A specimen of the botany of New Holland/Pimelea linifolia

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Pimelea linifolia by Sowerby.jpg

PIMELEA linifolia.

Flax-leaved Pimelea.


DIANDRIA Monogynia. Fl. inferior, of one petal, regular.

Gen. Char. Cal. nullus. Cor. quadrifida. Stamina fauce inserta. Nux corticata, unilocularis.

Cal. none. Cor. four-cleft. Stamina inserted into the orifice. Nut coated, of one cell.

Spec. Char. P. foliis lineari-lanceolatis, capitulis terminalibus involucratis, corolla extus villosa.

Leaves linear-lanceolate. Heads of flowers terminal, furnished with an involucrum. Corolla hairy on the outside.

THIS elegant shrub flowered in the greenhouse of Lord Viscount Lewisham, in February 1794. The same species flowered the preceding year at Sion House. It is a native of the coast of New South Wales, among rocks, as we believe are all the species of Pimelea. The genus was first published by Forster in his Nova Plantarum Genera, and there called Banksia; but every species of which it is composed having been referred by the younger Linnæus to Passerina, and he having in the same work named another tribe of plants after Sir Joseph Banks, Gærtner, in restoring the original genus of Forster, adopted the name of Pimelea from the manuscripts of Dr. Solander. It is derived from πιμελη, fat, but is rather a pleasantly sounding, than an apt denomination, unless there may be anything oily in the recent fruit. In natural affinity Pimelea nearly approaches Passerina and Daphne, but their number of stamina being so very different, surely justifies us in keeping it separate from them. In this natural order we are not yet indeed quite clear upon what principles genera ought to be discriminated, and therefore dare not undertake to remove the great uncertainty in which all authors have left them.

Pimelea linifolia has a small zigzag root, from which arises a straight round smooth upright stem, branched irregularly for the most part, though sometimes appearing dichotomous, in consequence of the young branches springing in pairs from the upper part of the old flowering ones. The bark is reddish, cracking longitudinally; its inner layer remarkably silky, which is characteristic of this natural order. Leaves clothing the younger branches, opposite, on very short footstalks, slightly spreading, linear-lanceolate, varying much in breadth, sharpish, entire, with a simple nerve. Stipulae none. Flowers in terminal heads, numerous, inodorous. Bracteæ four ovate entire leaves, close to the flowers. Corolla very slender, tubular, snow-white, silky externally; the limb in four equal ovate spreading segments, with a red spot on the base of each withinside. Stamina two, their filaments rather shorter than the limb, and inserted into the base of two of its segments, so that they are altogether without the tube, and not within it as in Daphne, Passerina, &c; antheræ oblong, yellow. Germen superior, oval, green, very small, smooth; style longer than the tube, simple and capillary; stigma capitate, very small. Fruit a small oval dry berry or rather drupa, invested with the permanent base of the corolla, and a containing a solitary hard seed or nut. Common receptacle clothed with numerous white permanent hairs.


1. A Flower entire. 2. The same opened, to shew the stamina and style. 3. Pistillum. 4. Common receptacle after the fruit has fallen. 5. Fruit invested with the base of the corolla. 6. Fruit naked.