Art. LIV.—A Description of a few new Plants from our New Zealand Forests, with dried Specimens of the same.
[Read before the Hawke's Bay Philosophical Institute, 13th October, 1879.]
During the last few years I have again turned my attention in spare time to the elucidating a little more of the still unknown botany of our adopted country; being as strong a believer as ever in the great peculiarities and narrow areas of not a few plants of our local Floras. And, from among several plants which I have detected, which have pleased me, I now bring you the following—all, I believe, being new species and hitherto undescribed, if not totally unknown to science. Some of them, I think, will interest you, particularly the Clematis, one of the two species of Metrosideros, and the three ferns. But, alas! between the most carefully prepared dried specimens and living plants—in all their glory and beauty—there is “a great gulph” of difference:—
A diffuse slender climber; branches striated.
Leaves 3-foliolate, submembranaceous, various in size and outline, mostly (1) ovate acute, mucronate, entire, 1 1/2 inches long, 7–8 lines broad, (2) sometimes deeply serrated and incised, having 1–4 incisions near apex, (3) sometimes cordate acuminate, 2 inches long, with 6–8 very large and irregular serratures or incisions, and (4) sometimes (rarely) broadly elliptic, almost orbicular, entire, and very obtuse; obscurely trinerved, nerves red; both surfaces well covered with adpressed golden-yellow shining hairs; veins numerous, yellow-red and semi-translucent, very finely reticulated—compound anastomosing having free veinlets terminating in areoles, as obtains in some ferns—(e.g., Polypodium membranaceum and our own P. billardieri); common petiole 3 inches long, petiolules 8–10 lines long; young branches, petioles, peduncles, and pedicels densely villous with yellowish-brown spreading woolly hairs. Flowers numerous, diameter 9–10 lines, disposed in long loose axillary panicles 4 inches long; sepals (male), six, yellow (brass colour), oblong-lanceolate, very obtuse or retuse, 4 lines long, obscurely 3–5 nerved, nerves branching, very woolly on the outside, the silky wool extending far beyond margins and apex, giving a subciliated appearance; anthers elliptic, obtuse, pinkish; filaments linear lanceolate, of various lengths, but much shorter than sepals, not very numerous, under thirty, often remaining after the sepals have fallen. Peduncles opposite, springing from main rhachis, 1–2 inches long, and about 1 inch apart, generally trichotomously bearing three flowers on pedicels 5–8 lines long, the central pedicel always the longest; peduncles and pedicels each having a pair of oblong obtuse connate bracts at their bases, those of the pedicels being the longest, thinnest, and simply veined.
A species having affinity with C. parviflora, A. Cunn., though very distinct.
Hab.—On the banks of the River Mangatawhainui (head of the River Manawatu), “Forty-mile bush,” 1878, and again, 1879; where it forms dense bushes with Rubus cissoides, climbing tolerably high, 14–16 feet, and presenting a glorious mass of yellow blossoms. Its flowers, however, are very fugacious, so much so that it is difficult to obtain good specimens, the mere gathering causing them to fall; hermaphrodite flowers, though carefully sought, were not seen.
I have very great pleasure in naming this graceful plant after our earliest botanical draughtsman, Sydney Parkinson, who accompanied Sir Joseph Banks and Captain Cook on their first voyage of discovery to New Zealand. Manibus Parkinsonibus sacrum.*
A climbing plant with reddish rugged bark, having stems round or obtusely and irregularly furrowed and angled or compressed, emitting rootlets like ivy, and bearing many pendulous leafy branches.
Leaves decussate and distichous, shortly petiolate, ovate acute, 7–9 lines long, 3–5 lines broad, with occasionally a pair nearly orbicular, triplinerved or sub-quintuplinerved, very pilose on both sides, thickly punctate, somewhat concave and imbricate, margins revolute, dark-green above and pale or yellowish-green below, sub-membranaceous, old leaves rather dry with obscure veins, young leaves and branchlets very light-coloured with scarcely a tinge of green at first; ultimate branches long, straight, always simple drooping, 12–18 inches long, densely villous, hairs patent. Flowers pendulous, white, small, 2 lines long, 8–16 together in a thyssoid panicle, mostly trichotomous, and always terminal; calyx gracefully infundibuliform, nearly 2 lines long, more than twice as long as the ovary, much broader at top and narrower at base than the ovary, pubescent and punctate, teeth 5 (sometimes only 3 or 4), triangular acuminate, re-curved, much longer than the petals, punctate, pubescent, and springing without from below the prolonged inner rim of the calyx; petals very minute, deciduous, whitish or light pink, somewhat orbicular, jagged at apex, clawed, the very short claw dark pink. Anthers minute, orbicular, light pink; filaments white, very slender, hair-like, flexuose, crowded, numerous, always more than 20, 2 lines long, deciduous; style slender, much longer than the stamens, 5 lines long, wavy, persistent; stigma dilated and slightly emarginate; ovary very small, less than a line in diameter, pilose, globose, obscurely trigonous, turgid, bursting loculicidally nearly to base. The main peduncle or rhachis stout, terminal, being the continuation of the branch, 4–6 lines long, this sometimes has a
[Footnote] * Vide Trans. N. Z. Inst., Vol. X., p. 109.
short secondary peduncle at its base, springing axillary from a leaf, and trichotomously bearing three flowers nearly sessile or on very short pedicels, bi-bracteate, bracts long linear; pedicels on main rhachis short, under 1 line long, each having a pair of minute, scarious, punctate, and pilose bracteoles at the base.
Hab.: Forests, head of the Manawatu River, climbing lofty trees; 1874–9.
This species is pretty closely allied to M. colensoi, Hook., but differing from that species in its peculiar strictly drooping growth, in its decussate and densely pilose broader and coloured leaves, in its peculiar calyx lobes, and terminal panicles of white flowers. It is a beautiful plant in its native wilds, and will, no doubt, at some future day, become a favourite garden one, on account of its elegant pendulous habit. Its flowers are rather rarely produced, and are generally, including the calyces, gnawed by insects. I had to seek often, and to wait some years ere I could get perfect specimens. I consider it by far the most graceful of all our known New Zealand species of Metrosideros.
A bushy diffuse climbing plant, with pale deciduous bark.
Leaves opposite, somewhat distichous, petiolate, 7–9 lines long, 4–6 lines broad, broadly ovate and acute, sometimes broadly elliptic and mucronate, sub-coriaceous, minutely punctate beneath, 3 (sub 5) nerved, midrib and lateral nerves prominent, margin entire, slightly revolute and finely ciliated, the lowest pair on a branchlet always the smallest, and often orbicular; young leaves very finely pilose on upper surface and on midrib beneath; petioles and branchlets densely and finely pilose. Flowers horizontal, erect, whitish, small, under 6 lines long, generally 5–7–9 together, decussate, in short racemes or thyrsoid-like panicles, always lateral, and springing directly from old wood,—sometimes, however, a small corymb of three, and more rarely a solitary one appears; calyx broadly campanulate, longer and broader than ovary, nerved, minutely pilose, with five (sometimes six) deltoid teeth, obtuse, persistent, minutely and regularly crenelled or subbeaded on inner border of the rim; petals small, fugacious, under one line in diameter, orbicular, scarcely clawed, obscurely 3–5-veined, punctate, erose, or minutely jagged at top, limb faintly pinkish, and some with a slight tinge of red—particularly on the outside,—claw dark coloured; anthers small, orbicular; filaments slender, simple, pure white, two lines long, flexuose, spreading, not numerous (15–20), deciduous; style stout, subulate, erect, much longer than stamens, 4–5 lines long during flowering, afterwards 6 lines long or more, persistent; stigma dilated; ovary small, under one line diameter, globose, wholly adherent with base of calyx-tube, splitting loculicidally into three valves, the terminal or central ovary sometimes bearing a
searious bracteole near its top; peduncle stout, pubescent, 6–20 lines long, pedicels slender, pubescent, 1–2 lines long, always opposite on rhachis, bracteolate, each with one or two small scarious obtuse bracteoles and several very minute acute ones at base, and often with a pair of large leafy broadly ovate punctate bracts pilose and ciliate immediately below the base of the pedicels.
Hab.—Forests at the head of the River Manawatu, where it climbs lofty trees; 1876–79.
This species, which has been long known to me in its non-flowering state, will rank near to M. hypericifolia, A. Cunn., which in some respects it resembles; differing, however, in its more upright manner of growth, not being so divaricate; in its leaves being petiolate, broader, pubescent, and ciliate, and not so acute; in the colour of its flowers; in its stamens being always very diffuse—not erect; in its style being much longer than its stamens; in its longer and more dilated calyx tube which is also persistent; and in its leafy panicles.
A good characteristic drawing of M. hypericifolia is given in the “Flora Nova Zelandia” (such as I have seen that handsome plant in the Northern woods), its flowers are wholly “scarlet” and very striking; but in this species its living flowers mostly appear pure white in its forests, owing to the early falling-off of its very small fugacious petals and its white spreading stamens.
A large shrub 8–12 feet high, of erect sub-pyramidal growth; bark thin, pale; branchlets striated.
Leaves broadly lanceolate, 3–5 1/2 inches long, 1–2 inches broad, mucronate, grossly and irregularly toothed at ends of lateral veins, teeth long subulate pointed, sub-membranaceous, rather dry, alternate, spreading, colour light-green, thickly covered above when young with long strigose loose woolly hairs,—hairs white, hoary, translucent, irregular in size and shape, branched, linear-lanceolate, broadest in middle, and tapering gradually to both ends,—and leaves densely covered below with closely-pressed white-brown cottony tomentum, which on the mid-rib and principal lateral veins is of a very much darker colour; lateral veins alternate at right-angles to mid-rib, conniving and coalescing within the margin; whole leaf closely filled with minute reticulated compound anastomosing veins; petioles 6–9 lines long, canaliculated, rather slender. Flowers axillary and sub-terminal in diffuse branching heads of loose corymbose panicles; heads numerous, small, crowded, 5–7 lines diameter, flowers of ray 8–14, white, patent, slightly recurved; involucre sub-campanulate, its scales in about three rows, lanceolate acute and densely woolly and tipped with black, each
involucre having a small linear bracteole close to its base; pappus numerous, white, pointed, not thickened at top, longer than involucre and shorter than the ray flowers; achenium (immature) glabrous, plain, not costate; peduncles from rhachis 1–2 inches long, always bearing an oblong obtuse bract close to their bases; pedicels 2–4 lines long, slender, generally with a linear bracteole at base or about the middle of pedicel, and mostly ending dichotomously with two heads of flowers; rhachis, peduncles, pedicels, involucres, and petioles, thickly covered with red-brown woolly tomentum.
Hab.—Dry forests, “Forty-mile Bush,” head of the River Manawatu; 1876–1878.
This plant is, no doubt, closely allied to O. cunninghamii, Hook., but differing in its peculiar strigose hoary leaves, and their several curious colours, and sharp apiculated teeth, in their veinlets branching from the midrib at right angles, and in its pointed pappus. I have more than once thought, that Sir J. D. Hooker may have included more than one species of Olearia under O. cunninghamii in his “Handbook of New Zealand Flora.” The type of that species (Brachyglottis rani), discovered and described by Cunningham, is a northern plant (Cunningham originally found it north of the Bay of Islands), and I have never met with it in these parts. But be that as it may, this species is neither Cunningham's plant nor the O. cunninghamii of Hooker. It is common in the “Forty-mile Bush” forest, and when in full flower in summer is a graceful and conspicuous object, always delighting the eye of the traveller that way with its striking masses of white blossoms. Curiously enough this plant does not flower every year. It flowered most abundantly in 1878, but in 1879 not a single shrub could I detect bearing any flowers!
It has been named colorata from the four colours of its leaves and petioles; the upper side of the leaf, when denuded of its hoary hairs, is a peculiar light green, below the blade is whitish with a slight tinge of ochre or light brown, while the mid-rib and larger veins are light reddish-brown, and the petioles and branchlets are a still darker shade of rich red-brown. All this is very constant and apparent, at first sight, in its living state. Its leaves are also frequently further discoloured through being punctured and gnawed by insects.
Plant terrestrial, cæspitose, sub-erect, many-fronded, rhizome or root-stalk rising only a few inches above ground, and in some few instances apparently shortly coalescent. Stipe very short, 6–9 inches, densely clothed throughout with long hairs; hairs 2 inches long, shining, chesnut-brown, articulated and moniliform their whole length; rhachises densely woolly and hairy with light brown, patent, glandular hairs; stipe and main-rhachis
green, sub-succulent, with a continuous, narrow, white-ridged, glabrous line, extending from pinna to pinna on both sides throughout their whole length. Frond obovate or cuneate, profoundly tapering downwards, or somewhat of a rhomboidal figure having two of its sides excessively produced, tripinnate, acuminate at tip, about 40 jugate, 6 feet long, broadest at 20 inches from apex, and there 18–20 inches in diameter, greatly attenuated downwards; pinnæ alternate, free, not crowded, longest pinna isosceles-triangular very acuminate, 9 1/2 inches long and 3 inches broad at base (broadest part), but rapidly decreasing in breadth, being, at 2 inches from base, only 2 inches broad; pinnæ at base of frond very small, 2–2 1/2 inches long, and distant, only 6–7 in the lowest foot on both sides, and fully 15–18 inches from lower end of rhachis before any approach to pairs; pinnules petiolate, straight or inclined forwards, triangular, 12–14 lines long, 4–5 lines broad, broadest at base, very acute, alternate; segments not crowded, oblong-ovate, sub-falcate, alternate, sessile, save lowermost pair on pinnule, decurrent, sharply toothed, the largest barren ones having 10–11 acute, almost spiny, teeth, fertile ones with fewer teeth and sub-revolute; texture membranaceous, both sides more or less hairy, particularly on mid-rib of pinnules; hairs on upper surface loose, hoary; veins pinnate, veinlets forked at apex, some simple, free; sori, generally four on largest segment, small, not crowded; involucres very globose and inflated, margins entire; valves large, especially the outer one which is cucullate, and partly composed of a different texture from that of the frond—not unlike that of a Cibotium.
Hab.—In hilly shaded forests, western slopes of Ruahine Range, head of river Manawatu, 1877–80.
This fern in some respects approaches to our D. fibrosa, but is very distinct. There is a common family resemblance among most of the large Dicksoniæ, rendering it difficult to discriminate species,—especially from merely dried specimens and portions of fronds. Here, however, the peculiar hairs afford a good character, also the sori and the striking outline of the frond (there are also others more or less minute). The very local and distinct D. arborescens, of St. Helena, the type of the genus, has also similar moniliform hairs. The time is rapidly approaching when ferns will be more truly and naturally classified (as to species) by their peculiar and never-varying natural microscopical characters;—much as now obtains among the Hepaticæ and Musci, the Umbelliferæ and Compositæ. This species is a very handsome growing plant, with its bold fine-spreading crown; in its manner of growth resembling its neighbours Aspidium aculeatum* and Lomaria discolor—but is as a giant among them! I have known it for
[Footnote] * In giving the name from the “Handbook, New Zealand Flora,” by which this handsome fern is therein described, I do not subscribe to its being identical with the British species of that name.
several years, but only last year, for the first time, found it bearing fruit in great profusion.
I have honoured myself by naming it after a disciple and fellow-countryman of Linnæus—Dr. Sparrman—who was one of the earliest botanists in New Zealand, accompanying Captain Cook and the two Forsters hither on his second voyage of discovery. Of Sparrman, his fellow-voyager Dr. Forster says in his preface to his classical Genera Plantarum:—“Sparmannus plantas describebat, Filius easdem delineabat.—Verum dum Sparmannus plantas accuratius examinaret, filius et ego sæpe in consilium vocati in commune consulebamus, etc.,”—and yet nothing in New Zealand has ever been named after him!†
Plant both epiphytical and terrestrial; rhizome red, wiry, creeping, hairy; hairs red.
Frond 4–8 lines long, oblong-ovate, obtuse, pinnate, 4–5 jugate, bearing long, red, broad, curved scales on its veins on both surfaces; pinnæ petiolate free, mostly opposite, lobed or sub-pinnatifid on the upper side only, lowermost pair always opposite and generally 3-lobed; rhachis not winged, save a very little at top, lobes very small and confluent at apex; stipe 3–7 lines long, capillary, flexuose; stipe and rhachis bearing scattered red chaffy scales; segments or lobes, obovate-elliptic, not linear, very obtuse or truncate, semi-transparent, largely serrate or laciniate, the teeth or laciniations very long for size of plant and wholly composed of the fine texture of the frond and often revolute never spinulose, generally five teeth at the apex of a lobe; involucres terminal and supra-axillary on the uppermost pinnæ, obovate, divided about halfway down, not compressed, and bearing red hairy scales; lips toothed; receptacle included; sori red.
Hab.—On trunks of living trees, and on the earth at their bases, in dense shady forests throughout the North Island; but sparingly. First detected (barren) on Te Ranga mountain, head-waters of Waikare, Bay of Islands, 1836; again (but barren) at the head of the Wairarapa Valley, 1852; and again, and in fruit, in the forests, west slopes of Ruahine mountain range, near the head-waters of the River Manawatu, 1878–9–80; generally found on Olea sp.
This little plant is nearly allied to Hymenophyllum tunbridgense, H. revolutum (mihi),‡ H. minimum, and other of the smaller Hymenophyllæ; but on close comparison with them (living specimens) it will be found to be abundantly distinct. To me it appears as a necessary needful species re-
[Footnote] † Vide “Transactions N.Z. Inst., Vol. I., “Essay on the Botany of the North Island, N.Z.,” pp. 55, 56, for more.
[Footnote] ‡ Tasmanian Journal Natural Science, Vol. I., p. 186.
quired to connect those species above referred to in a natural sequence. It is one of those ferns which, though distinct, it is difficult to describe specifically in words, as Sir W. J. Hooker, long ago, often remarked in his valuable works on ferns. Having, however, lately obtained specimens of Hymenophyllum tunbridgense (vera) from England, I am positive of its specific distinction; the typical British plant being wholly glabrous, having its rhachis strongly winged throughout (extending downward in some instances to the upper part of its stipe), its lobes always narrow “linear,” and serrate not slashed, teeth spinulose and hard not thin, with only 2–3 teeth at the apex of a lobe, and its fructification invariably supra-axillary and never terminal. But with botanists who make but one species of those two widely differing ferns—H. tunbridgense and H. wilsoni—of course this little fellow would be only deemed a variety of H. tunbridgense.
Plant creeping, epiphytical, pendulous on trunks of living trees; rhizome capillary, creeping, woolly.
Fronds pendulous, pinnate, 4–6 (sometimes 7) jugate, dark-green, glabrous, semi-transparent, oblong, somewhat deltoid, obtuse, 1–2 inches long, 6–12 lines wide; pinnæ petiolate, close not crowded, tolerably regular, lowermost pair mostly opposite and generally the largest, flabellate and rhomboid-acuminate, sub-pinnatifid or deeply cut on both sides, trinerved, each nerve a little waved and giving out pinnate veins, veinlets simple or forked, margin slightly sinuous; segments generally 3–5 on a pinna, obtuse or retuse, cuneate at base, middle one linear and much produced; involucres scattered on both edges of pinnæ, 2–5 on a pinna, upper half free or with one side attached to frond, tubular or slightly funnel-shaped, mouth much dilated, plane, equal all round: receptacle setaceous and exserted, 2–6 lines long, curved; rhachis winged slightly at apex; stipe 9–12 lines long, capillary, flexuose; both stipe and rhachis green, nearly same colour as frond: stipe always black at base.
Hab.—On trunks of living trees, dense shady damp forests, west slopes of Ruahine mountain range, head of the River Manawatu; 1878–9.
This little novelty is nearly allied to Trichomanes venosum, Brown; differing, however, in several respects, especially in its sub-flabellate trinerved pinnæ, in its rhachis not being winged, and in its involucres, which are also numerous and scattered on both edges of its pinnæ.
While growing pretty plentifully in that locality, though only hitherto detected on a few trees, it is not very often found in fruit; at the same time some insect seems to be very fond of its fronds, which are generally more or less gnawed. Showing, in this respect also, a great difference to its ally T. venosum, which, on the neighbouring tree-ferns, luxuriates untouched in
all its glossy beauty. It was only in this last year (1879), after very diligent research, that I succeeded in obtaining good fruiting specimens of this plant.
P.S.—Specimens of all the Plants described in this Paper have been forwarded with it to the Manager of the New Zealand Institute, for the Herbarium of the Colonial Museum, Wellington.