Art. XXX.—Descriptions of New Plants.
[Read before the Auckland Institute, November 7, 1870.]
Ranunculus Limosella, F. Mueller. MS.
A stoloniferous aquatic herb, stems submerged, slender, glabrous, leaves solitary or in pairs, much shorter than the petioles, ½″–3″ long, quite entire, linear-oblong or spatulate; flowers minute, one-eighth of an inch in diameter, solitary or rarely two together, peduncles very slender, shorter than the leaves, sepals 4, ovate apiculate, with membranous margins, petals 4, linear purple, acute, recurved at the tips, thrice as long as the sepals; stamens 8–12, filaments twice as long as the ovate anthers, pistils usually 8, gradually tapering into the almost straight capillary style, ripe carpels somewhat swollen at the base, lax, style recurved, one-fourth of a line long.
Forming matted patches on the shores of lakes and in water not more than ten feet deep, but only flowering on the shores, where the entire plant is minute and easily overlooked, or may be readily mistaken for Limosella aquatica. In habit resembling R. pachyrrhizus, Hook, f., but is more closely allied to R. rivularis, Banks and Sol., and is at once distinguished from all New Zealand species of the genus by the quaternary arrangement of the floral organs.
In the Whangape, Waikare, and Waihi Lakes, Waikato, T. K.
I am indebted to my friend, Dr. F. v. Mueller, for valuable notes on this curious little plant, for which I have adopted the name proposed by him.
Acœna Novœ Zelandiœ, Kirk. n. s.
A prostrate herb, with branches occasionally woody at the base, tips ascending, leafy, glabrous or with scattered silky hairs; leaves 2″–3″ long, pinnate, leaflets sessile or in short pedicels, elliptic, rounded at both ends, deeply sharply toothed, the teeth tipped with silky hairs; scape leafless, glabrous; heads ¾″ in diameter; flowers green, calyx tube very silky, the
angles produced into 4 reddish purple spreading bristles tipped with numerous white barbs, petals 4, ovate-acuminate, green, stamens 2, filaments elongating, anthers lobed; stigma plumose.
This plant is easily recognized by the pale-green hue of its leaves. Compared with A. Sanguisorbœ, Vahl., its capitulum is larger and less compact, owing to the larger size of the flowers and spreading bristles. The plumose stigma distinguishes it from A. adscendens, Vahl.
Its globose heads are occasionally uni-sexual, and, as is the case with A. Sanguisorbœ, Vahl., a few detached flowers or small clusters are sometimes produced below the head. It seems possible that the Hybrid Acœna mentioned at page 25 of Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute, 1870, may be referred to this state of the common species.
Common on the Auckland Isthmus and in other parts of the province.
Dr. Hooker informs me that until recently no specimens of this plant had been received at the Kew Herbarium, although it has been cultivated in English gardens for two or three years past, under the name by which I have now designated it.
In the Flora Australiensis, A. ovina, A. Cunn., is erroneously stated to extend to New Zealand. I believe it occurs in a naturalized condition near Wellington.
Fuchsia Kirkii, Hook. f. MS. n. s.
Stem woody, with prostrate or sub-erect slender wiry branches, leaves alternate, orbicular ovate, or cordate, ¼″–½″ in width, shorter than the slender petioles, obscurely toothed, membranous. Flowers axillary, solitary, ¾″ long, on short drooping peduncles; calyx tube bright orange, sepals linear-ovate, obtuse, greenish, petals 0, stamens exserted, anthers oblong, ovary ovate, stigma 4-lobed, berry oblong, deep purple.
This plant appears to affect the neighbourhood of the sea, and has only been collected on the Great Barrier and in Whangaruru Harbour.
It will prove an acquisition to the cultivator.
Panax discolor, Kirk. n. s.
A much-branched shrub, 6–20 feet high, diœcious, bark of young branches and leaves, especially on the under surface, having a peculiarly bronzed appearance. Leaves on rather slender petioles, 1″–2″ long, 3-foliolate, leaflets 2″–3″ long, obovate-lanceolate, cuneate at the base, coarsely and sharply toothed, never sinuate-pinnatifid, glossy, rarely a few unifoliolate leaves are found mixed with those of the ordinary form. Panicles invariably terminal, male flower of a few rays 2″–3″ long, flowers on slender pedicels ¼″–⅗″ long, female flower much shorter, rays and pedicels stouter, fruit nearly as large as
in P. Lessonii, styles 5, tips recurved, flowers greenish yellow. Wood white, hard, tough; resembling P. simplex in general appearance, but the leaves are alike in all stages, the panicles diócious and terminal, and styles 5. More closely allied to P. Sinclairii.
From the sea-level to 2300 feet. Cape Colville Ranges, Great and Little Barrier Islands, Great Omaha, Whangaroa (North), T. K.
Olearia Allomii, Kirk. n. s.
A low shrub, varying from a few inches to two feet in height, branching from the base, branches few, stout. Leaves oblong, unequal at the base, excessively thick and coriaceous, obtuse, shining, reticulate above, principal veins diverging from the mid-rib nearly at right angles, mid-rib prominent below, often giving the leaf a keeled appearance, leaf covered below with densely appressed, silvery, shining, tomentum, 1″–2″ long, rather closely set; petioles short, stout; corymbs longer than the leaves, peduncled, downy, spreading, lax, many-headed, simple or slightly branched. Heads on stout downy pedicels ¼″-¾ long, large, broad; involucre cylindrical; scales numerous, imbricate, broadly lanceolate, obtuse, puberulous or downy; florets 6–8; rays about 8, broad, notched at the apex, white; pappus brown spreading, feathered. Achenes downy.
In rather open places on the Great Barrier Island; frequent from 800 to 2300 feet.
Allied to O. Haastii, Hook. f., from which it differs in its extremely dwarf, rigid habit, in the larger size of all its parts, excessively coriaceous leaves, and loosely imbricated involucral scales.
This plant was discovered on Mount Young by A. J. Allom, Esq., Captain F. W. Hutton, and myself, in November, 1867. I have done myself the pleasure of naming it after Mr. Allom, as a pleasant memorial of his valued aid when exploring the Great Barrier Island.
An Olearia, with leaves resembling those of the present plant, but attaining the height of 12′–15′, and closely branched, occurs at the Whenuakite River, Mercury Bay. I have not been able to identify it in the absence of flowers and fruit.
Mimulus Colensoi, Kirk. n. s.
A small erect herb, 3 to 6 inches high, glabrous in all its parts. Leaves oblong, sessile, scrobiculate, succulent, entire. Flowers solitary, on short axillary peduncles. Calyx tubular, contracted just below the mouth, irregularly 5-toothed, corolla very large, pure white with yellow throat, lower lip much produced, entire, capsule ovate-acuminate.
Allied to M. repens, from which it differs in its unbranched erect habit and scrobiculate leaves.
In marshes, Onehunga.
I have great pleasure in naming this pretty plant after Mr. Colenso, who appears to have been its original discoverer.
Corysanthes Cheesemanii, Hook. f. n. s.
Root of small tubers on rather stout caudicles. Leaf membranous, sessile, ½″ in diameter, ovate-cordate, apiculate. Bract very short, rarely petaloid and coloured. Flower ⅝″ long, rarely more, sessile or shortly peduncled. Upper sepal very large, helmet-shaped, curved over the lip, obovate, obtuse, rarely acute. Lip involute, large, the margins enclosing the column, two-lobed at the base, the lobes produced downwards into two horn-like processes, apex of the lip recurved. Lateral sepals 0, or rarely concealed under the lip, and spirally twisted. Petals minute or wanting, subulate, deflexed. Column stout, erect. Anther terminal, persistent. Peduncle elongating after flowering, capsule narrowed upwards, striate.
Te Whau, 1865, T. K. Ourakei, Mr. T. F. Cheeseman, 1867. Titirangi, T. K.
I obtained a few imperfect specimens of this interesting plant from the Whau District about five years ago, but not in a fit state to allow of a diagnosis being drawn. Mr. Cheeseman subsequently found it in some quantity, and has kindly favoured me with good specimens and valuable notes, of which I have availed myself in drawing the foregoing description.
It is the earliest-flowering species in this colony, usually displaying its dull purple flowers early in July. It will probably be found to have a wide range of distribution.
All the species of Corysanthes previously discovered in New Zealand belong to the sub-genus Nematoceras, Hook. f. The present species belongs to the typical section of the genus.