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Volume 10, 1877
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Art. LXI.—Contributions to the Botany of Otago.

[Read before the Otago Institute, 17th January, 1878.]

With the exception of three or four species mentioned to indicate an extension of their range of distribution, the following plants have not been enumerated in any previous contribution to our knowledge of the flora of Otago.* Most of them were observed during hasty visits to portions of the district in the winter of 1874 and the summer of 1876–7, both under circumstances which prevented my paying more than cursory attention to purely botanical subjects. A few species are mentioned on the authority of the “Handbook of the New Zealand Flora,” and others on the authority of

[Footnote] * For a Sketch of the Botany of Otago, by J. Buchanan, see Trans. N.Z. Inst., I., p. 22. On Plants collected near Invercargill, by J. S. Webb, V., p. 360. Notes on Otago Plants, by G. M. Thomson, IX., p. 538.

[Footnote] See also Contributions to New Zealand Botany, by W. Lauder Lindsay, M.D., etc.; London, 1868.

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specimens communicated by Mr. D. Petrie and Mr. G. M. Thomson, to whom I have great pleasure in expressing my thanks.

The chief interest of the following list consists in the corrected views it affords of the relative proportion of Glumiferœ, especially of the cyperaceous section, to other phænogams in the south; the Gramineœ are increased one-fourth and the Cyperaceœ nearly doubled as compared with Mr. Buchanan's Catalogue, in which the latter form less than one-twentieth of the entire number of flowering plants, a striking contrast to the ordinary proportion in the North Island which is one-tenth. The present list shows that the actual proportion in Otago is one-thirteenth, and that the small disparity which really exists is chiefly due to the deficiency in Cladium and Schœnus, which, although abundant in the north, are represented in Otago by a single species of the former and two of the latter. On the other hand all the New Zealand Carices are found in Otago with the exception of C. chlorantha, Br., C. colensoi, Hook. f., and C. stellulata, Good.; the last two will certainly be found within the district, but the first is restricted to the North Island where it is very local.

I hope to consider the chief points of interest in the distribution of Otago plants in a future paper.

It is a subject for regret that we know so little of the flora of Stewart Island and the Snares, which exhibit features of great importance. Little as we know of both, the flora of Stewart Island shows a connection between the peculiar plants of the south-west coast of Otago on one side, and those of the Chatham Islands on the other—while that of the Snares shows a connection with the Auckland Islands and the Chathams, apparently more close than that with the nearest portion of the main land. I venture to suggest to the members of the Otago Institute the propriety of making arrangements for the systematic investigation of the flora and fauna of these little known portions of their district.


Clematis hexasepala, DC. Bluff Harbour.

afoliata, Buch. Waitaki Valley—J. Buchanan.

Ranunculus hirtus—Banks and Sol.

β. supinus. Valley of the Dart.

ternatifolius, T. Kirk. R. trilobatus, “Trans. N.Z.I.,” p. 547, not of Kit. Catlin River.

nanus, Hook. Otago—J. Buchanan! D. Petrie! Above Lake Harris—T.K.

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Lepidium incisum, Banks and Sol. A doubtful plant, with numerous slender, prostrate leaflets, branched stems referred to this species for the present. First observed by Mr. Petrie. Cape Whybrow.


Melicytus micranthus, Hook. f. Near Dunedin.


Aristotelia “erecta,” Buch. Lake district; Wyndham. 800–1,200 feet—J. Buchanan. I have not seen specimens of this plant.


Stackhousia minima, Hook. f. Waipori—D. Petrie!


Carmichœlia munroi, Hook, f. Near Cromwell—Captain J. Campbell- Walker; Cardrona Valley—T. K. Fruiting specimens only.

pilosa, Col. Mr. Petrie has sent Otago specimens apparently belonging to this species, but without locality.

flagelliformis, Col. A remarkable plant, which may possibly prove to be a form of this species, was obtained in the Cardrona Valley. It was characterized by long flexuous branches, numerous trifoliolate leaves with deeply-notched leaflets, and large fruit fully ½ inch in length, with a long straight beak.


Acœna glabra, Buch. Valley of the Dart.

A. inermis, Hook. f. Lake Wakatipu; Valley of the Dart, etc.; Lake Hawea.

A. depressa, T. Kirk. Cardrona Valley; Lake Hawea.


Drosera pygmœa, DC. Bluff Hill.


Haloragis uniflora, T. Kirk. Bluff Hill. H. tenuissima of Mr. Thomson's list (not of T. Kirk) must be referred here.

Myriophyllum pedunculatum, Hook. f. Bluff Hill—T. Kirk; Stewart Island—G. M. Thomson!


Fuchsia colensoi, Hook. f. Oamaru; Bluff Harbour.

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Pozoa haasti, Hook. f. Mountains above Lake Harris, 4,000 feet.

Oreomyrrhis colensoi, Hook. f. Bluff Harbour.

Ligusticum filifolium, Hook. f. Mountains above Lake Harris.

intermedium, Hook. f. Chasland's Mistake—D. Petrie!


Griselinia lucida, Forster. Dusky Bay, Chalky Bay—Handbook; Catlin River—Lindsay.


Loranthus decussatus, T. Kirk. Valley of the Dart.


Coprosma serrulata, Hook. f. Mountains above Lake Harris.

repens, Hook. f. Mountains above Lake Harris.


Olearia angustifolia, Hook. f. Stewart Island—Handbook N.Z. Flora.

lyallii, Hook. f. Living plants apparently belonging to this fine species have been obtained from the Snares by Captain Johnson and presented to the Botanic Gardens, Wellington. They vary considerably in the size and shape of the leaves, and in the marginal toothing, some leaves having the doubly serrate margin of O. colensoi, while others on the same plant are almost crenate, or obscurely toothed.

Celmisia discolor, Hook. f. Mountains above Lake Harris.

verbascifolia, Hook. f. Horse Ranges—J. C. Webb!

spectabilis, Hook. f. Above Lake Harris; Cardrona Range.

bellidioides, Hook. f. Near Lake Harris.

glandulosa, Hook. f. With the above.

walkeri, T. Kirk. Mountains above Lake Harris.

Brachycome odorata, Hook. f. A doubtful plant, characterized by its flaccid membranous leaves, scapes leafy at the base, is referred to this species for the present. Cape Whybrow—T. K.; near Dunedin—D. Petrie! Stewart Island—G. M. Thomson!

pinnata, Hook. f. Stewart Island—Handbook.

Cotula minor, Hook. f. The Bluff and other places.

Raoulia munroi, Hook f. Near Dunedin—Dr. Lindsay, J. Buchanan!

petriensis, T. Kirk. Mount St. Bathans—D. Petrie!

Senecio robusta, J. Buch. Mount Eglinton—J. Morton! mountains above Lake Harris—T. K.; mountains near the Greenstone—J. Buchanan.

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Stylidium subulatum, Hook. f. The Bluff Hill—T. K.; Flagstaff Hill, Dunedin—J. Buchanan.


Pratia angulata, Hook. f., var. arenaria. Catlin River.


Archeria traversii, Hook. f., var. australis. Common on the west coast of Otago—Handbook.


Myosotidium nobile, Hook. On the Snares, abundant; leaves sometimes 2 feet in diameter—H. Armstrong; Cruise of the Amherst, 1868. See “Trans. N.Z. Inst.,” II., p. 176.


Solamum nigrum, Linn. Lake Hawea.


Gratiola nana, Benth. The Bluff Hill—T. K.; McRae's Diggings—D. Petrie! Glossostigma elatinoides, Benth. The Bluff Harbour.

Veronica pimeleoides, Hook. f. Waitaki—J. Kidd.

macrantha, Hook. f. Mountains above Lake Harris.

canescens, T. Kirk. Oamaru—J. Buchanan!

Euphrasia repens, Hook. f. Bluff Island—Handbook.


Plantago spathulata, Hook. f. Near Invercargill—J. S. Webb!

brownii, Rapin. Mountains above Lake Harris. The Otago plant is nearly glabrous, and in several respects approaches the Auckland Island form, figured on table 43 “Flora Antarctica,” I., more closely than specimens from any other locality.


Chenopodium detestans, Kirk. Cultivated land near the outlet of Lake Wanaka.

Atriplex patula, L. Abundant on disturbed silt, Cape Whybrow.

Salsola kali, L. Ida Valley—D. Petrie! The Otago plant is less robust than the Australian form naturalized on the banks of the Waitemata, and, from its occurrence in company with Chenopodium pusillum in this remarkable inland locality, must be considered indigenous. Both plants are usually littoral, but are found in inland localities marking the site of ancient sea margins or exhausted brine springs.

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Rumex neglectus, T. Kirk. West Coast of Otago—J. Buchanan! Bluff Harbour—T.K.


Pimelea virgata, Vahl. A remarkable form, white, with a dense covering of silky hairs on the leaves, is plentiful on the Cardrona range.

lyallii, Hook. f. Descends to the sea-level at Chasland's Mistake—D. Petrie!


Exocarpus bidwillii, Hook. f. Bed of the Waitaki—Handbook.


Fagus cliffortioides, Hook. f. Valley of the Dart. The spray of this species more closely resembles that of the European beech, F. sylvatica, than the other New Zealand species.


Libocedrus bidwillii, Hook. f. Near Dunedin, etc. This is doubtless the L. doniana of Mr. Buchanan's Catalogue of Otago Plants.

Dacrydium bidwillii, Hook. f.



West Coast of Otago—Dr. Hector!


Chiloglottis cornuta, Hook. f. The Bluff Hill.

Prasophyllum pumilum, Hook. f. Several imperfect specimens collected on the Bluff Hill appear identical with this species.

nudum, Hook. f. Mountains above Lake Harris; the Bluff Hill, etc.


Potamogeton oblongus, Vir. Near Invercargill—J. S. Webb.

P. pectinatus, L. Waihola Lake.


Astelia grandis, Hook. f. This is in part the A. nervosa of Mr. Buchanan's Catalogue.

[A. banksii, A. Cunn. Plants in the Dunedin Botanic Garden are said to have been found on “cliffs, near Dunedin,” but the alleged habitat is extremely improbable and requires examination.]


Juncus lamprocarpus, Ehr. Plentiful about Invercargill; Bluff.

β. Ditches near Kew railway station.

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Schœnus axillaris, Hook f. The Bluff Hill.

Eleocharis sphacelata, Br. Bluff Island—Lyall, “Handbook.” This habitat requires confirmation; the nearest authenticated habitat is in the Taupo country—fully 600 miles distant.

acuta, Br., var. platylepis. E. gracilis of Mr. Buchanan's list, and of Fl. N.Z., not of Brown.

gracillima, Hook. f. Bluff Harbour, etc.

Isolepis cartilaginea, Br. The Bluff Hill.

fluitans, R. Br. Imperfect specimens from the Bluff Hill appear to be identical with this species.

Gahnia setifolia, Hook. f. Lake Wakatipu, etc.

Lepidosperma tetragona, Labill. Bluff Harbour.

Uncìnia sinclairii, Boott. Valley of the Dart.

australis, Pers. Lake Wakatipu, etc.

rupestris, Raoul. Bluff Harbour.

filiformis, Boott. Routeburn.

banksii, Boott. Bluff Harbour.

Carex pyrenaica, Wahl., var. Mountains of Otago—J. Buchanan.

acicularis, Boott. Wet rocks on the ascent to Lake Harris.

inversa, Br. Valley of the Dart.

debilis, M. S. Mountains above Lake Harris.

virgata, Sol., var. secta. Oamaru.

appressa, Br. Milford Sound—Dr. Hector.

subdola, Boott. Lake Wakatipu, etc.

breviculmis, Br. The Bluff Hill.

neesiana, Endl. Catlin River.

dissita, Soland. Catlin River.


Microlœna stipoides, Br. In a single locality near Oamaru—perhaps a recent introduction. It is, however, certainly native to Westland.

avenacea, Hook. f. Lake Wakatipu.

Apera arundinacea, Hook. f. Water of Leith, etc.

Agrostis canina, L., var. subulata. Lake Wanaka, etc.

billardieri, Br. Cape Whybrow.

Arundo “fuloida,” Buch. Mataura River—J. Buchanan.

Danthonia flavescens, Hook. f. Southland.

Gryceria stricta, Hook. f. Moeraki, and other places on the east coast; Dunedin, etc.

Poa imbecilla, Forst. Balclutha, etc.

Festuca littoralis, Br. Near Cape Whybrow.

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Alsophila colensoi, Hook. f. Hills about Dunedin; Lake Wakatipu; Catlin River; Seafield Bush. Trunk sometimes 7 feet high.

Hymenophyllum montanum, T. Kirk. Mountains above Lake Wakatipu—Mrs. Mason!

villosum, Col. Routeburne; mountains above Lake Harris.

Davallia fosteri, Carruth. Dusky Bay—Forster. “Synopsis Filicum,” edit.

2. This species is only known from Forster's original specimen in the British Museum.

Lindsaya viridis, Col. West Coast—J. Buchanan.

Lomaria dura, Moore. West Coast Sounds—J. D. Enys! Catlin River—D. Purdie and P. Thompson! Bluff Hill—T. Kirk. In situations exposed to the spray of the sea.


Lycopodium laterale, Brown. Stewart Island—Mrs. Pearson!


Panax lessonii, DC. Said to occur on the west coast of Otago, but it is to be feared that some mistake has been made. The plant appears to be confined to the Auckland district.

Pimelea urvilleana, A. Rich. Mentioned in Mr. Buchanan's list, but I greatly fear that some other species has been mistaken for it.

Potamogeton heterophyllus, Schreber. Included in the lists of Mr. Buchanan and Dr. Lindsay, but must be expunged as it is not a New Zealand plant. Young states of the so-called “P. natans” which developes copious submerged leaves have been mistaken for it throughout the colony.

Dichelachne stipoides, Hook. f. Included in Mr. Buchanan's list, but the precise locality forgotten. It is a northern plant finding its southern boundary at the East Cape, and is, at best, of extremely improbable occurrence in any part of the South Island.

Lomaria pumila, Raoul. Mr. Buchanan informs me that he mistook a small form of L. membranacea, Colenso, for this species. It is, however, not unlikely to occur on the west coast.

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The following species may be expected to occur in the district, and should be carefully sought for:—

Olearia forsteri, Hook. f. Gahnia hectori, T. Kirk.

Celmisia munroi, Hook. f. ebenocarpa, Hook. f.

Lobelia anceps, Thunb. rigida, T. Kirk.

Dacrydium westlandicum, T. Kirk. Uncinia leptostachya, Raoul.

Cordyline banksii, Hook. f. Carex colensoi, Boott.

Astelia linearis, Hook. f. stellulata, Good.

Phormium colensoi, Hook. f. Spinifex hirsutus, Labill.

Cladium glomeratum, Br. Zoysia pungens, Willd.

junceum, Br. Bromus arenarius, Labill.

Naturalized Plants*


Ranunculus bulbosus, L. Oamaru, etc.


Eschscholtzia californica, Cham. Shingly shores of Lake Hawea.


Fumaria muralis Sond. Dunedin, etc.


Barbarea prœcox, Br. Dunedin; Invercargill; Moeraki.

Sisymbrium officinale, L.

Capsella bursa-pastoris, DC.

Senebiera coronopus, Poiret.

didyma, Persoon.

Lepidium ruderale, L. Common by roadsides, etc. This is probably the L. campestre of Mr. Thomson's list, a species only found in cultivated land.

smithii, Hook. Roadsides, Bendigo.


Dianthus barbatus, L. On the sites of abandoned gardens.

Silene quinquevulnera, L. Not unfrequent; probably the S. gallica of Mr. Thomson's list.

Stellaria graminea, L. Otago—D. Petrie!

Arenaria serpyllifolia, L. Otago—D. Petrie.

Sagina procumbens, L. Near Invercargill; Bluff Harbour.

Polycarpon tetraphyllum, L. Oamaru.

Spergula arvensis, L.

[Footnote] * See Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. VII., 370.

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Malva rotundifolia, L.

Lavatera arborea, L. Oamaru.


Erodium cicutarium, L.


Medicago denticulata, Willd. Dunedin; Moeraki.

Melilotus officinalis, L.

Trifolium procumbens, L.

Vicia hirsuta, Koch. Oamaru, etc.

sativa, L.

angustifolia, Roth.


Acœna ovina, A. Cunn. Otago—G. M. Thomson!


Fœniculum vulgare, Gærtn. Dunedin, etc.


Madia sativa, DC. About three miles from Balclutha, by Mataura-road. Our plant is the M. viscosa, Car.

Anthemis arvensis, L.

Matricaria inodora, L.

Senecio sylvaticus, L. Cardrona Valley; near Queenstown.

Lapsana communis, L.

Hypochœris radicata, L.

Helminthia, echioides, Gærtn.

Thrincia hirta, L.


Erythrœa centaurium, Pers. Oamaru.


Collomia grandiflora, Daug. Queenstown; Cardrona.

Navarretia squarrosa, Hook. and Arn. In profusion by the coach-road between Elbow and Kingstown; between Queenstown and Lake Hawea.


Myosotis strigulosa, Reich. Otago—D. M. Petrie!


Lycium barbarum, L. Balclutha; Invercargill, etc.

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Verbascum thapsus, L.

Mimulus luteus, L. Dunedin; Invercargill, etc.

moschatus, Daug. Hills above Water of Leith, Dunedin; between Elbow and Lowther, etc.

Veronica arvensis, L.

agrestis, L.

buxbaumii, Ten. Near Balclutha.

Bartsia viscosa, L. Otago—G. M. Thomson!


Verbena officinalis, L. Balclutha; Mataura, etc.


Stachys arvensis, L.

Marrubium vulgare, L.

Prunella vulgaris, L. Mr. Thomson informs me that this is the Ajuga reptans of his list of naturalized plants.


Rumex viridis, Sibth.

obtusifolius, L.


Chenopodium album, L.

viride, L.

botrys, L. Otago—D. Petrie!

Atriplex angustifolia, Huds. Cardrona, etc.

erecta, Sm. Otago—D. Petrie!


Anacharis canadensis, Planch. Professor Coughtrey informed me that he had seen a fragment of this plant floating in water near Cromwell.


Iris germanica, L. Bluff Harbour.


Phalaris canariensis, L.

Agrostis alba, L., β. stolonifera.

Aira caryophyllea, L.

Briza minor, L.

Cynosurus cristatus, L. Palmerston.

Festuca sciuroides, Roth. Horse Ranges; Palmerston, etc.

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Bromus sterilis, L.

racemosus, Parl. Dunedin, etc.

unioloides, Humb.

Lolium temulentum, L.

Hordeum murinum, L. Dunedin; Invercargill etc.