Art. XXIX.—Description of new Species of Native Plants.
[Read before the Otago Institute, 11th November, 1884.]
Coprosma rubra, n. sp
A Laxly or densely branched shrub, 4–10 feet high; branches slender divaricating, marked by numerous transverse rings bark of younger branches reddish-brown, smooth; the ultimate twigs pubescent.
Leaves variable in size, ¼–¾ inch long, ⅙–½ inch wide, rounded-oblong, acute, thin, pale below, veins and reticulations evident, narrowed into a rather long flat glabrous petiole.
Flowers lateral on the branchlets.
Males solitary or fascicled: calyx absent, but replaced by a cupular membranous unequally four-lobed involucel: corolla bell-shaped, four-partite.
Females solitary or loosely aggregated; calyx adnate to the ovary, tubular, limb shortly 4- or 5-toothed; corolla tubular below, 4-partite, the lobes recurved; styles rather slender.
Drupe rounded-oblong, ¼ inch long, pale yellow when ripe.
Hab. Dunedin, mostly in woods.
In woods this species resembles in foliage and habit C. rotundifolia, A. Cunn. In open situations the leaves are always much reduced in size, and are of a darker hue. Many twigs are in the latter situations almost destitute of leaves, but produce a profusion of flowers. The prevailing forms in open situations are of a much more decided divaricating habit than the lax forms occurring in shady situations.
I think the species has hitherto been confounded with C. rotundifolia, A. Cunn.; but its berry is never didymous and the bark and foliage are different. Some of the forms appear also to have been included in the group of species and varieties that goes by the name of C. divaricata, A. Cunn.
Lepidium kawarau, n. sp
An erect much-branched leafy species, 5–12 inches high, diœcious, glabrous or with sparse whitish hairs.
Radical leaves numerous, 3–5 inches long, primatisect, on short flat petioles, the segments distant linear lobed above and rarely below also.
Lower cauline leaves similar to the radical but smaller, passing gradually into linear, sessile toothed or entire forms towards the top.
Racemes terminal; flowers imperfect, minute, on short slender pedicels.
Males somewhat larger than the females, with four small petals and a mere rudiment of an ovary without style or stigma.
Females usually apetalous and with rudimentary stamens.
Pods ovate-orbicular, ⅛ inch long, emarginate; style distinct.
Hab. Kawarau River, near Victoria Bridge, Cromwell; “Earthquakes,” near Duntroon. The Duntroon forms are almost pubescent.
This species has been erroneously included by Mr. T. Kirk, F.L.S., in his Lepidium australe, which he describes as having perfect flowers. My species is, however, diœcious. The error has no doubt arisen from the very imperfect condition of the specimens I was possessed of when his Review of the New Zealand Lepidia was being prepared. Since then I have procured excellent specimens, and have grown the Duntroon form in my garden. The seedlings of the Kawarau form have all been male, and have borne up fruit.
This species of Lepidium is greedily eaten by sheep, and it is only in spots to which sheep cannot get ready access that specimens are now to be gathered.