Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
Volume 13, 1880
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Art. XLVII.—Description of a new species of Metzgeria; also a brief notice of the finding of Bæoniyces heteromorphus, Nyl., in New Zealand.

[Read before the Hawkes' Bay Philosophical Institute, 12th July, 1880.]

Metzgeria (Symphyogyna) rugulosa, n.s.

Plant terrestial, sub-erect, of close half imbricate growth, forming little beds; root creeping, densely tormentose, colour light brown; stipe 2–3 in. long, sub-flexuose, whitish, translucent, semi-succulent, two-nerved downwards from the fork (four-nerved above), nerves very distinct; frond darkish green, very membranaceous, drooping outwardly, flabellate and kidney-shaped in outline, 10–12 lines broad, 5–7 lines long, forked, symmetrical, each main division trichotomously divided and two-nerved, semi-rugulose on upper surface glabrous; segments linear, 2–3 lines long, 1 line broad,

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bifid, emarginate, transparent, midrib very apparent and extending to margin at emarginate apex, margins entire; fructification 3–5 on one frond, from below at the fork of main division of frond, and again at each fork of the secondary divisions; calyptra tubular, 3 lines long, very slightly incised at top (somewhat resembling the tubular capsule of Cerastium vulgatum), at first white, but after flowering bearing a pale reddish tinge; involucre crisped and fimbriate; capsule (immature) at first linear-elliptic, dark coloured, enclosed in tubular calyptra, 1 line long, afterwards seated on long whitish succulent fruit-stalk, 10–12 lines long, bursting into four red-brown valves, cohering by their apices.

This interesting and curious little plant has very much of the appearance of a stipitate Symphyogyna, to which genus I should undoubtedly have referred it had I not fortunately (after much research) found it in fruit. It is very like S. flabellata in general appearance, though quite distinct, and without fruit, and at first sight might easily be confounded with it. It has many natural characters in common with that genus, but from the position of its ventral fructification it is placed (provisionally) under Metzgeria. It seems, however, to serve to unite those two genera. Although closely resembling Symphyogyna flabellata in some particulars, it differs from it not merely in the situation of its fructification, but also in its involucral scale being much more crisped and even fimbriated (which, in that species, has plain margins), while the top of its calyptra is very much less incised (which, in that species, is largely cut and fimbriated), and the segments of its fronds, instead of being obtuse, as in that plant, are emarginate. It also largely differs in its habit of growth. Another peculiarity is its bearing two manner of fronds from the same rhizome: one, the larger and often fruitful one, as described; the other is much smaller, and, though forked, is less cut, and more palmate or sub-flabellate in outline, with the upper part of the stipe winged, its colour a light green, quite glabrous and smooth, and highly transparent. At first I had supposed it to be another species, but subsequent and frequent examination has confirmed its forming with the other and larger frond only one plant.

Hab.—On the banks of a watercourse in a deep, secluded, damp glen, on the west side of the main road, about four miles south from Norsewood, in the “Seventy-mile bush,” May, 1880, with immature fruit; and again in October, 1880, with fruit fully ripened, and passing. Hitherto I have only detected it growing in one small spot, though there plentifully.

Bœomyces heteromorphus, Nyl.

Thallus constaceous, spreading, thin, greyish or dull-white; apothecia reddish flesh-coloured, orbicular, flat or very slightly depressed, with a finely crenlated margin, 1–5 together, separate rarely confluent, on a thick

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short stipe (podetium), which is generally cylindrical in the lower part and sub-branched in the upper, each branchlet terminating in an apothecium.

Hab.—On sub-vertical clayey banks, in the forest (“Seventy-mile bush”), between Norsewsod and Daneverk, forming large patches, and growing with B. rufus.

I was much pleased in detecting this pretty little plant, especially in finding it growing together with its allied species B. rufus; the contrast between them was great, in the thallus as well as in apothecia, and showed advantageously. Hitherto, I believe, this species has only been found in Tasmania.