Bauera rubioides

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).

Bauera rubioides

8 responses to “Bauera rubioides”

  1. Michael F

    “commonly known as … river rose or dog rose” – that’s an error; Dog Rose is Rosa canina, and this plant isn’t a rose (Rosa; Rosaceae) at all.

  2. Eric Hunt

    Michael – that’s not an error. See this page from the Australian National Botanical Gardens:
    The European settlers to Australia had never seen any of these plants before and struggled to fit them into the horticultural context they were already familiar with.

  3. David

    In the protolog, Andrews indicated that Banks had named the genus for two brothers. He didn’t mention their given names, but described the careers, which match those of of Ferdinand and Franz.

  4. Michael F

    Hi Eric – yes, it is an error; that the early settlers mistook it for a plant they’d been familiar with in the past in understandable, but subsequent examination by botanists showed that it wasn’t the same as Dog Rose and should have corrected the settlers’ naming error.

  5. Eric Simpson

    Michael F., you seem to not grasp the meaning of “common name”: if “dog rose” is commonly used by the people in the regions this plant grows, then “dog rose” it is, by definition. Many common names refer to different plants in different regions, e.g. “skunk cabbage”, which refers to completely different species depending on the part of North America you’re in.

  6. Michael F

    That’s just submitting to a failure in education.

  7. michael a.

    Can Eric be any clearer? The locals call it “dog rose”. It’s not a rose and not a dog, but the locals call it “dog rose” whether you approve or not.

  8. Ken

    As a local I have always known it as dog rose. The purpose of scientific names is that they are unique, whereas there is no requirement for common names. A species may have multiple common names and a common name may refer to multiple species.

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