Thank you to first-time BPotD contributor, Bill HIgham@Flickr, who shared today’s photograph with us via the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool (original image). I’m always grateful when given the opportunity to feature something from a family not yet seen on Botany Photo of the Day.
Cunoniaceae, or the cunonia family, is primarily distributed in the temperate and tropical southern hemisphere. Bauera fits this distribution tidily, as the genus is endemic to southeastern Australia. A small genus of 3 or 4 species (depending on the reference), Bauera consists of short shrubs (<2m) which preferably grow in shady, cool and wet habitats. Checking our records here at UBC Botanical Garden, I notice that we had a plant of Bauera rubioides that was accessioned in 1982, but it was removed in 2002 as “deleted, year dead unknown” as part of an inventory. For us, it might be worth trying again, though we do have representation from other members of the family (i.e., Eucryphia spp.).
Multiple sources suggest that Bauera honours not one, but two individuals: Ferdinand Bauer and Franz Bauer, Austrian brothers famed for their botanical art. However, a few places suggest it only honours Ferdinand Bauer; Ferdinand was the one who did much botanical illustration work during early European exploration of Australia’s coast.
Bauera rubioides, commonly known as madder-leaved bauera, wiry bauera, river rose or dog rose (illustration), is the most widely-distributed member of the genus, as it is found in Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales and South Australia. It has been grown in cultivation for centuries (in England since at least 1793, for example).