Z. muelleri, Irmisch.
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Stem creeping, rather stout for the size of the plant, clothed with the dead bases of old leaves. Leaves linear, 3–6 inches long, 1/16–1/12 inch wide, with about six nerves on each side of a midrib formed of two nerves in contact for their whole length, margin thickened; spathes 1–4, including the leafy portion 2–3 inches long, peduncles short, flattened; spadix rarely exceeding ¾ inch in length with inflexed membranous appendages on the margins; anthers about six on each side, ovules four; stigmas frequently exserted. Fruit faintly furrowed when mature.
Hab. North Island—Port Nicholson; on mud flats exposed at low water.
Our plant differs from the typical form in its more robust stem, clothed with the persistent bases of old leaves, leaves somewhat crowded and narrower, in the short, flattened peduncles, and in the rather larger fruit which agrees with the type in being faintly striated.
In Port Nicholson it is associated with the larger plant provisionally identified with Z. marina, the inflorescence of which must be sought in deep water.
According to Dr. Ascherson, the typical form Z. nana has a wide distribution, occurring at the Canary Islands, Mediterranean, North Coast of Sicily, Smyrna, Black Sea, Caspian Sea, Portugal, Spain, France, British Islands, Holland, Denmark, Holstein, Japan, Cape of Good Hope, Port Natal, Nossi Beh.
Var. muelleri has been collected on the coasts of Chili, South and East Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand.
Zostera tasmanica, G. v. Martens, is said to occur in New Zealand, but I do not know by whom collected. The plant intended is probably that referred to in the early part of this paper as Z. marina; but in any case the identification cannot be considered satisfactory in the absence of flowers, since it is possible that our plant may belong to Phucagrostis, which it closely resembles in habit.