Historical Records of Australian Science Historical Records of Australian Science Society
The history of science, pure and applied, in Australia and the southwest Pacific

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A Nineteenth-century exploration of phytochemistry in botanical systematics: Joseph Henry Maiden and Eucalyptus kinos.

Arthur Lucas

Abstract

In the early 1890s J. H. Maiden considered that kino exudates might be a useful character to consider alongside structural features in grouping Eucalyptus species. He found that although some types of kino supported morphological analyses, most did not and they were not as useful as he had hoped. His commitment to the concept of variability caused him to oppose his former colleagues R. T. Baker and H. G. Smith in their use of essential oils as an over-riding characteristic in Eucalyptus taxonomy and higher classification. When their work was rebutted in the late 1920s by the discovery that differences in the oils included intra-specific polymorphisms, the concept of phyto-chemical classification went into abeyance, and Maiden's insightful, but cautious, pioneering work was also forgotten.

HR16020  Accepted 22 November 2016

© Australian Academy of Science 2016