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Volume 5, 1872
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Art. XLVI.—List of Plants found on Miramar Peninsula, Wellington Harbour.349

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, 25th September, 1872.]

The flora of the Miramar Peninsula may be arranged under plants of the bush, plants of the open country, and plants of the swamp, the latter including those of the sea-side and those of the sand-hills.

The bush, which has no doubt at a very recent period covered the greater part of the hills, is now confined to a few gullies in the northern portion of the peninsula. Several of the following species are few in numbers, and none are large timber trees. No pines are present, they having been cut down for building purposes, as the stumps of totara piles may still be seen in what have been the defence works of Maupui Pa, and it is unlikely the timber was brought from a distance.

The following is a list of the trees and shrubs still existing:—

Clematis indivisa, Willd. Melicytus ramiflorus, Forst. Elæocarpus dentatus, Vahl. Melicope ternata, Forst. Melicope mantelli, Buch. Dysoxylum spectabile, Hook. f. Pennantia corymbosa, Forst. Corynocarpus lævigata, Forst. Carpodetus serratus, Forst. Metrosideros florida, Sm. Myrtus bullata, Banks & Sol. Myrtus ralphii, Hook. f. Fuchsia excorticata, Linn. f. Passiflora tetrandra, Banks & Sol. Panax

[Footnote] * Written to accompany paper by J. C. Crawford, F.G.S., on the Miramar Peninsula, see Art. LVII.

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arboreum, Forst. Coprosma robusta, Raoul. Brachyglottis repanda, Forst Myrsine urvillei, DC. Veronica arborea, sp. nov. Myoporum lætum, Forst. Knightia excelsa, Br. Piper excelsum, Forst. Rhipogonum scandens, Forst. Cordyline australis, Hook. f. Freycinetia banksii, A. Cunn.

The plants of the open country, popularly named scrub, are chiefly composed of species of shrubs, many of which usually grow up after the destruction of bush. With the exception of one shrub, Carmichœlia australis, restricted to the northern half of the Peninsula, they are generally distributed over the whole area.

The following list includes the most prominent:—

Clematis colensoi, Hook. fil. Discaria toumatou, Raoul. Coriaria ruscifolia, Linn. Carmichælia australis, Br. Rubus australis, Forst. var. a & g. Leptospermum scoparium, Forst. L. ericoides, A. Rich. Metrosideros scandens, Banks & Sol. Aciphylla squarrosa, Forst. Coprosma divaricata, A. Cunn. Olearia virgata, Hook. f. O. solandri, Hook. f. Vittadinia australis, A. Rich. Cassinia leptophylla, Br. Gaultheria antipoda, Forst., var. a. Muhlenbeckia adpressa, Lab. M. complexa, Meisn. Parsonsia albiflora, Raoul. Pimelea prostrata, Vahl. Phormium colensoi, Hook f. Libertia ixioides, Sprengel.

The following species usually form an undergrowth among scrub, or on rocks and banks:—

Ranunculus lappaceus, Sm. var. multiscapus. Nasturtium palustre, DC. Sisymbrium novæ-zealandiæ, Hook. f. Viola cunninghamii, Hook. f. Colobanthus subulatus, Hook fil. Hypericum gramineum, Forst. Geranium molle, Linn. Oxalis corniculata, Linn. Potentilla anserina, Linn. Acæna sanguisorbæ, Vahl. Haloragis alata, Jacq. Epilobium nummularifolium, A. Cunn. E. macropus, Hook. E. rotundifolium, Forst. E. pubens, A. Rich. Lagenophora forsteri, DC. Cotula australis, Hook. fil. Craspedia fimbriata, DC. Gnaphalium filicaule, Hook. f. Taraxacum dens-leonis, Desf. Wahlenbergia gracilis, A. Rich. Leucopogon frazeri, A. Cunn. Dichondra repens, Forst. Scleranthus biflorus, Hook. fil. Microtis porrifolia, Spreng. Thelymitra longifolia, Forst.

The greater portion of the peninsula is grass, with scattered scrub, the following indigenous species being still represented in the pasture:—

Echinopogon ovatus, Palisot. Dichelachne crinita, Hook. f. Agrostis parviflora, Br. A. æmula, Br. A. billardieri, Br. Apera arundinacea, Hook. f. Danthonia semiannularis, Br. Kœlaria cristata, Pers. Poa foliosa, Hook. f. P. anceps, Forst. P. australis, Br. var. lœvis. Triticum scabrum, Br.

None of the large coarse tussock grasses are present, but on portions of the valley and enclosing hills where the surface is retentive of moisture a large growth of tussock-rushes prevails, formed chiefly of Leptocarpus simplex and Juncus australis.

The swamp, sand-dune, and sea-side botanical regions having here an esturine relation, may be grouped as one; spreading, as many of the species do, over the whole district, it would be difficult to separate them on the experience of this locality alone.

The Phormium tenax, which forms the principle feature in this group, is

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noticeable from its great size, flower-stalks having been measured twelve feet high; Arundo conspicua, ten feet high; and the wide spread swamp plant, raupo (Typha angustifolia), ten feet high; the whole forming a close and safe refuge to many of the native water-fowl.

Ranuuculus rivularis, Banks & Sol. Hymenanthera crassifolia, Hook. f. Colobanthus billardieri, Fenzl. Spergularia rubra, Pers. var. marina. Elatine americana, Arnott. Plagianthus divaricatus, Forst. Linum monogynum, Forst. Corynocarpus lævigata, Forst. Tillæa moschata. DC. Drosera binata, Labill. Myriophyllum elatinoides, Gaud. M. pedunculatum, Hook. f. Epilobium tetragonum, Linn. E. billardierianum, Seringe. E. pallidiflorum, Sol. Mesembryanthemum australe, Sol. Tetragonia expansa, Murray. Hydrocotyle novæ-zealandiæ, DC. H. asiatica, Linn. H. elongata, A. Cunn. Coprosma acerosa, A. Cunn. Galium umbrosum, Forst. Cotula coronopifolia, Linn. C. perpusilla, Hook. f. C. minuta, Forst. Raoulia australis, Hook. f. Gnaphalium keriense, A. Cunn. G. luteo-album, Linn. G. involucratum, Forst. Erechtites quadridentata, DC. Senecio lautus, Forst. Microseris Forsteri, Hook. f. Sonchus oleraceus, Linn. Lobelia anceps, Thunb. Selliera radicans, Cavan. Cyathodes acerosa, Br. Samolus littoralis, Br. Convolvulus sepium, Linn. C. soldanella, Linn., Limosella aquatica, var. tenuifolia, Linn. Veronica parviflora, Vahl. Euphrasia cuneata, Forst. Chenopodium triandrum, Forst. Salicornia indica, Willd. Polygonum minus, Huds. var. decipiens. Pimelea arenaria. A. Cunn. Euphorbia glauca, Forst. Typha angustifolia, Linn. Lemna minor, Linn. Potamogeton natans, Linn. Phormium tenax, Forst. Juncus vaginatus. Br. J. australis, Hook. f. J. maritimus, Lam. J. bufonius, Linn. J. communis, E. Meyer. J. capillaceus, Hook. f. Luzula campestris, DC. Leptocarpus simplex, A. Rich. Gaimardia setacea, Hook. f. Cyperus ustulatus, A. Rich. Scirpus maritimus, Linn. S. triqueter, Linn. Eleocharis gracilis, Br. Isolepis prolifer, Br. I. riparia, Br. Deamoschœnus spiralis, Hook. f. Cladium junceum, Br. Lepidosperma tetragona, Labill. Uncinia australis, Pers. Carex teretiuscula, Good. C. virgata, Sol. C. ternaria, Forst. C. testacea, Sol. C. pumila, Thunb. C. forsteri, Wahl. C. dissita, Sol. Spinifex hirsutus, Labill. Arundo conspicua, Forst. Arundo—, sp. nov. Festuca littoralis, Br. Azolla rubra, Br.

The ferns are few both in species and numbers, many having no doubt disappeared with the bush which gave them shelter:—

Cyathea dealbata, Swartz. C. medullaris, Swartz. Hymenophyllum tunbridgense, Smith. H. polyanthos, Swartz. Adiantum diaphanum, Blume. A. affine, Willd. Pteris aquilina, Linn., var. esculenta. P. incisa, Thunb. Lomaria filiformis, A. Cunn. L. membranacea, Colenso. Lomaria procera, Spreng., vars. L. banksii, Hook. f. Asplenium obtusatum, Forst., var. g. lucidum. A. hookerianum, Col. A. bulbiferum, Forst. Aspidium richardi, Hook. Nephrodium hispidum, Hook. Polypodium serpens, Forst. P. billardieri, Br. P. pustulatum, Forst. P. pennigerum, Forst. Gymnogramme leptophylla, Desv. Lycopodium volubile, Forst.

Introduced species of plants are comparatively few, and have made little progress towards displacement of the indigenous species; this may be accounted for in some measure by the isolated situation, but mostly by the vigorous growth of the plants in possession; only where the scrub is burnt and nothing useful sown, as on the southern sea slopes, or on blown sand where there is only a sparse vegetation, can even the thistle find a holding ground.

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In the following list many of the species are poorly represented, and many are confined to the sea shore, while none of them have attained the same extent here as in other parts of the province:—

Carduus lanceolatus, Linn. Helminthia echioides, Gœrtn. (rare). Cerastium vulgatum, Linn. Sherardia arvensis, Linn. Anagallis arvensis, Linn. Euphorbia peplus, Linn. Erodium cicutarium, Sm. Stellaria media, With. Polycarpon tetraphyllum, Linn. (abundant on the sea-shore). Geranium, molle, Linn. Fumaria officinalis, Linn. - Apargia hispida, Willd. Leontodon taraxacum, Linn. Hypochæris radicata, Linn. (not common.) Sagina procumbens, Linn. Rumex viridis, Sibth. Rumex maritimus, Linn. Rumex acetosella, Linn. Lythrum hyssopifolia, Linn. Nasturtium officinale, Br. Plantago lanceolata, Linn. Centaurea solstitialis, Linn. (spreading on the sea-shore). Prunella vulgaris, Linn. Rosa canina, Linn. (not common). Cytisus scoparius (yellow broom), DC. (confined to one patch near Maupui Pa). Ulex europæus, Linn. (furze). This dangerous weed is limited at present to a small patch on the shore of Evans Bay, and another near the old Pilot Station.

Of useful plants as pasture, the following were collected:—

Melilotus officinalis, Linn. (spreading over blown sand, and acting as a binder by its deep rooting.) Medicago lupulina, Linn. Trifolium repens, Linn. Holcus lanatus, Linn. Lolium perenne, Linn. Festuca bromoides, Linn. Gastridium lendigerum, Beauv. Lagurus ovatus, Linn. Poa annua, Linn. P. pratense, Linn. Anthoxanthum odoratum, Linn. Dactylis glomerata, Linn. Bromus commutatus, Schrad. B. arvensis, Linn. B. mollis, Linn. Ammophila arundinacca, Host.

Some are probably omitted from want of flowering or fruiting specimens to determine the species.