Two decades ago the senior author was urged by the West New Guinea Forest Service to name a rather common canopy tree of New Guinea and the Moluccas. Among two dozen collections there was only one in flower, from the island of Ceram. Though the species was certainly new for Malesia, the absence of fruit explained his hesitation to refer it to one of the genera of the Tristania-Xanthostemon-Metrosideros complex to which it clearly belonged. It was finally described as Metrosideros nigroviridis Steen., the specific epithet alluding to the sepia-coloured twigs and conspicuously green-drying leaves. Finally, about 1960 a fruiting specimen collected by Chr. Versteegh came to hand (BW 4702) which showed by its indehiscent nature and fleshy pericarp that it could not belong to Metrosideros, Xanthostemon, or Tristania. The material was laid apart pending later investigation. In scanning duplicates from North Queensland in 1970 he found to his surprise among unnamed North Queensland Myrtaceae exactly the same species. Asking the judgment of Lindsay Smith the latter pointed out (in litt. 16—6—70) that this had been described from North Queensland as Xanthostemon brachyandrus C. T. White. He added that this species ‘had always intrigued him because the seedlings, which are often thick on the floor of the rain forest under the parent trees, have the young leaves bluish instead of reddish like most other Myrtaceae.’ He also postponed a detailed study ‘pending collection of complete material’, but it did not appear to him to ‘agree with any of the genera described in this group’.

Blumea: Biodiversity, Evolution and Biogeography of Plants

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Naturalis journals & series

Hyland, B. P. M., & van Steenis, C. G. G. J. (1973). The generic identity of Xanthostemon brachyandrus C. T. White: Lindsayomyrtus novum genus (Myrtaceae). Blumea: Biodiversity, Evolution and Biogeography of Plants, 21(2), 189–192.