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Volume 12, 1879
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Art. LVIII.—Descriptions of new Flowering Plants.

Plate XIV.

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, 21st February, 1880.]


Ranunculus depressus.

A small matted species with long straight hairs on scapes and petioles; stem simple, rarely giving off short, stout scions in the autumn. Leaves all radical, on rather long petioles, 1″–1 1/2″ long, depressed, spreading, broadly ovate in outline, trifoliolate, leaflets 3-toothed or lobed, or pinnatisect; segments linear, obtuse. Scapes solitary, stout, inclined, simple, 1-flowered, much shorter than the leaves, 3/4″–1″ long, sepals 5 membranous, petals 5 spreading, with a small gland near the base. Carpels hidden amongst the leaves, 3 or 4, turgid, with a minute beak.

Hab.—South Island: Trelissick, Canterbury, in bogs, 2,000 feet.

I had the pleasure of discovering this plant in the winter of 1876, and am indebted to Mr. J. D. Enys for flowering specimens. Its nearest ally is R. sinclairii, Hook, f., from which it is distinguished by the turgid achenes, and scapes shorter than the leaves. The leaves are broader and shorter in outline, sometimes nearly entire, but when divided the segments are always longer than those of its ally. The root stock is always erect and very short,

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while it is less stout than that of R. sinclairii, from which it is further distinguished by its singular habit.

Occasionally the leaves are reduced to three linear segments.

Ranunculus enysii.

Glabrous in all its parts. Leaves all radical, on long slender petioles, 3″–6″ long, 3–5-foliate, leaflets on slender pedicels, tripartite or nearly simple, segments cuneate, trilobate, toothed, teeth acute, margins thickened. Scapes 3–5, naked, simple, 1-flowered, 5″–12″ long, or rarely with a solitary branch springing from the axil of a reduced leaf. Flower 3/4″ in diameter, sepals 5, broadly ovate acute. Petals 5–10, broadly obovate. Achenes small, in dense globose heads, glabrous, ovate, with a short slender curved beak; testa minutely reticulate.

Hab.—South Island; Trelissick, Canterbury, 2–3000 feet—J. D. Enys.

Very different in appearance from any other New Zealand species, although in some respects it approaches the typical form of R. lappaceus, Sm., the styles, however, are never recurved, and the carpels are not keeled, as in that species; the heads are more truly globose, and, with the glabrous highly-divided leaves, afford subordinate distinctive characters of some importance. The rounded carpels distinguish it from R. plebeius, Br., and the minute curved styles from R. geraniifolius, Hook. f.


Carmichælia williamsi.

A leafless shrub. Branches excessively compressed, 3/8″–5/8″ broad, thin, with numerous parallel grooves, minutely pubescent when young, hoary, or silky; notches alternate, distant. Leaves unknown. Flowers sparingly produced, solitary or 2–3-flowered fascicles, very large, with the pedicels fully 1″ long, pedicels slender, silky. Calyx large, 5-toothed, acute, pubescent; corolla sharply curved upward, petals acute; stamens diadelphous; ovary shortly stipitate, glabrous; style long, curved, stigma capitate. Pod unknown.

Hab.—North Island: Raukokore Bay, Bay of Plenty, Hicks' Bay—Archdeacon W. L. Williams.

This fine species, in all respects the largest of the genus, is allied to C. nana, Hook. f., in the structure of the flowers, but entirely lacks the rigidity of that species. It will be interesting to learn if it resembles its ally in the turgid pod.

The branches are very thin for so large a plant, the notches are more distant than in any other species, and in the young state carry a single triangular scale, exactly as in C. nana, but in old branches the single scale is replaced by an aggregated mass of shorter scales, sometimes attaining the size of a small pea. The upper part of the vexillum forms a right angle

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with its base; the alæ are almost equal to the vexillum in length, but rather narrow; the carina is sharply curved, both segments being coherent for their entire length. The flowers appear to be of a lurid red colour similar to those of C. nana.

I am indebted to the Venerable Archdeacon W. L. Williams for specimens of this and other rarities; it affords me especial pleasure to associate his name with so fine a plant as a mark of appreciation of the unobtrusive services he has for many years rendered to botanical science in this colony.


Senecio compactus.

A much-branched compact shrub rarely more than 2 feet high. Branches stout, erect, and with the under-surface of the leaves, pedicels, and involucres densely covered with appressed white tomentum, forming a smooth surface. Leaves petioled, ascending, 3/4″–1/4″ long, ovate or obovate, obtuse, minutely waved at the margin, crenulate. Flowers in leafy 4–8-flowered racemes, terminal and solitary, or axillary and crowded near the ends of the branches: less frequently the heads are solitary and terminal. Heads broadly ovate in bud, 3/4″–1″ in diameter, broadly campanulate, pedicels 1/2″ long, involucral leaves, linear, obtuse cottony; receptacle flat, rays spreading broad. Achenes furrowed, silky, pappus white.

Hab.—North Island: Castle Point, East Coast, on limestone rocks, descending to sea-level. This handsome species is remarkable for its dwarf compact habit, although rarely exceeding 2 feet in height it attains a diameter of from 3 to 6 feet, and as nearly all its crowded branchlets are terminated by flowers it presents a most attractive appearance.

Its nearest ally is the alpine S. munroi, Hook. f., which is found at an elevation of from 1500 to 4000 feet in the north-eastern portion of the South Island; in sheltered places attaining the height of from 6 to 10 feet. It differs from the present species in the very small receptacle, turbinate heads, slender pedicels, glandular paniculate inflorescence, narrow membranous involucral scales, longer narrow spreading leaves, and slender habit.

In S. compactus the inflorescence is never glandular, nor paniculate; the receptacle is much larger than S. munroi, and the rays are twice the width. The tomentum, also, is much more copious, and milk white; at once attracting attention to the plant, which is not the case with S. munroi. The leaves of the latter are evidently reticulated beneath, which is not the case with S. compactus, in which the tomentum presents a smooth even surface.

This species attains its maximum of flowering about the middle of February, but a few flowers are produced nearly all the year round. I first observed it during the winter of 1877.

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Euphrasia disperma, Hook. f.
E. longiflora, Kirk, in Trans. N.Z. Inst. XI., p. 440.
E. (Anagosperma) disperma, Hook. f., Ic. Pl., t. 1283.

Stems weak, procumbent, matted, 2″–4″ long, clothed with deflexed, often glandular hairs. Leaves small, 1/6″–1/4″ long, opposite, shortly petioled or sessile, lanceolate, acuminate, 3-nerved, margins entire. Flowers solitary, axillary, on short curved pedicels, erect. Calyx deeply 4-cleft, teeth linear acute. Corolla erect, 1/2″–3/4″ long, tube narrow at base, dilated above, upper lip erect, obcordate; lower lip projecting, 3-lobed, lobes equal. Stamens 4, anthers large, exserted, acute. Stigma circinate at the apex. Ovary broadly ovoid, 2-celled, cells 1-ovuled, ovules pendulous from the top of the ovary. Capsule (immature) oblong, slightly beaked, apparently indehiscent.

Hab.—South Island: Okarito—A. Hamilton.

In Trans. N.Z. Institute, Vol. XI., I provisionally described this singular little plant under the name of Euphrasia longiflora, but before the publication of that volume it was described by Sir Joseph Hooker under the name given above. I have therefore given a fuller description, although still imperfect, as the ripe fruit is unknown.

This species is related to E. repens, Hook. f., which at present has only been found at the Bluff. E. disperma is distinguished from all its congeners by the 1-ovuled cells, while its narrow erect corolla and entire leaves are prominent characters.

Respecting E. repens and E. disperma, Sir Joseph Hooker writes in “Icones Plantarum:”—“The fruit is known in neither of these species; if indehiscent in both, they would form a genus instead of a subgenus, under which I now place them with the name Anagosperma from the reduced number of seeds.” He further states that E. disperma is distinguished from all other Scrophularineæ by its solitary ovules.


Pimelea haastii.

A strict low-growing shrub 6–10 inches high. Branches few (?), very slender, white with silky hairs. Leaves in distant pairs, petioled, ascending, narrow lanceolate, 3/4″–1 1/4″ long, acute, hairy below, or nearly glabrous, margins recurved; floral leaves similar. Flowers 5–8 in a head, very small, perianth swollen below, sessile, silky, lobes narrow, spreading; filaments short; style equalling the perianth tube. Fruit not seen.

Hab.—South Island: Canterbury Alps—Professor von Haast, Mr. Armstrong.

Although this plant appears very different from any other New Zealand form it is difficult to lay down satisfactory characters apart from the foliage

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Euphrasia Disperma, Hook.fil. J.B. lith.

and remarkable habit, in both of which it differs widely from its congeners. It is most nearly related to P. virgata, Vahl., but differs in the distant, erect leaves, which are broader and less acute than in that well-known species. In its slender habit and distant leaves it approaches the Tasmanian P. filiformis, but the flowers are very different, and the stems although extremely slender are not flexuous.

Two or three small specimens of our plant are preserved in the Herbarium of the Canterbury Museum, and were collected during Dr. Haast's earlier exploration in the Southern Alps. The precise habitat is unknown, but there is reason to believe that they were collected in the vicinity of the Porter River. I have received small specimens from Mr. Armstrong, marked, “habitat unknown,” but probably obtained from the same locality as those of Professor von Haast.

Description Of Plate XIV.

Euphrasia disperma, Hook. fil. Natural size.

1. Flower. 2. Anthers, back and front. 3. Stigma. 4. Longitudinal section of ovary. All enlarged.