A specimen of the botany of New Holland/Embothrium sericeum

Embothrium sericeum (Sowerby).jpg

EMBOTHRIUM sericeum.

Silky Embothrium.


Spec. Char. E. foliis ternatis integerrimis revolutis subtus sericeis, spica recurva, fructu tuberculato glabro.
Leaves ternate, entire, revolute, silky beneath. Spike recurved. Fruit tuberculated, not downy.

THIS shrub is said to form a bush four to five feet in height. Our knowledge of it is entirely from dried specimens and drawing, for it has not yet been raised from any seeds brought to Europe. In New South Wales it should seem to be not uncommon, flowering in October.

The root is perennial, thick and woody. Stem very much branched even from the bottom, round, the younger branches angular, and clothed with fine silky down, as are likewise the flower-stalks, corollæ, and backs of the leaves. The leaves are for the most part ternate, covering the branches without any order, nearly sessile, the uppermost, or those which grow on the weaker branches, being simple. Their form is mostly elliptical, sometimes linear, always tipped with a minute very sharp point, entire, revolute, three-nerved, and veiny, the lateral nerves running in a very peculiar manner very near the margin and along the sharp edge made by its being turned in; upper surface bright green, smooth, and naked. Stipulæ none. Spikes terminal, solitary, short and dense, recurved, simple. Flowers on shortish, alternate, solitary, simple footstalks, all directed upwards, without bracteæ or involucra. Corolla rose-coloured, silky without, clothed partly with very dense erect hairs within, and split about half way down into four segments. Antheræ small, yellowish, sessile in the hollow tips of the corolla, as in other species of this genus. Germen oval, green; style smooth, red; stigma hemisphærical, smooth. Follicle oval, black, tuberculated, destitute of hair or down, brown within. Seeds two, flattish, attached by a very short wing to the upper end of the follicle.

There are three very remarkable varieties of this species, viz.

α minor. This is its most frequent appearance, and is what we have principally represented in the figure. β major. In all its parts twice as large, and somewhat less silky.

γ angustifolia. With very long and linear leaves, and flowers like var. α.

From the most attentive consideration it appears these, however different in appearance and even in the figure of their leaves, are really not specifically distinct.}}


1. A branch of var. α 2. A Flower. 3. Half-ripe Fruit. 4. A Seed. 5. Leaves of var. β. 6. Ditto of γ.