A specimen of the botany of New Holland/Pultenaea stipularis

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
Pultenaea stipularis (Sowerby).jpg

PULTENAEA stipularis.

Scaly Pultenæa.


DECANDRIA Monogynia. Fl. of many unequal petals.

Gen. Char. Cal. quinquedentatus, utrinque appendiculatus. Cor. papilionacea: alis vexillo brevioribus. Legumen uniloculare, dispermum.

Cal. five-toothed, with an appendage on each side. Cor. papilionaceous; the wings shorter than the standard. Pod of one cell, with two seeds.

Spec. Char. P. foliis linearibus mucronulatis subciliatis, stipulis solitariis binerviis laceris.

Leaves linear, tipped with a small point, slightly ciliated. Stipulæ solitary, two-nerved, lacerated.

NEW Holland abounds with papilionaceous plants, mostly belonging to new genera, and many of them having perfectly distinct stamina, which therefore can by no means be admitted into the class Diadelphia, but must come next to Sophora in that of Decandria. The plant before us is one among several species which constitute one of the most distinct of these genera, and to which we have given the name of Pultenæa in order to commemorate the merits of a very amiable and deserving English Botanist, Dr. Richard Pulteney, F.R. and F.L.S, of Blandford in Dorsetshire, well known by his Sketches of the Progress of Botany in England, and more especially by his Biography of Linnæus.

This genus differs materially from the true Sophoræ, in having a roundish pod of one cell, and only two seeds, instead of a long many-seeded pod divided into numerous cells; and although many of the Cape Sophoræ do indeed approach Pultenæa in their fruit, the last mentioned genus is essentially distinguished from them, and all others we have hitherto seen, by the two appendages to the calyx, affixed either to its base or sides.

We received a living specimen of this plant from Mr. Alexander Murray, gardener to Benjamin Robertson, Esq. at Stockwell, who raised it late in the autumn of 1792 from seeds brought from New South Wales. It first flowered in April 1794.

The stem is shrubby, variously branched, round; the wood hard and whitish; bark brown, covered more or less with withered bristly stipulæ: branches long and straight, pointing upwards, clothed with leaves, and terminated by round heads of handsome yellow inodorous flowers. The leaves surround the branches in great numbers without any regular order, and are linear, very narrow, tipped with a little sharp point, entire, smooth, without any projecting vein or nerve, most frequently ciliated with fine stiff hairs. Footstalks very short, pale and smooth, erect at night, by which the leaves become closely pressed to the branch, and imbricated one over the other, though in the day time, and especially in bright sunshine, they spread horizontally. The very remarkable stipulæ stand solitary just above the insertion of each footstalk, erect, and close-pressed to the branch, whose bark they by that means completely conceal; they are brown, of a chaffy texture, lanceolate, cloven and sometimes laciniated, furnished with two parallel nerves. The flowers are about twenty or more, in a round head, among spreading leaves, and the branch they at first terminate is at length sometimes protruded beyond them, by which they become verticillate; each stands on a short, round, smooth flowerstalk, with bracteæ like the leaves, but smaller, and likewise accompanied with stipulæ. Calyx slightly campanulate, red, divided half way down into five acute, spreading, ciliated teeth, of which the two uppermost are the shortest and broadest; between them and the next pair stand the two appendages which make a material part of the generic character, and which agree exactly in appearance with the proper teeth, except in being somewhat narrower, and inserted, one on each side, about half way down the entire part of the calyx, to which their lower end is closely applied, so that they make the calyx appear to have seven teeth of equal length. Corolla of five petals. Standard with a firm horizontal claw, its limb erect, round, slightly notched, the two sides generally folded together, deep yellow, with a red semicircular line near the base. Wings nearly linear, obtuse, concave, with a large tooth at the base, deep yellow, horizontal, much shorter than the standard. Keel of two pale yellow, obovate, concave petals, as long as the wings, strongly connected by their lower edge, and with a tooth near their base on the upper. Stamina all nearly equal, somewhat shorter than the keel, a little declining; filaments inserted into the receptacle, cylindrical, tapering to a point; antheræ small, roundish. Germen small, green, oval, smooth, tipped with a tuft of white hair, and containing the rudiments of two or three seeds; style longer than the stamina, subulate, recurved, smooth; stigma acute. Pod scarcely longer than the calyx, roundish, pointed, turgid, brown, hairy at the extremity, of one cell, containing two seeds on short footstalks, inserted into the upper edge of each valve near the base.

The plant appears to abound with mucilage, especially the leaves.


1. A Leaf with its stipula. 2. Floral leaf and the stipula which accompanies it. 3. Calyx. 4. Its appendages. 5. Standard. 6. A Wing. 7. Keel. 8. Stamina and Pistillum. 9. Pistillum along. 10. Rudiments of Seeds. 11. Pod invested with the permanent calyx.