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Volume 3, 1870
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Art. XXXIII.—On some New Species and Varieties of New Zealand Plants.

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, June 25, 1870.]

On a supposed Hybrid Acæna.

An apparent Hybrid Acœna has been observed in the neighbourhood of Wellington, partaking the characters of Acœna Sanguisorbœ, an indigenous species, and Acœna ovina, an introduced species from Australia, both found in the same locality.

The first of these having the flowers in globose heads, is constant to this character over New Zealand, whilst the Australian species has the flowers arranged in long obovate spikes.

The supposed hybrid shows below the globose heads several small clusters of flowers, axillary to bracts on the peduncle, thus becoming an intermediate form.

If the theory of hybridization prove unsuitable, this form must be accepted as a recent variation from Acœna Sanguisorbœ, as it has not been noticed previously; the presence of the two species on the same spot is, however, a remarkable coincidence.

Collected by J. Buchanan, on Mount Victoria, Wellington.

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, October 22, 1870.]

Dichondra brevifolia, Buchanan. n. s.

A small minute-leaved, creeping, tufted, glabrous herb. Leaves shortly petiolate, reniform, ⅛ inch broad, entire, glabrous. Scapes 1 inch long, pubescent or glabrous, four times longer than the leaves. Flowers solitary; corolla

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longer than the calyx, the latter ciliate or silky. Other characters of flowers and fruit the same as D. repens. Capsule long, silky.

Hab.—Popotunoa, Otago. Pastures, in swampy places, mixed with D. repens.

This distinct little species is easily distinguished from D. repens by its much smaller size and uniform-sized leaves, its long scapes, and nearly glabrous character.

Collected by J. Buchanan.

Aristotelia erecta, Buchanan. n. s.

A small, rigid, erect, opposite-branched shrub tree, with reddish brown bark, ultimate twigs pubescent. Leaves on short pubescent petioles, erect, oblong lanceolate, 2–2 ½ inches long, opposite, finely and regularly serrate, pubescent on midrib. Racemes ⅔ inch long, erect, axillary in opposite pairs, scattered all over the branches; peduncles, pedicels, and calyx pubescent. Flowers few, small, diœcious, in opposite pairs, with large leafy bracts; male flowers not seen, petals of female flower entire, sometimes lobed, a little longer than the woolly fringed sepals. Fruit not seen.

Hab.—Lake District, Otago, 1200 ft. alt.; Wyndham, Otago, 800 ft. alt.; Patea, Wellington, 1000 ft. alt.

Collected by John Buchanan in the South Island, and Dr. Hector in the North Island.

This species is not uncommon, but easily overlooked when not in flower; it often retains the lobulate form of leaf till nearly full grown, and has then proved always a puzzling plant.

Arrangement of the New Zealand Species of Aristotelia, to show the position of the New Species, Aristotelia erecta.

[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]

(a.) Racemes aggregated.
1. Leaves membranous, pubescent, 3–5 inches long. Racemes aggregated on the branches in large masses of flowers. Berries large, black. Description otherwise as in Handbook. Aristotelia racemosa.
Leaves membranous, pubescent only on the principal veins, 3–5 inches long. Racemes aggregated in lesser masses of flowers than the last. Berries small, red. Sub-species, Colensoi.
(b.) Racemes scattered.
2. Leaves smaller, 2–2 ½ inches long, glabrous except on the midrib, lobulate on young plants. Racemes small, scattered over the branches. Aristotelia erecta.
Branches tortuous. Leaves very small and coriaceous. Racemes very small, or reduced to single flowers. Sub-species, fruticosa.
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[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, November 12, 1870.]

Undescribed Varieties of Claytonia Australasica, Hook. f.

Considerable difficulty has been experienced by collectors in determining this wide-spread little alpine, from the description in the New Zealand Handbook, a racemose variety being much more common than the described species.

The two following varieties are constant in large patches, and perhaps are so also over certain districts exclusively; the variations may therefóre be considered as due to different conditions of growth only.

Claytonia Australasica, Hook. f. A glabrous, slender, creeping, succulent, tender herb, rooting at each node, where leaves and scapes ascend. Leaves solitary or in distant pairs, terete, and thickened upwards, obtuse, ⅓–2 in. long, pale green, the petioles dilating into membranous sheaths at the base. Scapes axillary, solitary, 1-flowered, erect, usually shorter than the leaves. Flowers pure white, variable in size, ¼–⅔ in. diameter. Capsules 3-valved, 3-seeded. Seeds large, shining, black.

Hab.—Lammermoors, Otago, 3000 ft.; Mount Alta, Otago, 5000 ft.

Collected by J. Buchanan.

Var. a. biflora. Leaves fasciculate and single on the same plant, 1 in. long. Flowers in pairs, or sometimes two pairs on the same scape, shorter than the leaves.

Hab.—Mount Egmont, 6000 ft.

Collected by J. Buchanan.

Var. b. racemosa. Leaves fasciculate and in pairs on the same plant, 2 in. long. Racemes of 4–7 flowers, pink, much longer than the leaves. Bracts large, membranous.

Hab.—Dun Mountain, 4000 ft.

Collected by Henry H. Travers.

This very showy variety, with its mass of pink flowers, is worthy of cultivation.

Cyperus gracilis, Buchanan. n. s.

A flaccid pale green glabrous leafy plant, 1–2 ft. high. Culm sharply 3-angled, grooved, 1–10th in. diameter. Leaves shorter than the culms, keeled, margins almost smooth, sheathing part with white membranous border. Involucral leaves 3–6 in. long. Umbels of 6–8 short rays, ¼-1 in. long, springing from nearly the same base as the involucral leaves, and forming dense round masses. Spikelets arranged in globose umbels ½in. long, pale dull green. Glumes ovate, acuminate, with white membranous border. Nut 3-angled, pale whitish green. Style persistent.

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Hab.—Swampy ground in the Hutt Valley, Wellington.

Collected by J. Buchanan.

The slender habit, circular umbels, and pale colour, distinguish this at once from Cyperus ustulatus.

Isolepis globosa, Buchanan. n. s.

Culms erect, 1–2 ft. high. Spikelets aggregated in dense globose heads immediately below the very obtuse tip of the culm, very narrow, linear, ⅓–½ in. long. Proliferous culms 2–4 inches high, sheathed at the base, and bearing smaller heads of linear spikelets. Glumes oblong, obtuse, in the proliferous heads acute. Nut 3-gonous, pale, smooth, not dotted.

Hab.—Karori Hills, Wellington, where it shows bright green patches in damp hollows.

The long linear spikelets distinguish this from the other New Zealand species.

Collected by J. Buchanan.

Sellieria fasciculata, Buchanan. n. s.

An erect small shrub. Leaves ⅓ in. long, obovate, coriaceous, nerveless, fasciculate on alternate short branches. Flowers on short peduncles, 3–4, terminal on the branches, axillary to the uppermost leaves. Peduncles ⅙ in. long, with two subulate opposite bracts above the middle.

Collected by Dr. Haast at Weka Pass, Canterbury.

The shrubby habit of this plant allies it more to Scœvola, but for several other characters, which place it with Sellieria and nearest to S. radicans.

Clematis afoliata, Buchanan. n. s.

A rigid wiry-branched climber. Branches finely grooved, glabrous, whole plant leafless, or leaves reduced to opposite tendrils. Male flowers ¾ in. diameter, solitary, terminal, on produced peduncles at the ends of the branches. Peduncles 1 in. long, silky, with one bract at base, in the axils of the last pair of tendrils. Sepals 4, greenish white, linear oblong, acute, silky. Anthers 8–12, linear obtuse. Female flowers few, 2–4, in the axils of branches or tendrils, in single or opposite pairs. Peduncles ¾–1 in. long, silky, with an opposite pair of bracts on the middle and bracteate at the base. Achenes silky, with long feathery awns.

This well marked species is often found as an unsupported shrub, weaving and intertwining its stiff branches on themselves, and forming upright dense masses.

Hab.—Waitaki Valley, Otago, and Marlborough. (See Trans. N. Z. Inst., Vol. i.)

Collected by J. Buchanan.

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Olearid capillaris, Buchanan. n. s.

A small slender-branched shrub. Branches, panicles, and petioles covered with closely appressed buff tomentum. Leaves ¾–1 in. long, membranous ovate, obtuse or acuminate, nearly entire, covered below with silvery white tomentum, young leaves silky above. Heads few, in lax open corymbs. Florets 8–12. Pedicels long, very narrow, hair-like. Panicles of 3–5 heads, sometimes 5 in. long. Achene with a few scattered forked hairs.

Closely related to O. nitida, Hook. f.

Hab.—Nelson Mountains, altitude 4000 feet.

Collected by Henry H. Travers.

Melicope Mantellii, Buchanan. n. s.

A glabrous small tree, 12–15ft. high, branches slender, dark brown. Leaves dark green, opposite, 3-foliolate, the side folia sometimes dropping off, leaflets 1–1 ½ in. long, oblong or obovate, rounded at point, crenulate or entire, flat, often overlapping on their inner sides. Petioles shorter than the leaves, narrowly winged with a groove on the upper surface. Flowers small, white or pale greenish yellow, in small axillary cymes, which are often reduced to three flowers. Petals linear oblong, reflexed when in full flower. Ovary hirsute. Carpels scarcely coriaceous, few veined, pellucid dotted, punctate. Flowers and fruit otherwise the same as Melicope simplex, to which, Dr. Hooker says, it is closely allied.

Hab.—Common in the neighbourhood of Wellington, associated with Melicope ternata and Melicope simplex. From the first of these it is easily distinguished by the darker green foliage, smaller flat leaves, hirsute carpels, and smaller fruit; and from the latter by its larger ternate leaves, flowers, and fruit.

Collected in Wellington and Auckland by J. Buchanan.

Coprosma serrulata, Hook. n. s.

A small upright unbranched shrub, 10–18 in. high. Leaves large, coriaceous, 1–1 ½ in. long, broadly obovate, round at tip, serrulate, tapering into a very short stout petiole. Specimens in the Museum Herbarium not in flower. Fruit apparently. sessile, hidden amongst the leaves.

Hab.—Sub-alpine altitudes of Otago and Nelson, where it is usually found growing among grass. Lower part of the stem blanched white.

Dr. Hooker, in a letter to Dr. Hector, remarks,—“This plant is a botanical curiosity, as being the only species in this large genus with serrated leaves.”

Collected in Otago by J. Buchanan, 1865, and by Dr. Hector in Nelson, 1869.