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Identifying Beechwoods - Faurea

Faurea is very easy to recognize amongst the Proteaceae. The flowers are in catkin-like spikes. It is also readily identified as a member of the Proteaceae by its spoon-shaped tepals (there are no petals, the sepals appear to be the petals), all fused into a flat trough with tips free. The anthers are attached by a very short stalk to the free perianth tips. Easily distinguished from the Silky Oak Grevillea robusta (an ornamental tree from Australia) in having florets single, not in pairs

There are only five of the ca 20 species of Faurea in southern Africa. Details of the species are provided below.

Feature forficuliflora galpinii macnaughtonii saligna speciosa
orientation pendulous upright pendulous pendulous pendulous
colour red cream cream / pink cream cream / pink
lenght (mm) 125 - 250 80 -180 140 -160 100 -150 200 - 300
width (mm) ? 17 - 20 30 20 -30 30 - 40 (50)
stalk no yes no no no
covering hairless velvety hairless hairless hairless
width (mm) 13 - 20 25 25 - 30 13 -25 25 - 75
length (mm) 65 - 125 100 120 65 - 150 70 - 170
stalk (mm) 20 10 10 20 short - thick
colour: above glossy grn glossy grn grass grn grass grn > red glossy grn > red
below glossy grn glossy grn grass grn grass grn > red grey below
hairs hairless hairless hairless hairless velvety below
Flowering season: Mar - Apr Oct - Jan Dec - Feb Aug - Feb Mar - Sep
Bark: grey grey grey dark grey/black dark grey

Thus unique features are:

Faurea forficuliflora has red flowers;

Faurea galpinii has upright inflorescences and hairy florets; and,

Faurea speciosa has leaves which are different in colour on the top and bottom surfaces.

That leaves F macnaughtonii and F saligna, with the former having wider leaves with a shorter stalk, and the latter a black bark.

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