Malvaceae Info
Literature Index

General Remarks,

geographical and systematical, on the

Botany of Terra Australis


R. Brown, F.R.S. Acad. Reg. Scient. Berolin. Corresp.


This page is a transcription and translation of those portions of R. Brown's "Botany of Terra Australis", published as appendix III to "Voyage to Terra Australis", by Matthew Flinders, pertaining to the family Malvaceae sensu APG, which consist of a few paragraphs on pages 540 and 541, and include the formal recongnition of the family Byttneriaceae.


MALVACEÆ. The Malvaceæ may be considered as a class including several orders, namely Malvaceæ of Jussieu (1), Sterculiaceæ of Ventenat (2), Chlenaceæ of Du Petit Thouars (3), Tiliaceæ of Jussieu (4), and an order very nearly related to the last, and perhaps passing gradually into it, but which I shall in the mean time, distinguish under the name of Buttneriaceæ.

Of the Malvaceæ strictly so called, upwards of fifty species have been observed in Terra Australis, where the maximum of the order appears to be within the tropic. In the principal parallel Malvaceæ are more abundant at its eastern than its western extremity: and at the south end of Van Diemens Island two species only have been observed. There is nothing very peculiar in the structure of appearance of the New Holland plants of this family; most of them belong to genera already established, and several of the species are common to other countries.

BUTTNERIACEÆ.(5) The Australian portion of Buttneriaceæ consists of Abroma, Commersonia, Lasiopetalum, and several unpublished genera, intermediate to the last two.

The greater part of the order exists in the principal parallel, very few species have been observed within the tropic, and one only in Van Diemens Island.

Lasiopetalum, the most extensive genus of the family, was established by Dr. Smith, (6) who considered it to belong to Ericeæ. Ventenat, (7) taking a different view of its structure, has assigned some plausible reasons for referring it to Rhamneæ. From both these orders it appears to me sufficiently distinct, and it is certainly more nearly related to the genera with which I have placed it.

  1. Gen. pl. 271.
  2. Malmais. 91.
  3. Plant. des isles dAfrique, 46.
  4. Gen. pl. 289.
  5. BUTTNERIACEÆ. Calyx 1-ph, 5-fid, æqualis, marcescens, æstivatione valvata. Petala 5: vel basi saccata superne varie producta; vel minuta squamiformia; quandoque nulla. Stamina hypogyna, definita: Filamenta antherifera cum laciniis calycis alternantia simplicia, vel 2-3 connate; sterilibus quandoque alternantibus. Ovarium 3-5 loculare, loculis 2-polyspermis, ovulis erectis: Styli 3-5, sæpius connati: Stigmata simplicia. Capsula 3-5-loc. Semina umbilico strophiolato. Embryo erectus, in axi albuminis carnosi cujus dimidio longior. Frutices raro Arbores, pube sæepe stellari. Folia alterna, simplicia, stipulata, sæpius dentata. Pedunculi subcymosi, oppositifolii; pedicellis ut plurimum bracteatis.
  6. Linn. soc. transact. 4, p. 216.
  7. Malmais. 59. Dec. gen. nov. p. 7.

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