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sound, -no white ants at all about them. The railway was abandoned over ten years ago.” Mr. Pettigrew's opinion (written in 1877), is, however, not favourable as to this timber. “This timber is of no account for sawing, as it twists and gets uneven in drying."
Size._" Generally about 3 to 4 feet in diameter; exceptionally up to 7 or 8 feet; height up to 120 or 130 feet.” (Mr. Forester Rudder, Booral.)
“ Up to 150 feet, with diameter of 5 feet.” (Mr. Forester Brown, Port Macquarie.)
“ Height, 150 feet; diameter, 3 feet.” (Mr. Forester MacDonald, Kempsey.) " 40 to 50 feet.” (Mr. Forester Green, Casino.)
" The trees grow to an average height of 120 feet, with an average dia. meter of 2 feet 6 inches." (Mr. Forester Pope, Murwillumbah.)
Distribution.-In our own Colony it is found from Port Stephens to the Tweed, and, within the coast range, it is plentiful in open forests, as well as in brushes. It is very plentiful from Port Stephens to the Clarence, being usually found in mountain brushes near water-courses, and in gullies near and on the coast, and less frequently in the open forest. About the Tweed, however, it usually grows on the crests of forest ridges, its presence usually indicating poorness of soil and rough country. Further south its presence is usually a sign of good soil. It extends to Queensland and right into Northern Australia. The Hon. W. Pettigrew says: “It is plentiful on the ridges near Brisbane, but is of no great size. It grows in the scrubs near Double Island Point, and in similar places up Moggill Creek, and in these places it is a tall, straight, solid tree.”
Propagation. From seed, which is very plentifully produced. The brush box is a valuable tree for street or ornamental planting in the warmer parts of the Colony. In some suburbs of Sydney, for instance, it has been largely used for planting in boulevards. It is evergreen, and it has glossylooking, handsome foliage, is shapely, grows rapidly, will stand a good deal of ill-usage, and adapts itself to a poor soil better than most trees.
Allies.-There are eight other Tristanias found in Australia, three of which occur in this Colony. Besides these, there are two in New Caledonia, and at least four in the Indian Archipelago.
Reference to plate :-(a), individual flower; (B), individual fruit.
No. 21.—THE MARGINAL-LEAVED PANIC GRASS (Panicum
marginatum, R. Br.) Pernacular Name. I know of none, but, in order to distinguish it from the large number of other panic grasses, the half-botanical half-vernacular name given is suggested.
Botanical Name.—Panicum, Latin for a millet-like grain, probably the product of a grass belonging to this genus. Marginatum, Latin margined, referring to the leaves, which are prominently margined (showing a pale edge or margin).
Botanical Description (Flora Australiensis, vol. VII, p. 485).--A rather slender, but often rigid grass, decumbent, branching, and often rooting at the base, ascending to 1 foot or more, glabrous except the cilia at the orifice of the sheaths, and the rhachis of the inflorescence often slightly pubescent.
Leaves flat, usually narrow, but exceedingly variable in size.
spreading simple or slightly divided branches.
row, ovoid, obtuse, or scarcely acute, about 14 lines long. Outer glume very thin, not one-third the length of the spikelet, one-nerved, or
faintly three-nerved. 2nd and 3rd glume nearly equal and similar, both empty, membranous, three or five
nerved, glabrous. Fruiting glume rather shorter, slightly hardened, and densely silky-pubescent or
villous, as well as the exposed part of the palea. There is also a variety strictum, described by Bentham in the following words :
“Stems slender, rigid, much branched, with very short narrow leaves, the panicle narrow, very little branched, and sometimes reduced to a simple uninterrupted spike."
Bentham states, subsequently: "Some specimens seem to show that the var. strictum is rather an after-growth from plants that have been cut down than a distinct variety."
Whether extended observations should confirm that the cause is cutting down by man or herbivorous animals, I would add that I have specimens which show various stages between the normal species and the so-called variety. At the same time, I think it would be convenient to retain the name for the variety, as extreme forms of the species are very dissimilar in appearance.
As Bentham emphasises, the species is readily known by the dense pubescence of the fruiting glume, which has not been observed in any other Panicum. Neglect of observatiun vi this characteristic may cause the student to stumble, as some other grasses resemble this one a good deal in general appearance.
Bentham describes a coarse-growing variety of this species (majus) which is found in Queensland, and might be looked for in the northern parts of this Colony. “The stems are tall, with broad leaves 6 inches long, the lower branches of the panicle 3 or 4 inches, and the spikelets above 1 lines long.”
Palue as Fodder.—Though not a grass of the first rank as a fodder-plant, I believe its value has sometimes been understated. I have seen cattle eat it many a time; nevertheless, as it gets old, it becomes harsh and fibrous, and less acceptable to herbivorous animals, particularly where occurring in dry rocky places. On the northern rivers it is less succulent than further south, say from Port Jackson to Gippsland. Its decumbent joint-rooting habit renders it sometimes serviceable to form a first growth of grass on newly. made ground.
Habitat and Range.—This grass is confined to the three eastern Colonies, extending from Eastern Gippsland as far as the southern parts of North Queensland. It is confined to the coast and coast-mountain districts, not extending far inland. Baron von Mueller records it from as far west as New England in this Colony.
Reference to Plate :--A and B, portions of a panicle variously enlarged. c, spikelet, showing relative size of outer glume. D, spikelet dissected, showing outer glumee, silky, pubescent fruiting glume and palia. E, front and back views of seed (grain). Ali variously magnified.