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Volume 12, 1879
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Art. LX.—Notice of the Occurrence of Lagenophora emphysopus, and other unrecorded Plants in New Zealand.

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

Lagenophora emphysopus, Hook. f.

This plant was brought under my notice as a native of the colony by Mr. W. H. Field, a student of Wellington College, who discovered it on hills near Evans Bay; shortly afterwards it was obtained at Paikakariki by Mr.

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H. B. Kirk; and I had the pleasure of collecting it in a third locality, near this city. The following are its chief characteristics:—

Root of stout fleshy fibres. Leaves all radical, tufted, oblong or obovate, obtuse, narrowed at the base into a short broad petiole, obscurely toothed or crenate; hirsute or pubescent. Scapes numerous, stout, grooved, hirsute, longer than the leaves, usually constricted immediately beneath the head, ebracteate, or with a short leafy bract. Head 2–3 lines in diameter; involucral scales obtuse, with membranous margins. Ray florets scarcely longer than the involucral scales, always (?) tubular. Achenes of the ray flattened, glabrous, narrowed at both ends; of the disc abortive.

This species approaches L. lanata, Hook. f., in its general characters, but the heads are even less conspicuous than in that species, the florets being much shorter and the scapes very stout.

Our plant differs from Australian specimens in the scapes being much longer than the leaves, and in the ray florets being always tubular, at least in all the specimens I have examined. Bentham describes the ray florets of the Australian plant as “tubular in bud, but opening out into a short concave 2 or 3-toothed ligula.” I have not met with any trace of a ligula, but it should be mentioned that all my specimens were collected very early in the season.

It is the Solenogyne bellioides, Sond., of Baron von Müeller's Illustrations of the Plants of Victoria, t. 37.

Vittadinia australis, A. Rich., var. dissecta.

In April, 1873, I observed this plant in great abundance by roadsides and in rocky and waste places about Nelson, but during recent visits have been unable to obtain a single specimen even, the plant having apparently died out in the localities where I had gathered it. Two years ago, however, Mr. Cheeseman discovered it in great profusion in a new locality on the coast north of Nelson, extending towards D'Urville Island, and last month I collected it in the North Island, at the shingly mouths of small streams discharging into Palliser Bay, between Watirangi and Cape Palliser. It is doubtless an introduced plant, but will probably be able to maintain its position on loose soils and amongst shingle.

It attains the height of from one to two feet, and differs from the typical V. australis in its strict, erect habit; tripartite leaves with narrow 3-lobed segments, and densely-crowded, corymbose flowers, with more or less revolute purple ray florets.

Altogether it presents a widely different appearance from the typical form, and should, I think, be regarded as specifically distinct.

Mesembryanthemum æquilaterale, Haw.

During a visit to Castle Point, I had the pleasure of collecting this species, and now record its occurrence as an addition to our Flora. At first

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I was under the impression that I must have overlooked it in other places on account of its similarity to M. australe, Sol., but on examining numerous localities in which that species is plentiful, I find no trace of M. æquilaterale, which may possibly prove to be local with us, although of wide distribution in Australia.

M. æquilaterale does not appear to descend to the sea-level, or to grow in places exposed to the sea. So far as my observations extended, it was restricted to sheltered places nowhere below 250 feet above sea-level, and never mixed with M. australe, which was abundant on the exposed face of the rocks.

In general appearance our plant resembles M. australe, but is distinguished by the winged fruit and peduncles; the latter being twice or thrice as long as the leaves, which, in my specimens, are not quite so stout as those of M. australe. The immature fruit is never obviously warted as in that species.

I append a description:—

Stems prostrate, stout, 1–3 feet long. Leaves opposite 1″–2″ long, fleshy, linear, triquetrous, or compressed, acute, glabrous. Flowers on long peduncles, terminating short branchlets, or axillary, peduncles twice or thrice the length of the leaves. Calyx tube fleshy, turbinate, 2/3 of an inch long: lobes 5, unequal, two much larger than the others, fleshy, produced along the calyx tube and peduncle forming a prominent wing. Petals spreading, white or pinkish purple. Styles about 8. Fruit (immature) punctate, with two prominent wings.