The miscellaneous botanical works of Robert Brown/Volume 1/Botanical appendix to Captain Sturt's Expedition into Central Australia







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 Pro- [67 dromus of De Candolle.


Cruciferarum genus, prope Matthiolam.

Char. Gen.Calyx clausus, foliolis lateralibus basi saccatis. Petala æqualia, 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 remotè 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 Cruciferæ 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 Senræ.

Char. Gen.Involucrum triphyllum integerrimum. Calyx 5-dentatus, sinubus rotundatis. Petala cuneato-obovata, basi inæquilatera. Columna staminum polyandra. Ovaria 5, polysperma. Styli cohærentes. 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 subæquanti, basi in stipulam subscariosam adnatam dilatato. Peduuculi vel potius rami floriferi suboppositifolii nee verè 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 atropurpureis 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 in- [69 volucrum 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 inæqualibus: majoribus sparsis longitudinem cocci superantibus.

Loc. "In collinis arenosis. Lat. 26°." D. Sturt.

Desc. Herba diffusa, sericea, incana. Folium majus cuiusque paris 8-10-jugum, foliolis ovatis. Flores magni. Calyx æstivatione leviter imbricatâ. 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) sericeo-lanatus, foliis suboctojugis, coccis undique densè armatis: spinis omnibus conico-subulatis longitudine invicem æqualibus. These two species difter 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 Kallstrœmia, 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 Bank- 70] sian Herbarium, I gave the generic name of Tribulopis and which may readily be distinguished by the following characters.


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

Herbæ annuæ prostratæ; foliis omnibus alternis!

Tribulopis (Solandri) foliis bi-trijugis, foliolis subovatis inæquilateris, coccis basi quadrituberculatis.

Loc. In ora orientali intratropica Novæ Hollandiæ prope Endeavour River, anno 1770. DD. Banks et Solander.

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

Loc. Ad funduni sinus Carpentariæ 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 Carpentariæ anno 1803. R. Brown.

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

Loc. "On the top of the ridges in pure sand, from S. Lat. 28° to 26°." 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 æquantibus apice bibracteatis. Flores sesquipollicares. Calyx 5-fidus; laciniis lanceato-linearibus aculis subæqualibus tubum paulo superantibus. Corolla sordidè flava, calyce plus duplo major. Vexillum magnum, basi simplici nec auriculata, late ovatum, acutum. Alæ vexillo fere dimidio