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Volume 14, 1881
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Art. LIX.—Notes on recent Additions to the New Zealand Flora.

[Received by the Wellington Philosophical Society, 13th March, 1882.]*

Capsella procumbens, Fries.

Hutchinsia procumbens, Hook, f., Fl. Tasm.

I Have received specimens of this species from Mr. D. Petrie, who collected them at Cape Whanbrow and Forbury Head, Otago. Those from the last-named locality are extremely small, scarcely an inch in height; and those from Cape Whanbrow do not attain the usual size of European and Australian specimens, the largest not exceeding 3 inches. The leaves are entire or toothed in all my specimens, never pinnatifid. The flowers equal the calyx; the racemes are elongated and open in fruit, and the pod is narrowed at both ends. It will doubtless be found in other localities, but may be easily overlooked.

Myriophyllum, verrucosum, Lindl.

I collected this plant in ponds between Tauranga Harbour and the sea, but am not aware of its occurrence in any other part of the colony. It differs from M. elatinoides and M. variæfolium, in its more slender habit, and in having all the floral leaves pinnatifid. The flowers are small, with minute sepals, and the carpels are tuberculated.

Azorella selago, Hook. f.

This interesting plant was discovered on Macquarrie Island, by Fraser, as stated in “Flora Antarctica” ii., 285, but owing to its not having been observed on the Auckland or Campbell Islands, some doubt arose as to the correctness of the habitat, so that it was not included in the Handbook. Botanists are greatly indebted to Professor Scott, of the Otago University, for its discovery during his recent exploration of the island.

[Footnote] * Title read at Annual Meeting, 12th February, 1881.

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The plant forms large matted patches on the ground. Stems 2″ to 6″ long, branched, densely tufted and matted together. Leaves distant or close set and imbricate, appressed, petiole membraneous, broadly sheathing, blade expanded and deeply cut into from 5 to 7 subacute one-nerved segments, less than ¼″ long.

My cursory examination of Professor Scott's specimens did not enable me to detect flowers or fruit, but in “Flora Antarctica” the umbels are described as terminal, 3-flowered. Calyx teeth acute. Fruit ovate, terminated by elongated styles, mericarps convex on the back, contracted towards the suture.

Pozoa reniforme, Hook. f.

I found this species growing plentifully on a moraine close to the snowline in a deep valley of the Spenser Mountains, Amuri. Previously it was only known from the Auckland Islands.

Cotula integrifolia, Hook. f.

This plant is not uncommon in situations where water has stagnated but which have become dry on: the approach of summer. It varies greatly in stature and luxuriance, but a complete series may be traced from minute, one-flowered forms with entire leaves, the plant less than 1 inch in height, to the most luxuriant form of C. coronopifolia. It can only be regarded as a transitory state of that species and is unworthy to take rank even as a trivial variety.

Mentha australis, Br.

This species remarkable even amongst its congeners for its powerful odour occurs in great abundance in the Wairarapa, especially at Carterton, but I fear that it must be regarded as an introduced plant. I observed it at intervals for three or four miles along the road, especially plentiful in ditches but occurring also in the adjacent forest.

It is an erect herb with pale green leaves and acutely angled stems; the flowers are produced in great abundance in axillary false whorls which maybe pedicellate or sessile; the calyx is pubescent or hairy with long subulate teeth, the corolla tube, is small, scarcely exceeding the calyx in length, and the mouth is deeply two-lobed.

Our plant fills the ditches by the road-side, where it attains the height of over 2 feet. In moist places in the forest it is much smaller. It is called “turpentine” by the settlers.

Polygonum prostratum, R. Br.

A much-branched prostrate suffruticose plant, the branches rooting from beneath in the present specimen, 6″–10″ high: the young branches and leaves sparingly clothed with rather long white hairs. Leaves lanceolate, narrowed into a short petiole, 1″ long, stipules sheathing, ciliate. Spikes

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axillary, or terminating short branchlets, sessile or shortly pedunculate, ½″ long: perianth small, becoming enlarged after flowering: stamens 6: nut convex, black, faintly reticulate.

Hab.—In several places by the Wairarapa Lake-Harry Borrer Kirk.

Juncus pauciflorus, It. Brown (not of T. Kirk).

Although somewhat local in distribution, this species occurs in several localities in both islands, and is generally known to New Zealand botanists under the name of Juncus communis, β hexagonus; it is, however, distinct from that species, although similar in habit.

The panicle is lax, consisting of few slender branches, flowers few in number, and small: perianth segments acute, stamens 6, capsule ovoid, faintly angled.

The culms are usually slender, and the sheaths at the base very short. It appears to have been collected in New Zealand by Banks and Solander. Juncus brevifolius, T. Kirk.

J. pauciflorus, T. Kirk (not of Brown).

In the “Transactions of the New Zealand Institute,” vol. ix., p. 551, I described this small species under the name of Juncus pauciflorus, but as that name has been applied by Bentham to another species, I propose to call my plant J. brevifolius. It is distinguished from all New Zealand species by its rosulate leaves, slender naked erect culms, and sessile flowers. At present it has only been observed in swamps by the Thomas River, Canterbury, at an altitude of 2,000 feet.

Centrolepsis monogyna, Benth.

Alepyrum monogynum, Hook. f.

This moss-like plant occurs in swampy places, at an elevation of 3,000 feet in Arthur's Pass, where it was observed by the writer in 1877, when specimens were distributed under the MS. name of Alepyrum viride.

It forms large patches, scarcely ½″ in height when in flower. Leaves deep green, subulate, acute, dilated into a broad membraneous base, with a few short hairs at the back. Bracts sub-opposite, narrow. Flowers two, each invested by a semi-transparent scale which nearly equals the bract, and consisting of a single stamen and a single carpel.

Carex leporina, L.

C. ovalis, Good.

In November last I collected this common European species in a small valley in the Ohariu district, Wellington. The specimens were of greater luxuriance than any that had previously come under my notice, but differed in no essential particular from the type. The ovate sessile spikelets are collected into a short erect head, so that it can be easily distinguished from any of its New Zealand congeners.

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Hierochloe alpina, Rœm. and Schultes, var. submutica.

H. submutica, F. Muell.

Danthonia buchanani, J. Buch., “Manual of Indigenous Grasses of New Zealand,”

p. 87, t. xxxv. (not of Hook, f.)

This form is intermediate between H. redolens and H. alpina, but is most closely related to the latter. The New Zealand plant agrees with that of Victoria in habit, and especially in. the lower glumes being scarcely ciliate, but differs slightly in having longer awns, which appear to be always developed.

The panicle is more open than in H. alpina, the branches are longer and extremely slender, distant, usually drooping. Spikelets 3–6. Leaves broad, flat.

Hab.—Common in mountain districts, especially on the west coast of the South Island.

Bentham in “Flora Australiensis” unites H. redolens and H. alpina, and considers our plant as a connecting form, which may possibly prove worthy of specific honours.

I fully agree with Mr. Buchanan in keeping H. alpina separate from the European H. borealis, but cannot understand his having mistaken our plant for a Danthonia, especially for D. buchanani, which, independently of its generic and sectional distinctive characters, is described as having a short contracted panicle and filiform leaves.

Stipa micrantha, Cav., R. Br.

Streplachne ramosissima, Trin. and Rupr.

I have already recorded the occurrence of this species in the colony, and now add that it was originally discovered by Mr. W. T. L. Travers, near Foxhill, in the Nelson District. Recently it has been found in great abundance on the Takaka ranges, Nelson, by the Rev. F. H. Spencer, who informs me that the culms are sometimes from 5 to 6 feet in length. Although formerly inclined to regard it as introduced at Lyall Bay, in the North Island, I am now convinced that it is indigenous in that habitat.*

The culms are usually from 2 to 5 feet long, hard, much branched, the branches being frequently arrested, rounded, bunches at the nodes, but usually they are long and spreading. Panicle from 6 inches to 2 feet in length, branches numerous, capillary, drooping. Spikelets small, outer glumes narrow, nearly equal. Flowering glume shortly stipitate, entire, awn ½ inch long, articulated on the glume. Palea less than half as long, as the glume.

The habit of this species resembles that of Microlæna polynoda, but the plant is much larger.

[Footnote] * “Trans. N.Z. Inst.,” vol. x., p. 378.

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Stipa setacea, R. Br.

Stipa petriei of Buchanan's “Manual of the Indigenous Grasses of New Zealand,” p. 171, t. xvii., 2, must be referred to this species, which, although local, has a wide, distribution in Australia. None of the specimens kindly sent me by Mr. Petrie have the outer glumes so unequal as represented in Mr. Buchanan's drawing.

It is not improbable that this species is merely naturalized in Otago, and has no claim to be included amongst our indigenous plants.

Davallia dubia, R. Br.

In “Transactions of the New Zealand Institute,” vol. xii., p. 346, this species is recorded as a native of the Canterbury Provincial District by Mr. J. B. Armstrong, but erroneously: specimens of Hypolepis millefolium, with the pinnules less divided than usual, having been mistaken for it.

Asplenium mohrioides, Bory.

Polystichum mohrioides, Presl.

I have had the pleasure of examining specimens of this southern fern, collected on the Auckland Islands by a sailor during the past year. As they differ slightly from Fuegian specimens, I append a full description.

Fronds tufted, 3 to 5 inches in length, scarcely more than an inch in width; stipes very short, covered with soft brown scales mixed with hairs; frond oblong or oblong-lanceolate, pinnate, pinnæ in about twelve pairs, close set and imbricating, the lower shortly stalked, ovate, pinnate or pinnatifid, segments close set, crenate, obtuse; sori crowded, restricted to the upper part of the frond, indusium smooth, attached by the centre.

The young fronds are very chaffy, but the scales speedily disappear from the upper portion. The scales vary greatly in size, and are minutely ciliate.

Specimens from Magellan Straits are much more robust than our plant, and frequently attain 1½ feet in length, of which the stipes constitutes nearly a third. The texture is coriaceous, and the segments larger and less obtuse than in the Auckland Island plants.

In the chaffy habit and membraneous texture our specimens approach A. cystostegia, but the lax pinnæ and acute segments of the latter afford easy marks of distinction.

The distribution of this species is very remarkable. It has been collected in Chili, Magellan Straits, Tierra del Fuego, the Falkland Islands, Marion Island, and California.