Dark beaufortia facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsDark beaufortia
|In the Fitzgerald River National Park|
Melaleuca anisandra (Schauer) Craven & R.D.Edwards
Beaufortia anisandra, commonly known as dark beaufortia, is a plant in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae and is endemic to the south-west of Western Australia. It is a densely branched shrub with egg-shaped, upward pointing leaves and which bears heads of dark bluish-purple to red flowers with stamen bundles of different lengths. It is reported to have an unpleasant odour.
Beaufortia anisandra is a densely branched shrub which grows to a height of 1.5 m (5 ft). The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs and are egg-shaped to lance-shaped, 3–6.5 mm (0.1–0.3 in) long, rigid, concave in cross section with a midvein and several faint lateral veins.
The flowers are red to dark purplish red and are arranged in roughly spherical heads on the ends of branches which continue to grow after flowering. The flowers have 5 sepals, 5 petals and 5 bundles of stamens. The stamens are joined for most of their length, with about 3 separate filaments extending beyond the joined part. Some bundles are more than 19 mm (0.7 in) long while others in the same flower are much shorter. The variation is stamen length in the individual flowers is a distinguishing feature of this beaufortia. Flowering occurs from January to July or from October to December and is followed by fruit which are woody capsules, 8–15 mm (0.3–0.6 in) long, 7–12 mm (0.3–0.5 in) wide and more or less clustered.
Its occurrence at Cape Riche was noted in 1854 by William Henry Harvey ("Dr. Harvey") who wrote: "It always reminds me of Sir Francis B., because I remember your telling me that he likes a plant to have a bad smell rather than none at all; and this namesake of his would surely please him, for it has an awful stench."
Taxonomy and naming
Beaufortia anisandra was first formally described in 1843 by Johannes Conrad Schauer in Dissertatio phytographica de Regelia, Beaufortia et Calothamno. The specific epithet (anisandra) is from the Ancient Greek ἄνισος (ánisos) meaning "unequal" and ἀνήρ (anér) meaning "male".
Distribution and habitat
Beaufortia anisandra mainly occurs near Albany and Esperance in the Avon Wheatbelt, Esperance Plains and Jarrah Forest biogeographic regions. It grows in sand and rocky quartzite soils on hills, rocky outcrops and plains.
Beaufortia anisandra is classified as "not threatened" by the Western Australian Government Department of Parks and Wildlife.