A specimen of the botany of New Holland/Styphelia tubiflora
PENTANDRIA Monogynia. Fl. inferior, of 1 petal, with seed-vessels.
Cal. imbricated. Cor. tubular. Stam. inserted into its orifice. Drupa of 5 cells, with 2 seeds in each.
IT has lately been a complaint among cultivators of plants, that the vegetable productions of New Holland, however novel and singular, are deficient in beauty. We do not think the censure by any means just in general; and if it were so, the shrub here delineated might atone for a multitude of unattractive ones, by its own transcendent elegance, as well as by its resemblance to the favourite Erica tubiflora. We hope it will one day be introduced into our gardens, and remain a perpetual assertor of the botanical honour of its country.
Our figure is taken from a drawing, obligingly communicated by the late Major Ross, and assisted by very magnificent specimens from Mr. White. This species escaped the observation of Sir Joseph Banks and Dr. Solander, though several others of the same genus, which is an extensive one, were brought to Europe by them, as well as by Dr. Forster. The latter confounded the genus with his Epacris, as did the younger Linnæus after him; a mistake which Gærtner corrected, and called our Styphelia by the name of Ardisia; but that denomination have been previously given to Dr. Swartz and Mr. Aiton to another plant, we adopt Dr. Solander's original name, Styphelia, derived from ςυφελος harsh, hard or firm, expressive of the habit of the whole genus, and indeed of the whole natural order.
This shrub forms a thick bush, two or three feet in height, variously branched, firm and rigid in all its parts; the branches round, downy when young. Leaves scattered, sessile, spreading, of a narrow obovate figure, entire, tipped with a spine, smooth, marked with many parallel veins beneath. Stipulæ none. Flowers about the middle of the branches, axillary, solitary, spreading, on very short, downy flower-stalks, furnished with two or three minute, pungent, downy bracteæ. Calyx imbricated, smooth, striated, pungent; the five innermost leaves lanceolate, nearly equal; the three, four or five outer ones much shorter, broader, and gradually less. Corolla four times as long as the calyx, crimson, tubular, swelling upwards, externally smooth, internally very hairy, especially just above the base; limb in five linear, revolute, hairy segments. Stamina alternate with those segments, and inserted at their base, projecting, simple, smooth; antheræ versatile, incumbent. Germen small, globular, furrowed, smooth, invested at the base with a sort of entire membrane, probably the nectarium of Solander; style capillary, longer than the stamina; stigma small, obscurely notched, smooth. Fruit an oval smooth drupa, which we have only seen half-ripe, but in that state it plainly exhibited the generic character.
EXPLANATION of TAB. XIV.
1. Flower-stalk, bracteæ and calyx. 2. Calyx leaves. 3. A flower opened. 4. A magnified stamen. 5. Germen magnified, with its membrane. 6. Half-ripe fruit of its natural size.
The other species which we have been able with certainty to determine, though we have incomplete specimens, or drawings, of several more, are
Limb of the corolla spreading, very hairy. Clusters axillary, very short, erect. Leaves elliptical, somewhat lanceolate, revolute.
Limb of the corolla spreading, slightly downy. Flowers axillary, solitary. Leaves elliptical, a little concave.
Limb of the corolla revolute, hairy. Clusters aggregate, terminal. Leaves linear-lanceolate.
|Syn.||Epacris||juniperina, Linn. Suppl. 138.|
|fasciculata, Forst. Prod. 13. Gen. 10.|
|Ardisia acerosa, Gærtn. Sem. vol. 2. 78. t. 94. f. 2?|
This in good fair specimens has no resemblance to Juniper, and the term acerosa is applicable to almost every species, as is that of fasciculata likewise to the following. We have therefore been obliged to find a name which might not mislead.
Limb of the corolla spreading, naked. Clusters aggregate, mostly terminal. Leaves elliptical, somewhat lanceolate.
All these species have the leaves tipped with a sharp point, which in S. daphnoides is less pungent that in the rest.