Art. XXVII.—On the Occurrence of the Fern Botrychium lunaria, Sw., (Moonwort) in New Zealand.
[Read before the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, 3rd May, 1883.]
On 15th November, 1882, I was engaged laying out the line of a wire fence across a piece of ground of a peaty nature resting on a stiff clay about 2,600 feet above the sea, when I detected the first specimen of this well-known fern. After a close search I failed in finding a second, indeed the first specimen had only just shown up. About a week later I found a number more showing up in two spots in the same neighbourhood; a month or so later not one remained, this may partly be owing to the dry season.
I have copied out the description from Hooker and Baker's “Synopsis Filicum” (1868), as New Zealand fern collectors may not have access to a description of this fern.
“B. lunaria, Sw., st. stout, 1–4 inches; sterile segm. sessile or nearly so, 1–3 inches long,½–1 inch broad, not much broader at the base than the middle, cut down to a flattened rhachis into several distinct, close, entire, or
notched cuneate-flabellate pinnæ on both sides; fertile peduncle equalling or exceeding the sterile segm. when fully developed; panicle close, 1–2 inches long, lanceolate-deltoid, bipinnate, Hk.Br.F. t. 48.
“Hab. Arctic Europe and Iceland to Spain, Italy, Kamscatka, and the Himalayas, South Australia, Tasmania, North-West America, Greenland.”