Narrative of an expedition into Central Australia, by Charles Sturt

Botanical appendix Robert Brown, Esq., D.C.L., F.R.S., F.L.S., &c.

My friend, Captain Sturt, having placed at my disposal the Collection of Plants formed in his recent Expedition into the Southern Interior of Australia, I am desirous of giving some account of the principal novelties it contains.

The collection consists of about one hundred species, to which might be added, if they could be accurately determined, many other plants, chiefly trees, slightly mentioned in the interesting narrative, which is about to appear, and to which the present account will form an Appendix. I may also observe, in reference to the limited number of species, that Captain Sturt and his companion, Mr. Brown, seem to have collected chiefly those plants that appeared to them new or striking, and of such the collection contains a considerable proportion.

In regard too to such forms as appear to constitute genera hitherto undescribed, it greatly exceeds the much more extensive herbarium, collected by Sir Thomas Mitchell in his last expedition, in which the only two plants proposed as in this respect new, belong to genera already well established, namely, Delabechia to Brachychiton, and Linschotenia to Dampiera.

In Captain Sturt’s collection, I have been obliged, from the incomplete state of the specimens, to omit several species, probably new, from the following account, in which the plants noticed, chiefly new genera and species, are arranged according to the order of families in the Prodromus of De Candolle.


Cruciferarum genus, prope Matthiolam.

CHAR. GEN. — Calyx clausus, foliolis lateralibus basi saccatis. Petala aequalia, laminis obovatis. Stamina: filamentis edentulis. Ovarium lineare. Stylus brevissimus. Stigma bilobum dilatatum. Siliqua linearis valvis convexiusculis, stigmate coronata, polysperma. Semina aptera pube fibroso-mucosa tecta! Cotyledones incumbentes!

Herba (v. Suffrutex) erecta ramosa canescens, pube ramosa; foliis lato-linearibus remote dentatis; racemis terminalibus.

1. BLENNODIA canescens.

LOC. In arenosis depressis.

DESC. Suffruticosa, sesquipedalis, caule ramisque teretibus. Folia vix pollicaria paucidentata. Racemi multiflori, erecti, ebracteati. Flores albicantes. Calyx incano-pubescens. Petalorum ungues calyce paulo longiores. Stamina 6, tetradynama, filamentis linearibus membranaceis apice sensim angustato.

OBS. This plant has entirely the habit, and in many important points the structure of Matthiola, near which in a strictly natural method it must be placed; differing, however, in having incumbent cotyledons, and in the mucous covering of its seeds. The mucus proceeds from short tubes covering the whole surface of the testa, each containing a spiral fibre, which seems to be distinct from the membrane of the tube. A structure essentially similar is known to occur generally in several families: to what extent or in what genera of Cruciferae it may exist, I have not ascertained; it is not found, however, in those species of Matthiola which I have examined.


Malvacearum genus, proximum Gossypio, affine etiam Senrae.

CHAR. GEN. — Involucrum triphyllum integerrimum. Calyx 5-dentatus, sinubus rotundatis. Petala cuneatoobovata, basi inaequilatera. Columna staminum polyandra. Ovaria 5, polysperma. Styli cohaerentes. Stigmata distincta linearia. Pericarpia . . . Semina . . .

Suffrutex orgyalis glaber; foliis petiolatis obovatis integerrimis; floribus pedunculatis solitariis.

2. STURTIA Gossypioides.

LOC. “In the beds of the creeks on the Barrier Range.”— D. Sturt.

DESC. Suffrutex orgyalis glaber. Folia ramorum alterna, diametro unciali, trinervia; petiolo folium subaequanti, basi in stipulam subscariosam adnatam dilatato. Pedunculi vel potius rami floriferi suboppositifolii nec vere axillares uniflori, juxta apicem folio nano petiolato stipulis 2 distinctis stipato instructi. Involucrum foliaceum venosum, foliolis distinctis, cordatis, punctis nigricantibus glandulosis conspersis. Calyx dentibus acutis, sinubus rotundatis. Petala sesquipollicaria, uti calycis tubus glanduloso-punctata glandulis nigricantibus semi-immersis, purpurea basibus atro purpureis margine barbatis. Columna staminum e basi nuda super ad apicem usque antherifera: antheris reniformibus, loculis apice confluentibus. Pollen hispidum.

OBS. Sturtia is no doubt very nearly related to Gossypium, from which it differs in the entire and distinct leaves of its foliaceous involucrum, in the sharp teeth and broad rounded sinuses of the calyx, and possibly also in its fruit and seeds, which are, however, at present unknown. They agree in the texture and remarkable glands of the calyx, and in the structure of the columna staminum. Senra, which like Sturtia, has the foliola of its three-leaved involucrum distinct and entire, differs from it in having its calyx 5-fid with sharp sinuses, in the absence of glands, in the reduced number of stamina, and in its dispermous ovaria.

3. TRIBULUS (Hystrix) lanatus, foliis 8-10-jugis, fructibus undique tectis spinis subulatis longitudine inaequalibus: majoribus sparsis longitudinem cocci superantibus.

LOC. “In collinis arenosis. Lat. 26 degrees.” D. Sturt.

DESC. Herba diffusa, sericea, incana. Folium majus cuiusque paris 8-10 jugum, foliolis ovatis. Flores magni. Calyxaestivatione leviter imbricata. Petala calyce duplo longiora. Stamina decem, antheris linearibus.

OBS. I. A species nearly related to T. Hystrix, found on the west coast of Australia, or on some of its islands, in the voyage of the Beagle, may be distinguished by the following character. Tribulus (occidentalis) sericeolanatus, foliis suboctojugis, coccis undique dense armatis: spinis omnibus conico-subulatis longitudine invicem aequalibus. These two species differ from all others in the uniform shape of the spines, which equally cover the whole external surface of the fruit.

OBS. II. The American species of the Linnean genus Tribulus are distinguishable from the rest of the published species, by having ten monospermous cocci, by their persistent calyx, and the absence of glands subtending the 5 filaments opposite to the sepals.

This tribe was originally separated as a genus by Scopoli, under the name of Kallstroemia, which has been recently adopted by Endlicher.

Another tribe exists in the intratropical part of the Australian continent, to which, nearly 40 years ago, in the Banksian Herbarium, I gave the generic name of Tribulopis, and which may readily be distinguished by the following characters.


Calyx 5-partitus deciduus. Petala 5. Stamina decem (nunc 5.) Filamenta quinque, sepalis opposita, basi glandula stipata. Ovaria 5, monosperma. Cocci, praeter tubercula 2 v. 4 baseos, laeves.

Herbae annuoe prostratoe; foliis omnibus alternis!

TRIBULOPIS (Solandri.) foliis bi-trijugis, foliolis subovatis inaequilateris, coccis basi quadrituberculatis.

LOC. In ora orientali intratropica Novae Hollandiae prope Endeavour River, anno 1770. D.D. Banks et Solander.

TRIBULOPIS (angustifolia), foliis 3-4 jugis (raro bijugis), foliolis linearibus, tuberculis baseos coccorum abbreviatis.

LOC. Ad fundum sinus Carpentariae annis 1802 et 3. R. Brown.

TRIBULOPIS (pentandra), foliis bijugis, foliolis oblongo-lanceolatis pari superiore duplo majore, floribus pentandris, petalis lanceolatis.

LOC. In insulis juxta fundum sinus Carpentariae anno 1803. R. Brown.

4. CROTALARIA (Sturtii) tomentosa, foliis simplicibus ovalibus utrinque sericeo-tomentosis, petiolis apice geniculatis, racemis terminalibus multifloris.

LOC. “On the top of the ridges in pure sand, from S. Lat. 28 degrees to 26 degrees.” D. Sturt.

DESC. Frutex 2.3-pedalis (D. Sturt). Folia alterna, ovata passim ovalia, obtusa, sesquipollicem longa, utrinque velutina; petiolus teres basi vix crassiore apice curvato. Racemus terminalis; pedicellis approximatis calycem vix aequantibus apice bibracteatis. Flores sesquipollicares. Calyx 5-fidus; laciniis lanceato-linearibus acutis subaequalibus tubum paulo superantibus. Corolla sordide flava, calyce plus duplo major. Vexillum magnum, basi simplici nec auriculata, late ovatum, acutum. Alae vexillo fere dimidio breviores, basi semicordata. Carina longitudine vexilli, acuminata, basi gibbosa, ibique aperta marginibus tomentosis. Stamina 10 diadelpha, simplex et novemfidum. Antherae quinque majores lineares, juxta basin affixae; quinque reliquae ovatae, linearibus triplo breviores, incumbentes. Ovarium lineare, multi-ovulatum. Stylus extra medium et praesertim latere interiore barbatum. Stigma obtusum. Legumen desideratur.

OBS. A species very nearly related to C. Sturtii, having flowers of nearly equal size, and of the same colour and proportion of parts, found in 1818, by Mr. Cunningham, on the north-west coast of Australia, and since in Captains Wickham and Stokes’ Voyage of the Beagle; may be distinguished by the following character:— Crotalaria (Cunninghamii) tomentosa, foliis simplicibus ovali-obovatis utrinque sericeo-tomentosis, petiolis apice curvatis, pedunculis axillaribus unifloris.

5. CLIANTHUS (Dampieri) herbaceus prostratus sericeovillosissimus, foliolis oppositis (rarissime alternis) oblongis passim lineari-oblongis obovatisve, pedunculis erectis scapiformibus, floribus subumbellatis, calycibus 5-fidis sinubus acutis, ovariis (leguminibusque immaturis) sericeis.

Clianthus Oxleyi A. Cunningham in Hort. Soc. Transac. II. series, vol. 1. p. 522.

Donia speciosa Don, Gen. Syst. vol. 2. p. 468.

Clianthus Dampieri Cunningham, loc. cit.

Colutea Novae Hollandiae, &c. Woodward in Dampier’s Voy. vol. 3. p. 111. tab. 4. f. 2.

LOC. “In ascending the Barrier Range near the Darling, about 500 feet above the river.” D. Sturt.

OBS. In July, 1817, Mr. Allan Cunningham, who accompanied Mr. Oxley in his first expedition into the Western Interior of New South Wales, found his Clianthus Oxleyi on the eastern shore of Regent’s Lake, on the River Lachlan. The same plant was observed on the Gawler Range, not far from the head of Spencer’s Gulf by Mr. Eyre in 1839, and more recently by Captain Sturt, on his Barrier Range near the Darling. I have examined specimens from all these localities, and am satisfied that they belong to one and the same species.

In March (not May) 1818, Mr. Cunningham, who accompanied Captain King in his voyages of survey of the coasts of New Holland, found on one of the islands of Dampier’s Archipelago, a plant which he then regarded as identical with that of Regent’s Lake. This appears from the following passage of his MS. Journal:—

“I was not a little surprised to find Kennedya speciosa, (his original name for Clianthus Oxleyi), a plant discovered in July 1817, on sterile bleak open flats, near Regent’s Lake, on the River Lachlan, in lat. 33 degrees 13 minutes S. and long. 146 degrees 40 minutes E. It is not common, I could see only three plants, of which one was in flower. This island is the Isle Malus of the French.” Mr. Cunningham was not then aware of the figure and description in Dampier above referred to, which, however, in his communication to the Horticultural Society in 1834, he quotes for the plant of the Isle Malus, then regarded by him as a distinct species from his Clianthus Oxleyi of the River Lachlan. To this opinion he was probably in part led by the article Donia or Clianthus, in Don’s System of Gardening and Botany, vol. 2. p. 468, in which a third species of the genus is introduced, founded on a specimen in Mr. Lambert’s Herbarium, said to have been discovered at Curlew River, by Captain King. This species, named Clianthus Dampieri by Cunningham, he characterises as having leaves of a slightly different form, but its principal distinction is in its having racemes instead of umbels; at the same time he confidently refers to Dampier’s figure and description, both of which prove the flowers to be umbellate, as he describes those of his Clianthus Oxleyi to be. But as the flowers in this last plant are never strictly umbellate, and as I have met with specimens in which they are rather corymbose, I have no hesitation in referring Dampier’s specimen, which many years ago I examined at Oxford, as well as Cunningham’s, to Clianthus Dampieri. This specimen, however, cannot now be found in his Herbarium, as Mr. Heward, to whom he bequeathed his collections, informs me: nor can I trace Mr. Lambert’s plant, his Herbarium having been dispersed.

Since the preceding observations were written, I have seen in Sir William Hooker’s Herbarium, two specimens of a Clianthus, found by Mr. Bynoe, on the North-west coast of Australia, in the voyage of the Beagle. These specimens, I have no doubt, are identical with Dampier’s plant, and they agree both in the form of leaves and in their subumbellate inflorescence with the plant of the Lachlan, Darling, and the Gawler Range. From the form of the half-ripe pods of one of these specimens, I am inclined to believe that this plant, at present referred to Clianthus will, when its ripe pods are known, prove to be sufficiently different from the original New Zealand species to form a distinct genus, to which, if such should be the case, the generic name Eremocharis may be given, as it is one of the greatest ornaments of the desert regions of the interior of Australia, as well as of the sterile islands of the North west coast.


CHAR. GEN. — Calyx 5-fidus. Petala longitudine subaequalia. Stamina diadelpha: antheroe uniformes; loculis apice confluentibus, valvula contraria ab apice ad basin separanti dehiscentes! Ovarium monospermum. Stylus subulatus. Stigma obtusum. Legumen ovatum, lenticulari-compressum, echinatum.

Herba, v. Suffrutex, glabra, glandulosa; ramulis angulatis. Folia cum impari pinnata; foliolis oppositis, subtus glandulosis. Stipulae parvoe, basi petioli adnatoe. Flores spicati, parvi, albicantes.

OBS. Subgenus forsan Psoraleae, cui habitu simile, foliis calycibusque pariter glandulosis; diversum dehiscentia insolita antherarum!

6. CLIDANTHERA psoralioides.

LOC. Suffrutex bipedalis in paludosis. D. Sturt.

DESC. Herba, vel suffrutex, erecta, bipedalis, glabriuscula. Ramuli angulati. Folia cum impari pinnata, 4-5-juga; foliola opposita, lanceolata, subtus glandulis crebris parvis manifestis, marginibus scabris. Spicae densae, multiflorae. Calyx 5-fidus, parum inaequalis, acutus, extus glandulis dense conspersus. Corolla: Vexillum lamina oblonga subconduplicata nec explanata, basi simplici absque auriculis; ungue abbreviato. Aloe vexillo paulo breviores, carinam aequantes, laminis oblongis, auriculo baseos brevi. Carinoe petala alis conformes. Stamina diadelpha, simplex et novemfidum; antherae subrotundae v. reniformes, valvula ventrali anthera dimidio minore subrotunda. Ovarium hispidum ovulo reniformi. Legumen basi calyce subemarcido cinctum, echinatum. Semen reniforme, absque strophiola; integumento duplici. Embryo viridis; cotyledones obovatae, accumbentes.

OBS. This plant, which in some respects resembles certain species of Glycyrrhiza, appears to be not unfrequent in the southern interior. It was found in one of the early expeditions of Sir Thomas Mitchell, and Mrs. (Capt.) Grey, observed it on the flats of the Murray.

7. SWAINSONA (grandiflora) suffruticosa pubescens, foliis 8-10-jugis inexpansis incano-tomentosis; foliolis oblongis obtusis retusisve: adultis semiglabratis: rachi subincana, racemo multifloro folium superante, bracteolis lanceato-linearibus acutis aequantibus tubum calycis albo lanati quinque fidi: laciniis acutissimis longitudine fere tubi, vexillo bicalloso.

LOC. “Common on the rich alluvial flats of the Murray and Darling.” D. Sturt.

OBS. This plant is, perhaps, not specifically distinct from S. Greyana Lindl. Bot. Regist. 1846, tab. 66, of which the figure is a good representation of S. grandiflora in every respect, except in the form and proportions of the teeth of the calyx and lateral bracteae. In these points it exactly agrees with complete specimens, for which I am indebted to Mrs. Grey, from the banks of the Murray, and Mr. Eyre’s station (Moorundi), about 98 miles from Adelaide, where it was first found in November, 1841. The following characters, if constant, will sufficiently distinguish it from S. grandiflora.

SWAINSONA (Greyana) suffruticosa pubescens, foliis 5-9-jugis inexpansis incano-tomentosis; foliolis oblongis obtusis retusisve: adultis semiglabratis: rachi subincana, racemis multifloris folio longioribus, bracteis lateralibus lanceato-linearibus brevioribus tubo calycis albo-lanati quinque-dentati: dentibus obtusiusculis tubo dimidio brevioribus, vexillo bicalloso.

In the second edition of Hortus Kewensis, (vol. 4. p. 326), I excluded from the generic character of Swainsona the calli of the vexillum, having observed two Australian species where they were wanting, but which in every other respect appeared to me referable to this genus; for the same reason I continue to introduce the calli, where they exist, into the specific characters, as was done in Hortus Kewensis, 1. c. In the generic character of Swainsona, given in De Candolle’s Prodromus, (vol. 2. p. 271), the calli of vexillum are transferred to the calyx; this can only be regarded as an oversight, which perhaps has been corrected by the author himself, and which, so far as I know, has never been adopted in any more recent work in which the generic character of Swainsona is given.

8. SWAINSONA? (laxa) glabra, caule ramoso, foliis 6-7-jugis; foliolis oblongo-ovalibus obtusis, racemis elongatis laxis, pedicellis calyce glabro quinquedentato brevioribus, bracteolis subulatis, vexillo ecalloso.

LOC. Statio nulla indicata, in Herb. D. Sturt.

OBS. There is something in the aspect of this plant not entirely agreeing with the other species of the genus; and as the fruit is unknown, and the flowers yellow, I refer it with a doubt to Swainsona.


CHAR. GEN. — Calyx 5-fidus subaequalis. Vexillum explanatum, callo baseos laminae in unguem decurrenti. Carina obtusa, basin versus gibba, longitudine alarum. Stamina diadelpha; antheris 5 majoribus linearibus, reliquis ovatis. Ovarium polyspermum. Stylus e basi arcuata porrectus, postice barbatus. Legumen compressum.

Herba (Suffrutex sec. D. Sturt), bipedalis sericeo-incana; caule angulato erecto. Folia ternata; foliolis sessilibus, linearibus, obtusis. Flores racemosi, flavi.


LOC. “On sand-hills with Crotalaria Sturtii.” D. Sturt.

DESC. Herba erecta, ramosa, sericeo-incana. Folia alterna, ternata; petiolo elongato, teretiusculo, foliolo terminali longiore vix unciali. Racemi multiflori, erecti; pedicelli subaequantes calycem. Bracteolae subulatae, infra apicem pedicelli, basin calycis attingentes. Calyx 5-fidus; laciniis acutis tubum aequantibus. Corolla flava, calyce plus duplo longior. Vexillum explanatum, basi absque auriculis sed callo in unguem decurrenti ibique barbato auctum. Carina infra medium gibba pro receptione baseos styli. Staminum antherae majores lineares, basi vel juxta basin affixae; 5 minores ovatae, incumbentes. Ovarium lineare, pubescens. Stigma terminale, obtusum. Legumen immaturum incanum, stylo e basi arcuata porrecto terminatum, calyce subemarcido subtensum.

OBS. In the collection of the plants of his last expedition, presented to the British Museum by Sir Thomas Mitchell, there is a plant which seems to belong to the genus Pentadynamis, which is probably, therefore, one of the species of Vigna, described by Mr. Bentham.

10. CASSIA (Sturtii), tomentoso-incana, foliis 4-jugis foliolis lanceolato-linearibus planis: glandula depressa inter par infimum, racemo corymboso paucifloro cum pedunculo suo folium paulo superante v. aequante, calyce tomentoso.

LOC. “In sandy brushes of the Western interior.” D. Sturt.

OBS. Species proxima C. artemisiaefoliae De Cand. Prodr. quae Cassia glaucescens Cunningh. MSS. 1817, cui foliola teretiuscula, et racemus corymbosus cum pedunculo suo folio brevior.

11. CASSIA (canaliculata), cinerascens pube tenuissima, foliis 2-jugis (raro 1-jugis) foliolis angustato-linearibus canaliculatis: glandula inter par inferius et dum unijuga inter terminale, calycibus glabriusculis, racemis corymbosis paucifloris folio brevioribus.

LOC. “In the bed of the creeks of the Barrier Range, about thirty-six miles from the Darling, in lat. 32 degrees S.” D. Sturt.

OBS. Proxima C. eremophilae Cunningh. MSS. quae sequentibus notis a Cassia phyllodinea et C. zygophylla, Benth. facile distinguenda.

CASSIA (eremophila), glabra, foliis unijugis raro passim bijugis; foliolis linearibus canaliculatis latitudine racheos linearis aversae, corymbis paucifloris folio brevioribus.

LOC. In desertis prope fluvium Lachlan, anno 1817, detexit. D. Cunningham.

CASSIA (zygophylla), glabra foliis unijugis; foliolis linearibus planis rachi duplo latioribus, corymbis paucifloris folio brevioribus.

Cassia zygophylla, Benth. in Mitch. trop. Austr. p. 288.

Another species nearly related to C. zygophylla is readily distinguished by the following character.

CASSIA (platypoda), glabra, foliis unijugis; foliolis linearibus apiculo recurvo duplo angustioribus rachi aversa lanceolato-lineari.

LOC. Juxta fluvium Murray, anno 1841, detexit Domina Grey.

12. CASSIA (phyllodinea), canescens pube arctissime adpressa, phyllodiis aphyllis linearibus planis falcatis aversis, calycibus glabris, legumine plano-compresso.

LOC. In Herbario D. Sturt specimen exstat nulla stationis aut loci indicatione, sed eandem speciem ad fundum sinus Spencer’s gulf dicti in sterilibus apricis anno 1802 legi.

DESC. Frutex quadripedalis, ramosissimus. Phyllodia semper aphylla, aversa, linearia, acuta, basi attenuata, plus minusve falcato-incurva, biuncialia, 1/16 circiter unciae lata, exstipulata, paginis pube arctissime adpressa canescentibus, margine superiore glandula unica depressa obsoleta. Flores flavi, in umbella axillari 2-3 flora.

OBS. Cassia phyllodinea is one of the very few species of the genus, which, like the far greater part of New Holland Acaciae lose their compound leaves, and are reduced to the footstalk, or phyllodium, as it is then called, and which generally becomes foliaceous by vertical compression and dilatation. A manifest vertical compression takes place in this species of Cassia.

A second species, Cassia circinata of Benth. in Mitch. trop. Austr. p. 384, is equally reduced to its footstalk, but which is without manifest vertical compression. To this species may perhaps be referred Cassia linearis of Cunningham MS., discovered by him in 1817, but which appears to differ in having a single prominent gland about the middle of its phyllodium: Bentham’s plant being entirely eglandular.

These two, or possibly three species, belong to the desert tracts of the South Australian interior. In the same regions we have another tribe of Cassiae closely allied to the aphyllous species; they have only one pair of foliola which are caducous, and whose persistent footstalk is more or less vertically compressed. Along with these, and nearly related to them, are found several species of Cassia, having from two to four or five pairs of foliola which are narrow, but their footstalks are without vertical compression, and their foliola are caducous, chiefly in those, however, which have only two pairs.


Caesalpinearum genus, Labicheae proximum.

CHAR. GEN. — Calyx 5-phyllus, aequalis. Petala 5 subaequalia, patentia. Stamina: Filamenta quinque sepalis opposita, quorum tria antherifera, antheris basifixis linearibus, duo reliqua castrata. Ovarium oligospermum. Stylus maximus, petaloideus, trilobus, lobo medio longiore axi incrassata desinente in stigma obtusum simplex!

Frutex glaber, erectus. Folia alterna, pinnata cum impari, foliolis alternis. Racemi axillares, pauciflori. Flores flavi.

13. PETALOSTYLIS Labicheoides.

LOC. “In the bed of a creek along with Sturtia.” D. Sturt.

OBS. Eadem omnino species exstat inter plantas in Insulis Archipelagi Dampieri juxta oram septentrio-occidentalem Novae Hollandiae in itinere navis Beagle dictae lectas.

DESC. Frutex facie fere Cassiae et Labicheae. Folia alterna, cum impari pinnata, foliolis alternis brevissime petiolatis oblongolanceolatis cum mucronulo terminali paulo majore. Stipulae parvae caducae. Racemi pauciflori, axillares, folio breviores. Alabastrum ovali-oblongum acutiusculum. Calyx viridis, sepalis subaequalibus oblongis acutis, aestivatione imbricatis. Petala quinque subaequalia, oblonga, flava aestivatione imbricata, sepalis sesquilongiora. Stamina 3 antherifera aequalia, filamentis abbreviatis, antheris acutis bilocularibus, loculis sulco longitudinali insculptis; 2 reliqua rudimenta parva subfiliformia. Ovarium sessile, lineare, 3-4-spermum. Stylus lobo medio triplo longiore, oblongo-lanceolato, lobis lateralibus auriculiformibus semiovatis obtusis. Stigma imberbe.

OBS. The structure of the style, which forms the only important character of this genus, so far as the specimens enable me to judge, is so remarkable and peculiar, as to render it necessary to state, that I have found it quite uniform in all the flowers I have examined; namely, in four immediately before, and in three after expansion.


CHAR. GEN. — Involucrum imbricatum, foliolis angustis acutis. Liguloe pluriseriales, angustissimae, femineae. Flosculi pauciores hermaphrodito-masculi. Ligularum pappo capillari, stipitato, denticulato. Receptaculum epaleatum.

Herba humilis, setosa; caule dense, foliato; folia petiolata, cuneata, incisa, setis albis conspersa.

14. PODOCOMA cuneifolia.

LOC. In Herbario D. Sturt absque ulla indicatione loci vel stationis.

OBS. This plant appears to be generically distinct from Erigeron, particularly in its stipitate pappus. The specimens, however, are so incomplete, that I am unable to determine whether what I have considered stem, may not be a branch only.


CHAR. GEN. — Calyx 5-partitus. Corolla urceolata; tubo intus imberbi; fauce annulo integerrimo incrassata. Corona staminea 5-phylla, foliolis antheris oppositis, iisque brevioribus, indivisis. Antheroe membrana (brevi) terminatae. Massoe Pollinis erectae basi affixae. Stigma vix divisum.

Suffrutex volubilis; foliis linearibus, fascicularibus, extraalaribus; folliculis ventricosis ovato-oblongis.

15. LEICHHARDTIA australis.

Doubah Mitchell, trop. Austr. p. 85.

LOC. “Common on the Murray and in the interior.” D. Sturt.

DESC. Suffrutex pubescens, subcinereus; ramis striatisnec omnino teretibus. Folia sesquipollicaria, linearia, acuta. Fasciculi multiflori. Calycis foliola obtusa, pube tenui cinerascentia. Corolla glabra; tubo absque squamulis denticulisve, ventricoso; limbovix longitudine tubi, laciniis conniventibus sinistrorsum imbricatis. Coronae foliola e basi dilatata adnata linearia, indivisa. Massae Pollinis (Pollinia) lineares.

OBS. Doubah was originally found by Sir T. Mitchell, but with fruit only, in one of his journeys, and also in his last expedition; and, according to him, the natives eat the seed-vessel entire, preferring it roasted. Captain Sturt, on the other hand, observes, that the natives of the districts where he found it, eat only the pulpy seed-vessel, rejecting the seeds.

16. JASMINUM lineare. Br. prodr. 1. p. 521.

Jasminum Mitchellii. Lindl. in Mitch. trop. Austr. p. 365.

OBS. In Captain Sturt’s collection there are perfect specimens of this plant, on which a few remarks may be here introduced, chiefly referring to its very general existence in the sterile regions of the interior of Southern Australia, and even extending to the north-west eoast.

The species was established on specimens which I collected in 1802, in the sterile exposed tract at the head of Spencer’s Gulf. With these I have compared and found identical Mr. A. Cunningham’s specimens gathered in the vicinity of the Lachlan, in 1817; Captain Sturt’s, in his earlier expeditions, from the Darling; those of Sir Thomas Mitchell, in his different journeys; and specimens collected in one of the islands of Dampier’s Archipelago. In this great extent of range, it exactly agrees with a still more remarkable plant, and one much less likely to belong to a desert country, namely, Clianthus Dampieri.

I have considered Jasminum Mitchellii as hardly a variety of J. lineare, the character of this supposed species depending on its smooth leaves, and its axillary nearly sessile corymbi or fasciculi, which are much shorter than their subtending leaves; but even in the specimen contained in the collection presented to the British Museum by Sir Thomas Mitchell, the young branches, as well as the pedunculus and pedicelli, are covered with similar pubesceuce, and in the same degree as that of J. lineare; the specimens from Dampier’s Archipelago have leaves equally smooth, but have the inflorescence of J. lineare; and I have specimens of J. lineare in which, with the usual pubescence of that species, the inflorescence is that of Mitchellii. Among Sir Thos. Mitchell’s collection at the Museum, there is a Jasminum not noticed by Professor Lindley, which, though very nearly related to J. lineare, and possibly a variety only, may be distinguished by the following character.

Jasminum (micranthum) cinereo-pubescens, foliis ternatis; foliolis lanceato-linearibus, pedunculis axillaribus 1-3 floris, corollae laciniis obtusis dimidio tubi brevioribus.

17. GOODENIA (cycloptera) ramosissima pubescens, foliis radicalibus serrato-incisis; caulinis lanceolato-ellipticis obsolete serratis in petiolum attenuatis, pedunculis axillaribus unifloris folia subaequantibus, seminibus orbiculatis membrana angusta cinctis.

LOC. Indicatio nulla stationis in Herb. D. Sturt.

18. SCAEVOLA (depauperata), erecta ramosissima, ramis alternis; ultimis oppositis divaricatis, foliis minimis sublinearibus: ramorum alternis ramulorum oppositis, pedunculis e dichotomiis ramulorum solitariis unifloris.

LOC. “In salt ground, in lat. 26 degrees S.” D. Sturt.

DESC. Herbacea, vix suffruticosa, adulta glabriuscula, erecta, ramosissima. Rami ramulique angulati; ultimi oppositi, indivisi, divaricati, apice diphylli, foliis minimis et rudimento minuto floris abortivi. Folia sessilia, linearia, acuta, brevissima, ramos subtendentia alterna, ramulos ultimos brachiatos opposita. Pedunculi e dichotomiis ramulorum ultimorum penultimorumque solitarii, uniflori, ebracteati. Calyx: limbo supero quinquepartito; laciniis lineari-lanceatis, aequalibus, pubescentibus. Corolla: tubo hinc ad basin usque fisso; limbo unilabiato, 5-partito; laciniis lanceolatis, aequalibus, marginibus angustis induplicatis, extus uti tubus pubescentibus, intus glabris trinerviis, nervo medio venoso. Stamina: filamenta distincta, anguste linearia, glabra, axi incrassata; antherae liberae, lineares, imberbes, basi affixae, loculis longitudinaliter dehiscentibus. Ovarium biloculare? loculis monospermis, ovulis erectis. Stylus cylindraceus, glaber. Stigmatis indusium margine ciliatum et extus pilis copiosis longis strictis acutis albis tectum v. cinctum.

19. EREMOPHILA (Cunninghamii) arborescens, foliis alternis linearibus mucronulo recurvo, sepalis fructus unguiculatis eglandulosis, corolla extus glabra.

Eremophila? arborescens, Cunningh. MSS. 1817.

Eremodendron Cunninghami, De Cand. prodr. xi. p. 713.

Delessert ic. select. vol. v. p. 43. tab. 100. (ubi error in num. ovulorum.)

LOC. “In the sandy brushes of the low western interior, not beyond lat. 29 degrees S.” D. Sturt.

OBS. The genus Eremophila was founded on very unsatisfactory materials, namely, on two species, E. oppositifolia and alternifolia, which I found growing in the same sandy desert at the head of Spencer’s Gulf in 1802, the only combining character being the scariose calyx, which I inferred must have been enlarged after flowering. This, however, proves not to be the case in E. alternifolia, which Mrs. Grey has found in flower towards the head of St. Vincent’s Gulf: and from analogy with other species since discovered, it probably takes place only in a slight degree in E. oppositifolia, whose expanded flowers have not yet been seen.

In 1817, Mr. Cunningham, in Oxley’s first expedition, discovered a third and very remarkable species in flower and unripe fruit, which he referred, with a doubt, to Eremophila, and which M. Alphonse De Candolle has recently separated, but as it seems to me on very insufficient grounds, with the generic name of Eremodendron, established entirely on Mr. Cunningham’s specimens. A fourth species has lately been described by Mr. Bentham, in Sir Thos. Mitchell’s narrative of his Journey into Tropical Australia; and some account of a fifth is given in the following article.

These five species may be arranged in four sections, distinguished by the following characters:

a. Folia opposita; sepala unguiculata. Eremophila oppositifolia. Br. prodr. 1. p. 518.

b. Folia alterna; sepala unguiculata, eglandulosa; antherae exsertae.

E. Cunninghamii.

c. Folia alterna; sepala breve unguiculata, eglandulosa; stamina inclusa.

Eremophila Mitchelli. Benth. in Mitch. trop. Austr. p. 31. Eremophila Sturtii.

d. Folia alterna glanduloso-tuberculata, sepala cuneato-obovata, sessilia, glandulosa.

E. alternifolia. Br. prodr. i. p. 518.

This last species might be separated from Eremophila; it is not however referable to Stenochilus, with some of whose species it nearly agrees in corolla, but from all of which it differs in its glandular scariose calyx.

20. EREMOPHILA (Sturtii), pubescens, foliis anguste linearibus apiculo recurvo, corollis extus pubescentibus limbo intus barbato, staminibus inclusis.

LOC. “On the Darling; flowers purplish, sweet-scented.” D. Sturt.

DESC. Frutex orgyalis (D. Sturt.). Calyx 5-partitus, aequalis; sepalis obovato-oblongis, basi angustioribus sed in unguem vix attenuatis, membranaceis, uninerviis, venosis. Corolla bilabiata, tubo amplo recto, labiis obtusis, extus pubescens, intus hinc (inferius) barbata. Labium superius tripartitum; lobo medio bifido (e duobus conflato); laciniis omnibus obtusis; inferius obcordatum bilobum lobis rotundatis, densius barbatum. Stamina quatuor didynama, omnino inclusa. Filamenta glabra. Antherae reniformes, loculis apice confluentibus. Ovarium dense lanatum. Stylus glaber. Stigma indivisum, apice styli vix crassius.

OBS. Species proxima E. Mitchelli Benth. in Mitch. Trop. Austr. p. 31.

21. STENOCHILUS longifolius. Br. prodr. i. p. 517. Stenochilus pubiflorus. Benth. in Mitch. trop. Aust. p. 273. Stenochilus salicinus. Benth. in Mitch. trop. Austr. p. 251.

LOC. Nulla stationis indicatio.

22. STENOCHILUS maculatus, Ker in Bot. Regist. tab. 647. Cunningh. MSS. 1847.

b Stenochilus curvipes. Benth. in Mitch. trop. Austr. p. 221. Varietas S. maculati, sepalorum acumine paulo breviore.

OBS. M. Alphonse De Candolle, in Prodr. xi. p. 715. refers S. ochroleucus of Cunningh. MSS. 1817, as a variety to S. maculatus; it is however very distinct, having a short erect peduncule like that of S. glaber, to which it is much more nearly related, differing chiefly in its being slightly pubescent.

23. GREVILLEA (EUGREVILLEA) Sturtii, foliis indivisis (nonnullis raro bifidis) auguste linearibus elongatis uninerviis: marginibus arcte revolutis, racemis oblongis cylindraceisve: rachi pedicellis perianthiisque inexpansis glutinoso-pubescentibus, ovario sessili, stylo glabro.

LOC. “On sand-hills in lat. 27 degrees S.” D. Sturt.

DESC. Arbor 15-pedalis (Sturt.) Rami teretes, pube arcte adpressa persistenti incani. Folia 6-10-pollices longa, vix tres lineas lata, subter pubescentia incana, super tandem glabrata. Thyrsus terminalis, 2-4 uncialis, rachi pedicellisque pube erecta nec appressa secretione glutinosa intermista. Flores aurantiaci.

OBS. In the collection presented to the British Museum by Sir Thomas Mitchell, of the plants of his last expedition, there is a very perfect specimen, in flower, of Grevillea Sturtii.

The following observations respecting the Grevilleae of the same collection may not be without interest.

Grevillea Mitchellii, Hooker, in Mitch. Trop. Austr. p. 265, proves to be Gr. Chrysodendron, prodr. fl. Nov. Holl. p. 379, the specific name of which was not derived from the colour of the under surface of the leaves, which is, indeed, nearly white, but from the numerous orange-coloured racemes, rendering this tree conspicuous at a great distance.

Grevillea longistyla and G. juncea of the same narrative, both belong to that section of the genus which I have named Plagiopoda.

A single specimen, in most respects resembling Gr. longistyla, of which possibly it may be a variety, but which at least deserves notice, has all its leaves pinnatifid, instead of being undivided. It may be distinguished by the following character:— Grevillea (Plagiopoda) neglecta, foliis pinnatifidis subtus niveis; laciniis linearibus, stylis glabris.

A single specimen also exists of Grevillea (or Hakea) lorea, prodr. flor. Nov. Holl. p. 380, but without fructification.

24. GREVILLEA (CYCLOPTERA?) lineata, foliis indivisis lineari-ens formibus enerviis subter striis decem paucioribus elevatis uniformibus interstitia bis-terve latitudine superantibus, cicatrice insertionis latiore quam longa utrinque obtusa, racemis terminalibus alternis, pistillis semuncia brevioribus stigmate conico.

LOC. “It takes the place of the gum-tree (Eucalyptus) in the creeks about lat. 29 degrees 30 minutes S.” D. Sturt.

OBS. It is difficult to distinguish this species, which, according to Captain Sturt, forms a tree about 20 feet in height, from Grevillea striata. I have endeavoured to do so in the above specific difference, contrasted with which the leaves of G. striata have always more than 10 striae, which are hardly twice the breadth of the pubescent interstices, and the cicatrices of whose leaves are longer than broad, and more or less acute, both above and below. This is a source of character which in the supplement to the Prodr. Florae Novae Hollandiae, I have employed in a few cases both in Grevillea and Hakea, but which I believe to be important, as it not only expresses a difference of form, but also in general of vascular arrangement.

25. PTILOTUS (latifolius) capitulis globosis, bracteis propriis calycem superantibus, foliis ovatis petiolatis.

LOC. “In lat. 26 degrees S.”— D. Sturt.

DESC. Herba diffusa, ramosa, incana. Folia alterna, petiolata, lateovata, integerrima. Capitula ramos terminantia, solitaria vel duo approximata. Bracteae laterales scariosae, sessiles, late ovatae, enerviae. Perianthium; foliolis subaequalibus, lana implexa alba basi tectis, ante expansionem ungue nervoso tunc brevissimo, post anthesin laminam scariosam enervem fere aequante. Stamina 5 antherifera; filamenta basi in cyathulum edentulum connata. Antherae biloculares, loculis utrinque distinctis medio solum conjunctis. Ovarium monospermum, glabrum. Stylus filiformis, glaber. Stigma capitatum, parvum. Utriculus evalvis, ruptilis.

OBS. I was at first inclined to consider this plant as a genus distinct from Ptilotus, more, however, from the remarkable difference in habit than from any important distinction in the flower, for its character would have chiefly consisted in the great size of its lateral bracheae, and in the form of its antherae.

In a small collection formed during the voyage of Captains Wickham and Stokes, there is a plant very nearly related to, and perhaps not specifically distinct from Ptilotus latifolius, but having narrower leaves. It was found on one of the islands of Dampier’s Archipelago.

26. NEURACHNE (paradoxa) glaberrima, culmo dichotomo, foliis rameis abbreviatis, fasciculis paucifloris, glumis perianthiisque imberbibus valvula exteriore cujusve floris septemnervia.

LOC. Nulla indicatio loci v. stationis, in Herbario. D. Sturt.

DESC. Gramen junceum, facie potius Cyperaceae cujusdam. Folia radicalia in specimine unico viso defuere; ramos subtendentia abbreviata, vagina aperta ipsum folium superante; floralia subspathiformia sed foliacea nec membranacea. Fasciculi pauciflori: spiculae cum pedunculo brevissimo articulatae et solubiles, et subtensae bractea nervosa carinata ejusdem circiter longitudinis. Gluma bivalvis biflora, nervosa, acuta, mutica; valvulae subaequales septemnerviae; exterioris nervis tribus axin occupantibus sed distinctis reliquis per paria a marginibus et axilibus subaequidistantibus; interioris nervis aequidistantibus, externis margine approximatis. Perianthium inferius (exterius), bivalvis, neuter; valvula exterior septemnervis, exteriori glumae similis textura forma et longitudine; valvula interior (superior) angustior pauloque brevior, dinervis, nervis alatis marginibus veris latis induplicatis. Perianthium superius hermaphroditum, paulo brevius, pergamineo-membranaceum, nervis dilute viridibus; valvula exterior quinquenervis, acuta, concava; interior ejusdem fere longitudinis, dinervis. Stamina 3, filamentis linearibus. Ovarium oblongum, imberbe. Styli duo. Stigmata plumosa, pallida?

OBS. Neurachne paradoxa, founded on a single specimen, imperfect in its leaves and stem, but sufficiently complete in its parts of fructification, differs materially in habit from the original species, N. alopeuroides, as well as from N. Mitchelliana of Nees, while these two species differ widely from each other in several important points of structure.

* * * * *

In undertaking to give some account of the more remarkable plants of Captain Sturt’s collection, it was my intention to have entered in some detail into the general character of the vegetation of the interior of Australia, south of the Tropic.

I am now obliged to relinquish my original intention, so far as relates to detail, but shall still offer a few general remarks on the subject.

These remarks will probably be better understood, if I refer, in the first place, to some observations published in 1814, in the Botanical Appendix to Captain Flinders’s Voyage.

From the knowledge I then had of New Holland, or Australian vegetation, I stated that its chief peculiarities existed in the greatest degree in a parallel, included between 33 degrees and 35 degrees S. lat. which I therefore called the principal parallel, but that these peculiarities or characteristic tribes, were found chiefly at its western and eastern extremities, being remarkably diminished in that intermediate portion, included between 133 degrees and 138 degrees, E. long. These observations related entirely to the shores of Australia, its interior, being at that period altogether unknown; and the species of Australian plants, with which I was then acquainted, did not exceed 4200. Since that time great additions have been made to the number, chiefly by Mr. Allan Cunningham, in his various journeys from Port Jackson, and on the shores of the North and North-west coasts during the voyages of Captain King whom he accompanied; by Messrs. William Baxter, James Drummond, and M. Preiss, at the western extremity of the principal parallel, and by Mr. Ronald Gunn in Van Diemen’s Land. It is probable that I may be considered as underrating these additions, when I venture to state them as only between two and three thousand; and that the whole number of Australian plants at present known, does not exceed, but rather falls short of 7000 species.

These additions, whatever their amount may be, confirm my original statement respecting the distribution of the characteristic tribes of the New Holland Flora; some additional breadth might perhaps be given to the principal parallel, and the extent of the peculiar families may now be stated as much greater at or near its western, than at its eastern extremity.

With the vegetation of the extra-tropical interior of Australia, we are now in some degree acquainted, chiefly from the collections formed by the late Mr. Allan Cunningham, and Charles Fraser, in Oxley’s two expeditions from Port Jackson into the western interior, in 1817 and 1818; from Captain Sturt’s early expeditions, in which the rivers Darling, Murrumbidgee, and Murray, were discovered; from those of Sir Thomas Mitchell, who never failed to form extensive collections of plants of the regions he visited; and lastly, from Captain Sturt’s present collection.

The whole number of plants collected in these various expeditions, may be estimated at about 700 or 750 species; and the general character of the vegetation, especially of the extensive sterile regions, very nearly resembles that of the heads of the two great inlets of the south coast, particularly that of Spencer’s Gulf; the same or a still greater diminution of the characteristic tribes of the general Australian Flora being observable. Of these characteristic tribes, hardly any considerable proportion is found, except of Eucalyptus, and even that genus seems to be much reduced in the number of species; of the leafless Acaciae, which appear to exist in nearly their usual proportion; and of Callitris and Casuarina. The extensive families of Epacrideae, Stylideae, Restiaceae, and the tribe of Decandrous Papilionaceae, hardly exist, and the still more characteristic and extensive family of Proteaceae is reduced to a few species of Grevillea, Hakea, and Persoonia.

Nor are there any extensive families peculiar to these regions; the only characteristic tribes being that small section of aphyllous, or nearly aphyllous Cassiae, which I have particularly adverted to in my account of some of the species belonging to Captain Sturt’s collection; and several genera of Myoporinae, particularly Eremophila and Stenochilus. Both these tribes appear to be confined to the interior, or to the two great gulfs of the South coast, which may be termed the outlets or direct continuation of the southern interior; several of the species observed at the head of Spencer’s Gulf, also existing in nearly the same meridian, several degrees to the northward. It is not a little remarkable that nearly the same general character of vegetation appears to exist in the sterile islands of Dampier’s Archipelago, on the North-west coast, where even some of the species which probably exist through the whole of the southern interior are found; of these the most striking instances are, Clianthus Dampieri, and Jasminum lineare, and to establish this extensive range of these two species was my object in entering so minutely into their history in the preceding account.

A still greater reduction of the peculiarities of New Holland vegetation, takes place in the islands of the South coast.

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