Art. LXX.—Description of a new species of Rumex.
[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, 16th September, 1876.]
Rumex neglectus, n. s.
Rootstock stout, giving off creeping branches. Leaves rosulate, 1–2 inches long; petioles nearly as long as the blade; linear-oblong, obtuse, truncate at the base, margins crenate and slightly waved. Panicle stout, depressed, rarely 2 inches in height, sometimes reduced to a single whorl produced from the apex of the rootstock; flowers bisexual, densely crowded in racemed whorls, the lower whorls each with a single petiolar leaf. Outer lobes of the perianth short, obtuse; inner lobes lanceolate, with two short teeth on each side; midrib tuberculate, elongated, tips elongated, enclosing the nut; nut trigonous, smooth.
Hab.: On shingle beaches, Wellington—(T. K.) Dusky Bay, (J. Buchanan).
My first knowledge of this very distinct species was obtained in 1870, when I examined a few imperfect specimens preserved in the herbarium of the Colonial Museum. Mr. Buchanan informed me they were collected on the shingly beach of Dusky Bay, where the plant occurred in such abundance that it was often collected by Dr. Hector's exploring party, and used for food, forming a welcome change to their somewhat monotonous diet. Last year I had the pleasure of collecting specimens on Ocean Beach, near Wellington, and at once recognised it as identical with the plant collected by Dr. Hector and Mr. Buchanan. It will probably be found on shingly beaches from New Plymouth to the Bluff.
From R. flexuosus, the common Native Dock, it is at once distinguished by the branched rootstock, rosulate leaves, peculiar habit, stout depressed panicle, and crowded inflorescence, and especially by the tuberculated inner lobes of the perianth.