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Volume 14, 1881
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Art. XLVI.—A Description of a few new Plants from our New Zealand Forests.

[Read before the Hawke's Bay Philosophical Institute, 14th November, 1881.]

Class I. Dicotyledons.

Order 1. Ranunculaceæ.

Genus 1. Clematis, Linn.

Clematis quadribracteolata, n.sp.

Plant diæcious, small, very slender, trailing, extending only a few feet each way; branches sulcated, glabrous or with the young ones slightly and finely puberulent; leaves few, very minute, trifoliolate, on long petiolules 2–3 lines long, mostly ovate-acuminate and broadly lanceolate, or spathulate, ½–1½ lines long, and sometimes linear-lanceolate 3–5 lines long acute with a knobbed point, no lateral veins, only a mid-rib, with here and there a

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trifid leaflet, glabrous on both sides, sub-coriaceous, entire, dark-green margined with a deep black line; petioles glabrous, opposite, 1–2 inches long; flowers opposite, axillary solitary, sometimes (though rarely) two from one axil, and very rarely three pedicelled on one peduncle; peduncle ½–1½ inches long, shorter than petioles, tri- and quadri-bracteolate, slightly pubescent below, densely so from uppermost pair of bracteoles; bracteoles free, connate, cup-shaped, pubescent, very obtuse and rotund at apices, obsoletely veined, each pair increasing in size upwards, the largest pair nearest the flower; sepals four, dull light-purple, thin, slightly spreading and revolute, 3 rarely 4 lines long, ovate, oblong-lanceolate, obtuse, glabrous within, silky pubescent without, ciliated, finely and obscurely veined longitudinally with 4–5 veins; male flowers on peduncles usually shorter than those bearing the hermaphrodite ones, and with only three pairs of bracteoles; anthers 25–28, elliptic, obtuse, light yellow; filaments broadly linear-lanceolate, flat, dark purple, outer shorter than sepals, inner sub-sessile; hermaphrodite flowers with only four stamens; pistils white, silky, very glossy at first, a little longer than sepals, glabrous, curved and clubbed at points; achenes 22–24, capitate, sessile, ovate, subsetose with short white hairs; tails very hairy, 8–9 lines long.

Hab.—In low-lying marshy spots, Hawke's Bay, S.W. and S. side.

This little plant has long been imperfectly known, no doubt partly owing to its small size (when compared with its indigenous congeners), to its want of striking colours, to its lowly growth, and to its peculiar habitat—hidden among the rank vegetation of marshes and on the edges of watery places, and not unfrequently springing from within a large tuft of Carex virgata. I first met with it so long back as 1847, on the banks of the Lake Rotoatara, near Te Aute, but my specimens then were incomplete. Subsequently (1872) it was detected by Mr. Sturm in the low ground between the Ngaruroro and Tukituki rivers, near Clive. Mr. Sturm also removed plants to his nurseries in hopes of cultivating them, but failed. Last year (1880) it was also found by Mr. Hamilton, in similar localities, near Petane; from him I have received ample specimens, in various states, which have enabled me to draw up this description. Though small, it is a neat-looking, almost a graceful plant, and differs widely from all our indigenous species of Clematis, as well as from the described Australian, Tasmanian, and South Pacific species. This species has but very slight affinity with C. fœtida, Raoul, under which species Dr. Sir Jos. Hooker had provisionally placed it as a variety.*

Clematis parkinsoniana, W.C.

Hermaphrodite, or Female, Plant: Leaves trifoliolate, smaller and much more regular in size and outline than in the male plant, each leaflet usually ovate, 4–10 lines long, and deeply incised with 2–6 incisions,

[Footnote] * “Flora Novæ-Zealandiæ,” vol. i., p. 7, and “Handbook New Zealand Flora,” p. 2.

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mucronate, not unfrequently a leaflet is again subdivided into three leaflets, when each lesser leaflet is also petiolulate, and then is pinnate below; veins as in male plant; hairs the same, but the whole plant is still more thickly covered with them, golden and glossy; common petiole 1–1½ inches long, slender, filiform; petiolules 4–12 lines long flowers numerous, diameter 9–12 lines, disposed in opposite axillary free panicles, 2½–3 inches long, bibracteolate at or near base; sepals six, as in male flower, longer than pistils; anthers (infertile) 8–9, narrow, linear; filaments somewhat lanceolate, broad, flat, one-nerved, shorter than pistils, about half the length of the sepals; pistils, at first silky, shorter than the sepals; pedicels opposite, 5–7 lines long, single-flowered, braeteolate at base, lowermost ones also bracteolate about the middle and 8–10 lines long; bracts and bracteoles connate, etc., as in male plant: achenes, 22–26, capitate, sessile, broadly oblong-lanceolate, sub-hispid with short patent hairs; tails very hairy, 12–14 lines long, flexuose, with curved and thickened tips.

Hab.—In forests, banks of streamlets, head of River Manawatu, 1881, (same localities as male plant), flowering in October, fruiting in December.

This, the female plant, bears a generally neater and more graceful appearance than the male plant, owing to its smaller, more regular, and more silky foliage; like the male plant it forms thick, dense, impassable bushes, often enveloping other plants and shrubs. I noticed, also (this year), that the flowers of the male plant were not so fugacious as I had formerly found and described them; which, at that time (in 1879), was-no doubt owing to my first finding them later in the season (November) and just after very heavy rains.

For a full description of the male plant, see “Trans. N.Z. Inst.,” vol. xii., p. 359.

Order 47*. Apocyneæ.

Genus 1. Parsonsia, R. Brown.

Parsonsia macrocarpa, n.sp.

Plant, a shrub of very diffuse rambling growth, climbing over shrubs and bushes to the height of 12–14 feet; stem stout, ¾–1 inch diameter; branches pubescent with scattered white adpressed hairs; young branches densely tomentose; leaves papyraceous, opposite, elliptic-lanceolate (sometimes obovate), 2½ inches long (with a few smaller, 1–1½ inches), mucronate, pubescent, margins entire, slightly revolute, bright green above, pale yellowish-green below; midrib stout, tomentose on both sides, lateral veins opposite, nearly straight, parallel and regular, rather obscure; petioles slender, 5–6 lines long, slightly pubescent.

[Footnote] * The numbers here attached to both Orders and Genera are those of the “Handbook of the New Zealand Flora.”

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Flowers numerous, 12–00, terminal in long loose panicles and cymose-panicles, on long leafy axillary and opposite branchlets much longer than the leaves, scentless: calyx large, coloured dark pink, (and with pedicels and peduncle) densely velvety tomentose with light brown hairs; lobes acuminate acute, teeth about ½ line long, spreading, ciliated; the lobes lengthen much after flowering on the fruit: pedicels 2 lines long, each with one small bracteole: corolla pure white, urceolate, inflated, 3½–5 lines long, finely pubescent on the outside with very short scattered squarrose hairs; lobes small, scarcely 1 line long, subacute, subrevolute; throat constricted with a slightly raised corona: anthers wholly included below constriction. Follicles (immature and green) sub-cylindrical, tapering gradually to apex, points very obtuse, 8 inches long, 2½ lines in diameter, 8 lines circumference, striated longitudinally, umber-brown when dry, minutely strigose-pubescent with small scattered white adpressed hairs.

The nodal stipules or appendages, on the young long flagelliform densely tomentose branches (rami viminei) present a very curious appearance; they are opposite, erect, large, 3 lines long, subulate or linear with small dilated sub-leafy apices; at first, however, each one projects squarely out, about a line, at a right angle from the stem, with the outer point or elbow slightly dropping downwards, after the manner of a bracket corbel or drip; the whole possessing a peculiar quadrate and regular appearance.

Hab.—“Seventy-mile Bush,” Hawke's Bay; thickets near banks of streams, 1876–1881: flowering in April, also in November, and possibly throughout the summer.

I had long known this plant in its leafing state, and had suspected—from its general tomentose appearance, and the regularity of the outline of its large leaves—that it might prove to be distinct from the two established New Zealand species, P. rosea and P. albiflora. Last autumn I was so fortunate as to obtain good flowering and fruiting specimens, which proved my conjecture to be correct, as it very widely differs, specifically, from both of those species,—more so indeed, than they do from each other. It is, however, allied to P. albiflora; and probably to an Australian species. It is a fine healthy-looking large and thickly-leaved species, and is evidently a fast grower.

Class II. Monocotyledons.

Order 1. Orchideæ.

Genus 4. Sarcochilus, Brown.

Sarcochilus breviscapa, n. sp.

Plant epiphytical; roots stout, clasping, issuing from bases of leaves and forming large irregular masses, from which 4–8 plants grow: stems 6–10 lines high, compressed, subcylindrical, very stout, glabrous, purple,

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covered by the imbricated sheathing bases of the leaves: leaves, usually 4–5 to a plant at a time, thick, glabrous, oblong or oblong-lanceolate, acute and pointletted, with a distinct mucro (almost like a short awn, so that each leaf has a vertical double-pointed apex), diminishing but slightly towards base, 1, 1½–2 inches long, 5–6 lines broad at middle, and 2–3 lines broad at base, sessile, sheathing, jointed immediately above clasping sheath, somewhat keeled, distichous, spreading, sub-falcate, dark-green spotted with purple, mid-rib below purple, 8-nerved longitudinally, nerves parallel and sparingly transversely netted, but only visible when leaf is dried: scape, slender, axillary in lower leaves, 4–8 lines long, (and with rhachis) green, closely spotted and blotched with purple; two solitary sheathing bracts, one at base, and one much larger and acuminate on one side in the middle: rhachis, 6–12 lines long, thickened.

Raceme 5–8-flowered, flowers not crowded: pedicels 2 lines long, alternate and scattered, purple striped, each having a single broadly ovate acute bract, embracing at base. Perianth conniving, not split quite to base, 3 lines diameter, light-green, striped and spotted with purple: sepals oblong-ovate, obtuse, with a purple stripe down the centre on outside; dorsal one largest: petals oblong-lanceolate, subacute, smaller than sepals, margined spotted and blotched with purple: labellum shorter than petals, greenish-white minutely spotted with purple without, green within, gibbous at apex, subcucullate with a minute notch on each side of lip; lateral lobes very slightly produced, conniving, with two thick transverse opposite ridges (calli) within. Capsule oblong-linear, pointletted, stout, turgid, 7–8 lines long, light-greenish, striped longitudinally with purple; densely woolly within: seeds minute, lanceolate, and with their wool light-brown.

Hab.—High up in forks of large pine trees (Podocarpus dacrydioides and P. totara), “Seventy Mile Bush” (1878–80), and at Glenross (1881, D. P. Balfour), Hawke's Bay; flowering in September. A species allied to some of the smaller Australian species of this genus, and possessing close affinity with S. adversus, Hook. fil., but very distinct.

Order 7. Liliaceæ.

Genus 5. Astelia, Banks and Solander.

Astelia polyneuron, n. sp.

A middle-sized species, few-leaved and not bushy; epiphytical.

Male Plant: Leaves spreading drooping sub-coriaceous, 4.9–5 feet long, linear-lanceolate very acuminate acute, 1¼ inch wide at middle, largely sub-recurved, dark green, glabrous on upper surface, canescent-tomentose below with fine white closely adpressed hairs, possessing (under a lens) a minutely and regularly dotted appearance, 1½ inch wide at base and there densely clothed with long straight white hair, deeply furrowed on

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each side of the mid-rib, mid-rib keeled, ciliated at edges and on mid-rib below with longish white hairs, 12-nerved longitudinally, nerves white clear and parallel: scape, sub-flexuous, pendulous, 16 inches long, obtusely trigonous, very stout, thickest and more angular at top, shaggy throughout with dense white floccose cottony wool, particularly at base, and bearing a branched loose panicle 9 inches long, composed, below, of 5 symmetrical alternate sub-panicles, the lowermost one having 4 racemes, and each of the upper four 3 racemes, 6–2 inches long springing from one base or short peduncle, the middle raceme of each sub-panicle always the longest, and each of the five with a single leafy sessile bract at its base, the lowermost bract being 2 feet long and 8 lines wide at the base, rather suddenly widening at 3 inches from base to 1¼ inch, and 10-nerved; the next bract 14 inches long, and both lanceolate and very acumimate from the widest part, light-green and glabrous above; the remaining three bracts small; above, the panicle is composed of five single alternate bractless racemes; racemes, smaller bracts, peduncles, pedicels and bracteoles densely clothed with silky hairs: flowers numerous, free, scattered on long pedicels; pedicels 3 lines long and bracteolate; bracteoles linear, as long as pedicels, reddish: perianth glabrous, light-green with a dash of yellow, each segment bearing a reddish central stripe on the outside, stellate, ½ inch diameter; segments free to base, nearly equal, sub-recurved; sepals larger, ovate-lanceolate, sub-acuminate, with a slight protuberance a little way in from the tip; petals narrower obtuse: filaments long, slender, spreading: anthers oblong, obtuse, almost circular after bursting.

Female plant smaller in all its parts than the male plant; leaves 2 feet 3 inches—2 feet 6 inches long, ¾ inch broad at the middle, and only 8–10-nerved: scape as in the male, but straight and shorter, 8–9 inches long: bracts as in the male, but smaller; the lowermost 14–17 inches long, and 6-nerved; the next one 3½ inches long, the other three small: panicle erect, 7 inches long, free; composed below of three alternate subpanicles, each containing three racemes of flowers springing from one base or peduncle; and above, of five single racemes, the upper two being without bracts: flowers as in male, but smaller, with shorter pedicels and bracteoles, which are white: perianth greenish-yellow, scented, densely clothed on the outside with silky hairs: segments spreading, not recurved, and broader than those of the male plant: style short, stout: stigma sessile, trifid, very obtuse, smooth: ovary globose, red, succulent (like a small red currant when fully ripe, and of the same colour), very slightly marked from top downwards with three angular furrows: anthers (infertile) very small, oblong, narrow, obtuse, just appearing from under the ovary, and closely embracing it.

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Hab.—In dense forests near the head of the river Manawatu, North Island; epiphytical on living trees, at no great height from the ground; 1880–1881; flowering in December.

This species of Astelia is very distinct from all our known New Zealand (and other described) species; still, in some respects, it has affinity with Hamelinia veratroides of A. Richard, (a New Zealand species of this genus), judging from his copious description of the female plant of that species and his botanical drawing of the same*; which species Dr. Sir Joseph Hooker has placed with a doubt, under Astelia cunninghamii, in his “Handbook of the New Zealand Flora;” but I do not thing it will be found to belong to it. Indeed I think that A. Richard's plant, (collected in New Zealand by D'Urville and Lesson) has not been subsequently detected in this country. A. Cunningham, in his “Precursor of the Botany of New Zealand,” placed it under A. banksii, as a synonym of that species; I doubt, however, if Cunningham ever gathered it.

Astelia spicata, n. sp.

Plant small, cæspitose, sub-grass-like, throwing out many young ones from axils of lower leaves; epiphytical on the lower bare branches of trees, and on prostrate trees and logs, forming small thick tufts. Leaves thickish, spreading, 6–9 inches long, 3–7 lines wide, sessile, much dilated at base and clasping, linear-elongate, acuminate, distichous, falcate, light-green, almost glaucous, slightly keeled, glabrous above but slightly scurfy and margined (above) with a narrow silvery shining line of closely adpressed hairs, hoary below, much as in A. polyneuron (supra), obscurely 6-nerved, striated, and with short transverse veins near base, and finely ciliated with white hairs at margins, and on midrib below: scape (female) erect, 2 inches long, cylindrical, succulent, and (together with pedicels) clothed with fine and closely adpressed silky white hairs; spike 1½ inches long, bearing 25–30 flowers; the lowermost four, however, are distant from each other and pedicelled, each one of them is also singly bracteated with a long leaf-like lanceolate bract, the lowermost one being 3 inches long; the upper flowers are subsessile, clustered in a dense cylindrical obtuse spike; a few only of the lower ones are free on very short pedicels, each one having a subulate reddish bracteole, 6–9 lines long, hanging downwards from its base: perianth free half-way down, white, shining, very membraneous, semi-transparent; lobes long, oblong-ovate, obtuse, thickened at tips, and one-nerved, at first completely enclosing the ovary, though open and gaping at the sides; afterwards they are wholly recurved from the centre of the same, which is still embraced closely below by the tube, when the whole assumes

[Footnote] * Atlas Botanique, “Voy. de L'Astrolabe,” t. 24.

[Footnote] † Astelia richardi, Endl., apud Kunth, Enum. Plant., vol. iii., p. 365.

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a light-brown scarious appearance: ovary large for the plant, ovate obtuse, succulent, green, slightly marked above with three sutures: style, o: stigma sessile, trifid, finely penicillate and spreading: anthers (infertile) opposite segments, long and linear, almost subulate.

Hab.—In the forests about Kopua and Norsewood, North Island, 1878–1881: flowering in December. Often found in a leafing state on trees and logs, but perfect specimens are rarely met within reach. This, however, in those parts, is mainly owing to the settlers' cattle, which seem very fond of this plant, apparently preferring it to much other good green food around.

This is an interesting little species, by far the smallest of all the epiphytical ones of this genus; and, indeed, the smallest of all our known New Zealand ones, save the smaller alpine one (A. linearis), found by me on the summits of the Ruahine mountain range;* and by Dr. Sir Jos. Hooker in Auckland and Campbell Islands. This species is so very distinct, that (although I have not yet detected a perfect male plant) I have ventured to describe it from the female ones. Some leafing states of it remind one at first sight of a large species of Luzula.

Class III. Cryptogamia.

Order 1. Filices.

Genus 22. Polypodium, Linn.

Polypodium (Grammitis) paradoxum, n. sp.

Plant small, cæspitose, suberect, 4–6-fronded, with a compact mass of large light-brown scales at base; roots many, long, filiform, rich dark-brown and very hairy; fronds thin, submembranaceous, sub-sessile, linear-lanceolate or ligulate, subfalcate, very obtuse at apices, 2–3¼ inches long, 1–1½ lines broad (broadest part about middle), decreasing very gradually quite to base, light-green above, lighter below, villous on both sides with long reddish hairs, margin entire but slightly undulated, ciliated with stout long red hairs; midrib black-purple, flexuose, scarcely continued to apex; veins alternate, rather distant, simple, and only once forked on the inside, not produced to the edge; sori separate, oblique on inner fork of veins, rather nearer the midrib than the margin, rich red-brown, from close to apex downwards throughout two-thirds length of the frond, at first linear-oblong afterwards elliptic, completely hidden by long villous adpressed whitish hairs growing from each side of the sori and permanent; scales, at base, large, ovate-acuminate, 1–1½ lines long, thin, shining, finely reticulated, chesnut-brown.

[Footnote] * Not, however, “in swamps” (“Handbook New Zealand Flora,” p. 284), but on the open hill-tops, with caltha, Euphrasia revoluta and antarctica, Myrsine nummulari-folia, etc.

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Hab.—Forests between head of Wairarapa Valley and Manawatu River, 1850 (W.C.); also near Takapau, S.W. end of Ruataniwha Plains, Hawke's Bay, 1881 (Mr. John Stewart); on the ground.

This little fern has been long known to me, though, originally, only from a single plant of some 4–5 fronds, discovered by me in 1850, and though often sought (in subsequent travelling through those woods) never again met with: specimens of its fronds were sent to Sir W. J. Hooker; those, however, were not in so good a state (being only old) as these I have lately received from Mr. Stewart. And, no doubt, at Kew, those have been considered and described as belonging to Polypodium australe. To this, however, I could never consent, for I know P. australe well; two other allied yet much smaller New Zealand ferns, have also been described with it, viz., Grammitis ciliata (mihi),* which always grows in single plants on trees—and a curious stout dwarf broadly spathulate form, from holes and cavernous places in the rocks on the hills, which always grows in dense masses.

Polypodium australe (or Grammitis australis), vera, with which (as I take it) other allied ferns have been mixed up, is altogether a very different plant, and possesses characters not to be found in P. paradoxum, and vice versa. That fern was originally described by its discoverer, the celebrated botanist R. Brown, who also (as he says) had the great advantage of seeing it in its living state; Brown describes it as “frondibus linearibus v. lanceolato-linearibus obtusiusculis, integris glabris, marginibus simplicibus.” And just so its latest describer, Bentham, who describes it more fully and from ample specimens, obtained from various places in Australia and Tasmania, saying—“Fronds entire, coriaceous, glabrous, * * * contracted into a short stipes. Veins * * once or twice forked, free, and concealed in the thick substance of the frond.” Bentham also includes with it a new species of Baker's—P. diminutum, from Lord Howe's Island; which also has a “creeping rhizome, surfaces naked, and texture rigidly coriaceous.”§ This new species of Baker's, I may further observe, is also placed by him as coming next in regular natural succession to P. australe, and, like that species, belonging to what he has classed as the “Eremobryoid series (of the genus), having their stems articulated at the point of junction with the (creeping) rhizome;” to which natural series the plant I have above described does not belong.

[Footnote] * Described in “Tasmanian Journal of Natural Science,” vol. ii., p. 166, 1843.

[Footnote] † Prodromus “Flora Novæ-Hollandiæ,” p. 2.

[Footnote] ‡ Bentham's “Flora Australiensis,” vol. vii., p. 762.

[Footnote] § “Syn.—Fil.,” p. 507.

[Footnote] ‖ Loc. cit., p. 319.

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Sir W. Hooker, in his “Species Filicum,” gives a full description of P. australe, (in which, however, other allied plants from other countries, described by other botanists, are also by him included,)—in his description, he says,—“at the base and also on the stipites deciduously hairy, the rest at least in maturity glabrous.” Baker also, in his late edition of “Synopsis Filicum,” describes P. australe as having, “Rhizome creeping, texture coriaceous, stipes and both sides naked or slightly ciliated,* and Dr. Sir Jos. Hooker, both in his “Flora Novæ-Zealandæ,” and his “Handbook of the New Zealand Flora,” describes P. australe as being “glabrous, pubescent, pilose, or ciliate,” etc., etc.—done, as I take it, and as I have already observed, to embrace all our New Zealand allied plants in one specific description; believing them to be but one species; but there are great natural and characteristic differences separating them.

The rather coarse and long villous adpressed hairs on the under side of P. paradoxum, growing across and hiding the sori, and giving it there a kind of coarse matted arachnoid appearance, the persistent stout marginal rufous hairs, and the numerous large and reticulated basal scales,—together with each plant being of strictly defined single cæspitose growth,—are good natural characters not pertaining to P. australe, vera.

Polypodium (? Goniopteris) pennigerum, Forst., var. hamiltonii, W.C.

Rhizome erect, tufted: fronds 15–18 inches high, glabrous, oblong-lanceolate, very membraneous, pinnate, slightly pinnatifid at top, light-green; stipes and rhachis slender, subsucculent; rhachis and mid-rib hairy above, hairs light-brown; pinnules opposite, distant, slightly petiolate, broadly linear-elongate, not acuminate, pinnatifid to below the veins very nearly to mid-rib, middle ones 3 inches long, 1 inch broad, lowermost pairs very distant, small and auricled upwards, the upper ones are sometimes forked near tips; lobes large, 5–6 lines long, 3 lines broad, very irregular, puckered and crisped, deeply cut into 4–5 incisions on each side, truncate, retuse, and sharply pointed, the sinus between the lobes large and semicircular; veins, 4–5 pairs to each lobe, opposite, distant, free throughout; sori globose, few, only a single sorus central on each of lowermost pair of veins: stipes 2–2½ inches long, scaly at base; scales ovate, obtuse, rich dark-brown, and finely reticulated.

Hab.—Wet rocky sides of mountain streamlets, country S.W. from Napier, North Island; found by Mr. A. Hamilton in 1881.

This is an elegant species (or new variety) of fern, and will, I have no doubt (if it continues true), become a garden favourite; at present, plants of it are thriving well in Mrs. Tiffen's fernery in Napier. For some little

[Footnote] * Loc. cit., p. 322.

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time it has been a puzzler, as it was not originally found bearing fruit, and its richly crisped very membraneous form was so widely different from all our New Zealand ferns; yet, from its regular and simple venation, etc., I supposed it to be closely allied to P. pennigerum. This is now proved, from the plants in cultivation having produced fruitful fronds bearing similar sori, whence this description is in part made; but another great and striking difference is the not-meeting of the lower pair of veins (as in that species), the lobes being separated much beyond them; and this character (if constant) would cause the removal of this fern from Goniopteris. There are also other and great differences between these two ferns; still, I cannot bring myself to consider them as really specific—time, however, will show. I have very great pleasure in naming this pretty plant after its zealous discoverer.

Polypodium (Goniopteris) pennigerum, Forst., var. giganteum, W.C.

Whole plant, pretty nearly as P. pennigerum, is described in “Handbook Flora of N.Z.” (and in other botanical works), but with these differences:—Fronds, 5–6 feet long, 14–16 inches wide, broad-oblong lanceolate; stipes very stout, woody, semi-circular, deeply channelled on upper surface, and marked on both upper outer edges with a continuous white ridge, scaly below; scales scarious, large, 2–3 lines long, ovate, rich dark-brown, elegantly reticulated; rhachis and midribs of pinnules, hairy (hirsute) above; pinnules 7–8 inches long, 1¼ inch broad, broadest at base, sub-petiolate, acute, alternate, distant, patent, largely and regularly conniving towards apex but not falcate; lobes 7–8 lines long, 2–2¼ lines broad, linear-oblong, slightly falcate, rather distant, toothed, margin recurved, and slightly and sparsely hairy at tips and edges; sinus between the lobes acute; each lobe with 9–10 pairs of veins, lowest two pairs of veins opposite, those above sub-opposite, and all bearing a single sorus, the lowermost two veins meeting the opposite two above them, and so generally throughout the pinnule; the lowermost pair of lobes on each pinnule are the longest, the lowermost lobe is auricled, the auricle bearing 1–2 sori extra on small veinlets.

Hab.—Skirts of woods and thickets, head of River Manawatu; 1875–1881.

This fern seems to be a large var. of P. pennigerum, possessing however several characters differing from that plant, which are noted above. P. pennigerum, the common form, is also plentiful in the same localities. I have long known this plant, but should not care to bring it forward, were it not for the still more striking var. (or species) discovered by Mr. Hamilton (supra).

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Order 5. Hepaticæ.

Genus 3. Plagiochila, Nees and Montagne.

Plagiochila subsimilis, n. sp.

Rhizome stout, creeping, long, irregular, densely covered with short brown hair, much-branched, with many long rootlets; main stems pretty close together, erect or pendulous, 6–8 inches long, flattish, sulcated on back, very dark purple-brown almost black, sometimes forked below, 1–2 inches from base, and occasionally each of those main stems again forked; bipinnately branched, sub-fastigiate; branches crowded above, 3–5 inches from base, patent, plane, taken together 2–3 inches broad; stems rich red-brown and semi-translucent; lowermost pair of branches opposite, others sub-opposite and alternate; all, together with main stem, closely leaved throughout: leaves laxly imbricate, opposite, distichous, patent, dimidiate-ovate; apices obtuse and rotund; light green, translucent, finely and irregularly toothed (denticulato-ciliatis) on ventral side and round the apex, dorsal side entire, slightly recurved and greatly decurrent; those on middle of main stem subrotund and larger, above 1 line in length, decreasing in size downwards, lowermost very much smaller, alternate and 1 line apart, and sometimes slightly denticulate also on dorsal edge; involucral leaves more rotund, and more closely and deeply ciliate-toothed. Perianth produced, 1 line long, elliptic or broadly obovate, apiculate (obtusus cum acumine), inflated, whitish-brown, semi-transparent, terminal on upper branches and on short lateral branchlets near the tops; sometimes 2–3 perianths very nearly together; lips very large, open, entire. Calyptra cylindrical, enclosed, half the length of the perianth; seta longer than perianth, erect and nodding; capsule exserted, free, oblong-ovate, rich deep brown.

Hab.—On standing (living) and fallen rotten trees, and on earth damp sides of watercourses, “Seventy-Mile Bush” forest, head of the Manawatu River, Hawke's Bay; 1875–1881. Some living trees have their trunks completely hidden with the dense growth of this plant.

A fine species, having pretty close affinity with P. stephensoniana and P. gigantea, and in the shape of its leaves with P. annotina; and belonging to that same dendroid section of the genus.

Genus 11. Gymnanthe, Taylor.

Gen. nov. Marsupidium, Mitten.

Gymnanthe (Marsupidium) hirsutum, n. sp.

Rhizome creeping, slightly hairy. Plant thickly tufted, sending out long stoloniferous succulent branches, erect, 1–2½ inches high, simple and 2–6-branched, drooping at tips; colour of leaves and young stems a lively green (which it retains in drying), of the short stipes, yellowish. Leaves

– 341 –

pinnate, sessile, free, alternate, patent, 1 line or a little more long, sub-quadrate with a single deep notch at apex and nearer to the inferior side, slightly arcuated on the superior side, and very finely and closely toothed on its outer corner and round it a little way on the apex: sac, or torus, sub-terminal on both main and lateral branchlets, sub-globose or broadly oval, 1½–2 lines long, densely hirsute-hispid, colour light brown.

Hab.—On shaded clay banks and on rotten logs near watercourses in thick wood near head of the River Manawatu, North Island; 1879–1881.

A species possessing close affinity with Gymnanthe tenella, Taylor, and Marsupidium knightii, Mitten.

This species I have long known in its barren state; and although it appeared to be very nearly allied to Gymnanthe tenella, Taylor, of New Zealand and Tasmania (vide “Fl. Tasmaniæ”), yet I could never quite believe it to be the same; and now that I have found it pretty copiously in fruit, I am certain of its specific distinction. G. tenella is fully described by Taylor (who established the genus on that species), in “Lond. Journal of Botany,” vol. iii., p. 377 (and in “Syn. Hepatic.,” p. 192), and a drawing of it is also given in the “Fl. Tasmaniæ.” In foliage and in size and in manner of growth the two plants are very much alike; still, the leaves of this species are not so closely set, and have many more and finer serratures at the apex (9–10) than there are in that one, which usually bears but three. But the chief distinction is in its sac or torus, which in G. tenella is described as “elongato obconico striato”; while in this species the same part is densely shaggy, almost echinate when fresh.

In the “Handbook of the New Zealand Flora,” p. 520, G. tenella, G. saccata, and G. urvilleana, with other Hepaticæ, were all lumped together under the one species—G. saccata. (This, to me, who had formerly collected them all in New Zealand, seemed surprising, as I could not discern much of a close resemblance between them.) Subsequently, however, Mitten broke up the genus (though but a small one) into several new genera,* and in so doing not only restored the three above-mentioned species of Gymnanthe (which I was pleased to see) but even separated them into distinct genera.

It is not, however, stated in which of those new genera G. tenella is now placed; possibly in Tylimanthus; but this plant of mine will, I think, be found to rank naturally with Marsupidium, and seems pretty closely allied (judging from the short description) to Mitten's new species, M. knightii (p. 753, l.c.), which is also a New Zealand species.

[Footnote] * See “Handbook N.Z. Flora,” pp. 751–754.