Art. XXVI.—New Species of Plants.
[Read before the Auckland Institute, 7th September, 1884.]
1. Ranunculus tenuicaulis, n. sp
Very slender, sparingly pilose or nearly glabrous, 6–18 inches high. Rootstock long, rather stout, sending down numerous fleshy fibres. Leaves few (1–4), all radical, very variable in size and cutting, about reniform in outline, cut to the base into 3 (rarely 5) broadly cuneate divisions, which are deeply and irregularly 2–3-lobed; lobes narrow, often again toothed; texture thin, herbaceous; petioles very slender, variable in length, 1–4 inches. Scape slender, grooved, one-flowered, usually with three variously cut or lobed bracts about the middle. Petals not seen. Achenes 8–20, loosely packed and spreading on all sides, ¼ inch long, shortly stipitate, somewhat fusiform, gradually narrowed upwards into a long spirally recurved style.
Hab. Canterbury mountains above Arthur's Pass, altitude 4,000–5,000 feet. T.F.C.
A very distinct and well-marked plant. In habit and appearance it is perhaps nearest to R. geraniifolius, but it differs from that plant, and from all the other New Zealand species, in the stipitate and fusiform achenes, with spirally recurved styles.
2. Myosotis (Exarrhena) concinna, n. sp
An erect or diffuse perennial, 6–18 inches high, branched from the base, covered in all its parts with fine closely-appressed silky hairs. Flowering stems or branches numerous, rather stout, leafy. Radical leaves usually many, 2–4 inches long, from linear- or lanceolate-spathulate to narrow oblong-spathulate, acute or obtuse, gradually narrowed into long petioles, covered on both surfaces with fine closely-appressed silky hairs. Cauline leaves sessile, lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, acute. Racemes large, simple or branched, usually forming a rather dense many-flowered head, rarely elongated. Flowers large, bright pale yellow, sweet-scented, shortly pedicelled. Calyx ⅓ inch long, 5-partite, lobes covered with oppressed silky hairs. Corolla broadly funnel-shaped or almost campanulate, ½ inch long; tube very short, limb large, deeply lobed, lobes oblong or ovate, acute or obtuse. Filaments very slender, elongate; anthers linear-oblong, exserted far beyond the corolla. Nuts ovoid, red-brown, but not seen perfectly ripe.
Hab. Nelson, abundant on the debris of limestone rocks on Mount Owen, altitude 3,500–4,500 feet; also on Mount Arthur, altitude 4,000 feet. T.F.C.
This, which is an exceedingly handsome plant, is at once distinguished from Myosotis (Exarrhena) macrantha by the more silky indumentum, colour of the flowers, and particularly by the shape of the corolla, which has a short tube and large deeply divided limb; whereas in M. macrantha the tube is very long and the divisions of the limb comparatively shallow. From M. lyallii it is separated by the leaves, indumentum, calyx and corolla.
In the Wairau Valley, Nelson, I have gathered immature specimens of a plant agreeing with this in the structure of the flowers, etc., but with the habit and foliage of M. saxosa. I am tempted to consider it a hybrid between the two species.
3. Myosotis (Exarrhena) læta, n. sp.
Stems slender, simple or sparingly branched from the root, hispid, erect or ascending, 6–12 inches high, sparingly leafy. Radical leaves variable in size, 1–3 inches long, linear- to obovate-spathulate or obovate-oblong, gradually narrowed into long or short petioles, obtuse, rather thin, hispid on both surfaces with short white hairs. Cauline leaves smaller, sessile, lanceolate or oblong. Racemes terminal, elongate, hispid, many-flowered. Flowers on slender pedicels, white with a yellow eye, or altogether yellow. Calyx 5-lobed to near the base, lobes narrow, erect, covered with simple or occasionally hooked hairs. Corolla rather large, ⅓–½ inch long, ⅓ inch in diameter, nearly campanulate, tube short, limb with short, rounded lobes. Stamens with long filaments, the anthers nearly or quite exserted. Style exserted. Nuts ovoid, pale-brown, shining.
Hab. Apparently not uncommon on the Nelson mountains, altitude 2,000–4,000 feet. Red Hills, Wairan Valley; Mount Arthur Plateau; Mount Owen, etc. T.F.C.
In habit very close to M. australis, with which it has probably been confounded. It is usually smaller, more slender, much more sparingly branched, and not so hispid. The flowers are altogether different, being larger and more campanulate; the anthers are on long filaments, so that they stand nearly on a level with the top of the corolla, and the style is altogether exserted. The nuts are also broader, and appear to be pale-brown when ripe. In the true M. australis the filaments are shorter than the anthers, which are included in the tube of the corolla, their tips just appearing above the scales; and the style is hardly longer than the calyx.
A plant common in many places in the Canterbury mountains, and which at present I include as a variety of M. australis, has a broad almost campanulate corolla nearly as large as that of M. læta. But the anthers and style are precisely those of M. australis.