing tree in a plantation. It prefers the warmer coast districts. Although naturally occurring in the Illawarra, it is occasionally cut down by the frost near Sydney, but it springs up again from the rootstock.
Emmenospermum alphitonioides, F. v. M., is a closely-allied tree, sometimes known under the names of “Dogwood” and “ Jemmy Donnelly.” It flourishes in the same situations (“ brushes”) as the preceding, but the leaves are not so pale, and it also differs botanically.
SAPINDACE.E. Castanospora alphandi, F. v. M.—This is a magnificent tree, found on the northern rivers, apparently in no great abundance. It loves the banks of creeks. Its branches extend nearly to the ground. About midsummer its dense dark foliage is set off by a profusion of obscurely-angled fruits, hanging in clusters of the size and general appearance of peaches. Each fruit contains one to three 'seeds, resembling horse-chestnuts. I direct special attention to this tree.
The Cupanias, Nepheliums, and Ratonias are all intimately related. They are small to medium-sized trees, and are all worth cultivating. Amongst the Cupanias I would specially recommend C. pseudorhus (the finest of the genus, I think, with its beautiful pinnate leaves and densely hirsute capsule), C. serrata, C. nervosa, and O. xylocarpa. The last two are regularly quoted in nurserymen's catalogues, and I suppose the others can be readily obtained,
Ratonia anodonta, Benth.—The ripe, red, subangular fruits of this fine tree have a handsome setting in the rich green foliage. R. pyriformis is also well worthy of cultivation. The Cupanias, Nepheliums, and Ratonias all flourish in the northern brush forests.
Amongst the Nepheliums I would recommend N. tomentosum (quoted in nurserymen's catalogues), N. leiocarpum, and N. Beckleri.
Harpullia pendula, Planch., the “Tulipwood Tree,” is a splendid ever. green tree for the north coast and as far south as Sydney. Its glossy foliage and symmetrical appearance render it a desirable acquisition for plantations. H. alata, F. v. M., with winged petioles, and H. Hillii, F. v. M. (both from the brush forests of the northern rivers), are also well worthy of cultivation.
ANACARDIACEÆ. Rhus rhodanthema, F. v. M., one of the “ Yellow-woods," is a handsome tree with pinnate foliage, and large panicles of individually small red flowers, which are ornamental. It is found in the northern brushes.
LEGUMINOS Æ. Castanospermum australe, A. Cunn., “Bean Tree,” or “Moreton Bay Chestnut." This is one of the best of our native shade-trees, and also one of the handsomest. Allan Cunningham, in announcing its discovery, stated, “ The shade afforded by the whole tree excels any I have hitherto seen in New South Wales.” A drawback to planting it in streets or in school playgrounds arises from the fact that the indigestible chestnut-like seeds would be eaten occasionally by children. It lourishes in the warmer coast districts.
SAXIFRAGEÆ. Ceratopetalum apetalum, D. Don., the “ Coachwood," found in most gullies in the coast districts, is a handsome tree whose foliage resembles that of Schizomeria. Its calyx enlarges like the “ Christmas-bush," but the colour is usually that of a pale purple, and, while very handsome, is not so showy as the inflorescence of the latter plant.
Schizomeria ovata, Don., “ White Cherry," is one of the names this tree goes by, because of the appearance of the fruit. It forms a fine tree, which in general appearance and foliage resembles that of “ Coachwood” (Cerato petalum apetalum) a good deal.
Ackama Muelleri, Benth., the principal “ Corkwood” of the northern forests, is a tree with handsome foliage, and bearing large quantities of graceful though small inflorescence.
Weinmannia Benthami, F.v.M., is a fine tree growing on the northern rivers. It has toothed, lanceolate, rather coriaceous leaves, and neat spikes of flowers.
MYRTACEA. Angophora intermedia, DC., and A. subvelutina, F.v.M. “Rough-barked Apple-trees.” I would place these two trees in the same category as Turpentine as valuable shade-trees. Very large specimens are exceedingly picturesque, and useful withal, as the spreading branches of even one tree give shelter to a large number of cattle.
Syncarpia laurifolia, Ten. The "Turpentine-tree.”- This has been figured in the Gazette for July, 1894. It is one of the best of our indigenous shade-trees. It forms bandsome clumps, and equally handsome single specimens. This is a well-tried tree, and may be freely recommended.
SAPOTACEÆ. Achras australis, R. Br., the “ Black Apple,” is a fine, handsome tree, with shiny oblong leaves, and large purple egg-shaped fruits. It flourishes in the coast brushes.
VERBENACEÆ, Gmelina Leichhardtii, F.v.M., is the well-known “ White Beech."-I am not dealing with economic plants as such, but would recommend this tree to cultivators because of its handsome foliage and beautiful flowers.
· MONIMIACEÆ. Doryphora Sassafras, Endl., is the well-known "Sassafras.”-Under favourable circumstances (moisture, shade, and rich soil), this tree is very handsome. It is shapely, and its leaves are glossy and of a most refreshing green, while both leaves and bark are pleasantly aromatic.
Daphnandra micrantha, Benth., one of the “ Yellow-woods," is a tree closely related to the preceding, and also well worthy of cultivation. .
LAURINEÆ. The genus Cryptocarya includes a number of aromatic evergreen trees, usually of a moderate height, although in their native habitats (the brush forests of the coast districts), they often attain a large size. Half a dozen at least are worthy of cultivation. Neither the flowers nor fruit is conspicuous, but the foliage is of a refreshing green, sometimes pale-coloured underneath, and sometimes prominently veined. Three at least (C. glaucescens, C. australis, and C. obovata), are regularly stocked by the nurserymen.
PROTEACEÆ. Orites excelsa, R. Br., is another “ Silky Oak," whose foliage is not so handsome as that of Grevillea robusta, but it is still ornamental. It is a brush timber, and will flourish in the coast and warmer mountain districts.
Grevillea robusta, R. Br., is the “Silky Oak.”—This well-known, quickgrowing, handsome, umbrageous tree has been recommended for streetplanting in the colonies. Its semi-deciduous character is against it for that purpose, according to some ideas, but it is a tree concerning which any other fault can scarcely be found. Its fern-like foliage is of great beauty, while the tree is hardy if allowed the shelter of other trees. The Silky Oak has been extensively planted in tropical regions. Its orange-coloured blossoms are borne in great profusion, and are much sought after by bees.
G. Hilliana, F.v.M., the “ Yiel Yiel,” or “ White Silky Oak,” is often nearly as large as G. robusta. It is not so ornamental, but it is still well worth cultivating. It has coriaceous leaves, obovate-oblong or elliptical, often pinnatifid, and silvery-silky underneath. It grows on the northern rivers.
URTICEA. Ficus macrophylla, Desf.-" The Moreton Bay Fig” is found on our northern rivers, and is so well known as a shade-tree in many parts of New South Wales that it need only be mentioned. F. rubiginosa is the “Illawarra" or small-leaved fig, a really beautiful species, symmetrical as a mushroom, though the very antithesis of that fungus in point of rapidity of growth. As a specimen tree on a lawn it simply cannot be surpassed. F.eugenioides, with small yellow fruits, is a coast species, and worth cultiFating. Our nurserymen all keep a number of species belonging to this desirable genus.
CUPULIFERE. Fagus Moorei, F.v.M., " Negro-head Beech."_. This tree is found in the well-watered mountainous districts back from the Macleay, Bellinger, &e. It grows in the Sydney Botanic Gardens, and it is a surprise to me that it is not oftener seen, both because of its beauty as a tree (it has very dark green foliage well spread out on many lateral pendulous branches), and because it is the only Fagus or true beech we have, and hence it is of botanical interest.
Acacia and Eucalyptus. As a special case, I propose to treat the whole of the Acacias and Eucalypts together, without subdividing them according to size, as the geners are very large, and they are peculiarly Australian.
AcaciAS OR WATTLES. If the question were to be asked, what group of plants does most to decorate the Australian bush? most people would at once reply, Wattles. It is true that we have hundreds of other ornamental plants, some of which are exceedingly beautiful, and to some of which, as regards single plants or sprays of flowers, the crown of beauty would be awarded before the wattle. Yet, bearing in mind their abundance, their wealth of flowers, their beauty of foliage, their wide distribution, and the prolonged flowering season of one or other of them, wattles bear the palm for the part they take in adorning this bright sunny land. Wattles are of all sizes. There is the dainty little Acacia baueri, no bigger than one's little finger, and others with varying grades of magnitude up to the silver wattle of the southern mountain foresta, 100 feet high and 2 feet in diameter (in Tasmania a silver wattle has been measured nearly 4. feet in diameter), the mountain hickories of the same region 80 feet high and 2 feet in diameter, and the big green or silver wattles of Yalwal Creek with stem girths of 6 ft. 6 in. May I remind my readers for a moment that some of our wattles are not recognised as such in some country districts? For instance, a number of people in the southern districts do not realise that the mountain hickory is a wattle, but think it has something to do with gum-trees, owing to the shape of its leaves (phyllodia). A ready way of distinguishing such wattles (when not in flower) is to crush their leaves in the hand, when they emit no odour of eucalyptus oil.
The term wattle in Australia is practically synonymous with Acacia, or mimosa, as it used to be called the greater part of a century ago, before the latter name was given a restricted signification. Following are a few names applied to Acacias in New South Wales :-Myall, mulga, boree, brigalow, cooba, dead finish, gidgee, hickory, miljee, sally, umbrella bush, wait-a-while, yarran. All the above are names extensively used, and two score of other names applied to wattles in this Colony could be given. The so-called black wattle, which gave its name to a portion of Sydney known as Blackwattle Swamp, is not a wattle at all in the modern acceptation of the term, but a well-known shrub or small tree usually found along watercourses, and known to botanists as Callicoma serratifolia. Wattles are in their full glory during the winter and early spring months. The blackfellows used (and still do in remote parts of Australia) to employ wattle buds as calendars. They would decide on starting certain journeys or undertaking other periodical businesses on the state of development of the wattle buds, for the opening of the first flowers of some species in certain localities takes place with hardly a day's variation from year to year. The following notes on some of our best-known