Page:The Visit of Charles Fraser to the Swan River in 1827.djvu/11

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Anigozanthus Rufus, Anthocercis liitorea, two species of Metrosideros[1]; a charming species of Prostanthera[2], producing large quantities of rich blue flowers; a species of Gnaphalium[3], with procumbent stems, the white flowers of which give a snowy appearance to many parts of the cliffs; and a beautiful species of Dryandra[4]. The appearance of the Gnaphalium above mentioned is in some measure confirmatory of the sandy character which the French give of these hills

"On tracing the river a quarter of a mile from its entrance, on the south bank[5], I observed quantities of a species of Brunonia[6], growing in great luxuriance on the margin of a salt marsh, its flowers of a brilliant sky-blue. Here I likewise gathered a magnificent species of Melaleuca with scarlet flowers[7], and two species of Metrosideros, with various other plants, which, from their being neither in flower nor in fruit, I could not attempt to describe.

"Half a mile from the entrance, I found the soil, although apparently sterile, to consist of a fine light-brown loam, containing a small proportion of sand, and capable of producing any description of light garden crop. This character not only applies to the immediate bank as far as the reach[8] below Pelican Point[9], but likewise to the hills as far as my observation led. These hills present the appearance of a petrified forest[10], from the immense quantity of trunks which protrude for several feet above the surface;

  1. Dr. A. Morrison, the Government Botanist, to whom I am indebted for these botanical notes, says :— Metrosideros, at the time Fraser wrote, was a name applied to a great variety of myrtaceous plants, now known under the genera Melaleuca, Kunzea, Callistemon, Angophora, Eucalyptus, Syncarpia, and Exanthostemon. Probably he referred to paper-bark trees.
  2. Most likely Hemiandra pungens.
  3. Calocephalus Brownii.
  4. Dryandra floribunda probably, a shrub or small tree.
  5. The position of Phillimore-street, Fremantle.
  6. Probably Dampiera Linearis.
  7. More than one such.
  8. Black wall Reach.
  9. Pelican Point. This is evidently intended for Point Walter. Fraser wrote this paper in Sydney, two years after his visit, and a number of errors principally small, occur in its pages.
  10. The petrified appearance may be observed at several localities, notably At Cottesloe, Mount Eliza, and Arthur's Head. It is due to the shrubs and small trees being buried by drifting sand, then calcified by the lime (dissolved out of the sand by the rains) taking the place of their decaying tissues.