Art. XLVIII.—On some Plants new to New Zealand, and Description of a new Species.
[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, 21st February, 1882.]
Pteris longifolia, Linn.
Specimens of this fern have lately been forwarded to the Museum by Mr. Lascelles, of Napier. They were collected by him in the Tarawera country under circumstances which preclude the possibility of its having been introduced.
This is a fern widely distributed over the globe, having been collected in many countries, and named by each collector with a different name. Hooker gives for it in his “Species Filicum” eighteen synonyms of different authors.
It may be mentioned that the New Zealand plant has the pinnæ serrated, which may claim for it the position of a variety.
On a Genus of Orchidaceæ new to New Zealand.
The following short description of a new Orchid, which proves to belong to an Australian genus not previously represented in New Zealand, is taken from Bentham's “Flora Australiensis,” vol. vi., p. 324. The plant was collected by W. T. L. Travers, Esq., near the Mungaroa Swamp, and was sent by him to the Museum for examination.
Epiblema grandiflorum, R. Br.
Stem erect, 1–15 inches high, with one long narrow leaf and two short sheathing leaves. Flowers 3–4, pedicillate in a short raceme, dark purple, bracts shorter than the ovary. Sepals and petals alike, ½ inch long, narrow-linear, acute, finely veined. Labellum as long as the sepals. Anther erect, or slightly bent forward, the cells distinct, with a short recurved point.
Brachyglottis rangiora, Buch., n.s.
A small branching tree, 8–12 feet high; branches, petioles, leaves below, and inflorescence, covered closely with white or pale buff tomentum. Leaves large, 6–8 inches long, ovate or oblong, irregularly sinuato-dentate along the margin, often tapering to an acute point, coriaceous, or stoutly membranous, young leaves generally lobulate and dentate, covered on both sides with soft pale buff tomentum. Panicles as large as the leaves, spreading, drooping, or erect, covered with appressed tomentum. Heads numerous, sessile, 1/7 inch long, involucral scales 7, in one series, linear, obovate, obtuse or acuminate, or pilose on top. Florets 9, of which 5 are fertile.
This is a very distinct plant from Forster's Brachyglottis repanda, differing in its smaller size, coriaceous leaves, which have generally deeper sinuations and more acute angles; the flower-heads are also constantly sessile. Its geographical distribution is also distinct, being apparently limited to the lands of both islands abutting on Cook Strait. The Maoris also distinguish the two plants by different names, the present plant being known as Rangiora, while the northern plant described by Forster, is called Wharangita-whita. Both plants are poisonous to horses.