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  • peter-macinnis 23 Nov 2010 at 14:46
    'W. W.' appears to be, and is now tagged as, William Woolls, botanist, schoolmaster and later clergyman, all in the Parramatta area. See adbonline

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"CHRISTMAS BUSHES."    

To the Editor of the Herald.    

Sir,-As this is the season of the year when most of our Cunoniaceous trees and hrsubs are in flower, a few words respecting them may not be unacceptable. Amongst them are some of our nicest ornamental shrubs, and in one species the wood is of considerable importance to the coach builder Callicoma serratafolia is very abundant in the creeks to the     north of Parramatta, and amongst the early colonists it was sometimes called black wattle, the twigs being used in making baskets. When in flower, its light yellow blossoms   are gay and conspicuous, but at any season tho leaves are calculated to attract attention, being sharply serrated,   bright green nbo\o, hoary beneath, and with well defined veins on each Bido of tho mid-rib, reticulated between tho interstices 'Ihis shrub has just passed its flowonng soaaon but others of fho same family aie now m flower m this neighbourhood, particularly Schizomeria ovata, Ceratope-

talum gummiferum, and C. apetalum, all   of which are popularly termed Christmas bushes. Callicoma takes its general name from kalos,  

beautiful, and kome, hair, an allusion to tho tufted heads of

the flowers.

à hi.onuric (from schizo, to cut, and mu is, apart, m allusion te (ho jogged petals) 1« found principally in this district, in ono portion of tno foongabbio ureok, anil is romaikable for its crow del panicles of whito flowers S oí ata with us is a shrub, but m tho vicinitj of TOILJII it becomes a forest tree, and perhaps is tho ono to which Cunninghame alludes under tho nanto of Cu atopcahim apetalum (}) It is probablOj hanover, that tho latter muy j et bo found on the mountains, or, nt all events, tho allied species C montanum. 'Iho flowers of Sch>zome ia, liko those of Callicoma, aro without scent, but the fruit, which is about tho BI/O of a Btnall marble, has nithor an ngrcenblo acid P nour This would bo an ornamental shrub m a garden, provided that it were planted m somo moist place or near u water-hole , but it is seldom seen m a state

of cultivation.  

The genus Ceratopetalum is so called from the horn-like  

petals of some species. C. gummiferum is the Christmas   bush of the colonists, and is well worthy of the name. Dr   Bennett, in his "Gatherings of a Naturalist," remarks that "in every instance in which an attempt has been made to remove it, the tree has perished, nor have seeds   succeeded except such as have been self sown . lhoro may probably Tio somo dilHcully in rearing this treo, especially in dry sode, but of lato years it has boon mtro duccd into several gardens in tho neighbourhood of bydnoy

with tolerablo tuecess In tho Parramatta district this treo occurs principal!} at tho North Ro"ks, but I havo never seen any specimen of it th re sufficiently 'argo to bo of any use to tho co ich buildor or carpenter In Dr Bennett s work there is a drawing of this tre", by Miss H Scott, representing tho flowers in thoir last Btago, whon tho petals have fallen away and loft the reddened calyces This species has ternato loaves, standing on potiolos which aro jeinted at tho apex, a peculiarity which is one mark of dis-

tinction between it and Sihuonietia

O apctal I n is so called bocauso it is des- titute of pótala Tho leivos me simple, oppo silo serrated, ot a IaLceolafo shape, and sometimes mora than six inches long 1 ho flowers and baw are fragrant, but in its general chaiocter it so strongly rcsombli s Sihi ~o»ia ia, that it may readily bo mistakon for it Notwitlt stimoing tho work of destruction which has been ¿oing on in oui erccks, there aie still some good Ri7od tre s of tins species m tho creek near 31 r Jenners propoity on tho Baulkham Hills Hoad, and within the last week or so I htvvo gathered flowering specimens about a milo boyond Mr. Pvo's orchard Ibis appears to mo to bo tho truo " lightwo id " ol tho colonists, and being of a whito colour, fine grained, and light, it ia serviceable to tho coach builder and-carpenter As (DIB tree resembles ¿ liuomeiia it miy bo useful to state tint it differs from that genus in being dctitato of petals, and having anthers with a beik-formod procos Should theso notes howovei, bo regarded as tso seicnti^ic, it uny be distinguished by its frugranco and tho joints at tho apex of the leal stalks

Ap/w/ioptta/uin (which dei ives if s nanio from its incon- spicuous petals) is EOid by Dr 1 Mueller to occur m woeds from Illawarra even to Moreton Bay I havo not noficcd this j hint near Parramatta, but it fl luribbos in tbo native vinejnrd, neil tho Rov 1 Haspall's, and also at the Kurrajong 'J lie species referred to is A icstnosum, it generallj flowers earlier in tho Reason than the Christin is I UBIIC-" Its caljx is tour parted, and it has eight stain na I ho smaller branches aro nomowhat warted, and tboleai.es am opposite, pimple, ovale, and shining Like the pro ceding, this plant is well worthy of cultivation

ii tinuimua Amilahs is mentioned, particularly bj' Cuu ninghumo, in Field's New South Wales, p 3i3, and is apparently a rarer piont than thoso enunicrolod, for 1 have never met with it m this part ef the eolony. A specimen,

»hieb I hod in my poggoesion, pome, I behove, from the

vicinity of Springwood, and it was there where Cun- ninghame procured his specimens. It is an ornamental

shtub, with trifoliate loaves, and tho flowors aro raccmoso _ and _ terminal. In tho samo loca- lity Calycomis ÍB Baid to occur, n shrub growing on moist rocks, and having lcavos simple, nearly sossilo, and three in a whorl, tho flowers beingdoscribed OB small, white, copious and worled.

The last species of this family to which I shall refer is Bauera rubifolia, belonging to a genus named in honour of the celebrated German draftsmen, Francis and Ferdi- nand Bauer. This docs not grow in the Parramatta district, but it may be found plentifully at tho North Shore near Sydney. The flowers are of a pink or pale red colour, and

the leaves are six in a whorl.

The study of the Cunoniaceæ is interesting on account of the gay and ornamental flowers which characterise the species, and some of them possess medicinal properties as yet but little understood.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant, I

W. W.

George-street, Parramatta, December 19.  

'inn GiiAvr.-It buries every error-covcre every defect- extinguishes every resentment. From its peaceful boBom spring none but fond regrets and tender recollections. Who can look down upon the grave of an enemy, and not feel a compnnctuous throb tint he should have warred wiih the poor handful of dust that lies mouldering before him ?

One principal point of good-breeding is to suit our behaviour to the three several degrees of men-our superiors, our equals, and thoBC below us.

Proud men never have friends-neither in pros- perity, because they know nobody; nor in adversity, because then nobody knows them.

Many politicians are in the habit of laying it down as a self-evident proposition, that no people ought to be free till they are fit to use their freedom. The maxim is worthy of the fool in the old story who letolved not to go into the water till ho had learned

to swim !

Digitisation generously supported by
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
Digitisation generously supported by

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