Art. XXXI.—On the New Zealand Species of Coprosma.
[Read before the Auckland Institute, 18th October, 1886.]
Next to Veronica, the genus Coprosma is the most puzzling in the New Zealand Flora. Not only are the species highly variable in their mode of growth, foliage, and vegetative characters generally, but the flowers are so small and inconspicuous, and so uniform in their structure, as to offer few distinctive characters of importance. It is thus no easy matter to identify the species even when they are examined in a fresh state, while in the case of dried specimens, it requires the utmost care to arrive at any satisfactory conclusions.
For a considerable time I have made the New Zealand Coprosmas a subject of special attention. Most of the species I have seen living in their native stations, and have thus had opportunities of tracing the variations due to differences in soil, altitude, and exposure. I have been enabled to collect large suites of specimens from all parts of the colony, and, in addition, have been favoured with others made for me by friends. Through the kindness of Sir Joseph Hooker, sets of my specimens have been compared with the types of the species described by Cunningham and others, and now preserved in the Kew Herbarium, so that my identifications have been rendered more certain. The information and materials that I have collected I now propose to make use of in drawing up a systematic account of the species, with the view of rendering their determination more easy, and of supplying, as far as I can, the admitted deficiencies existing in all previously published accounts.
The genus Coprosma belongs to the Rubiaceœ, or Madder family, represented in the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere by a sub-tribe (Stellatœ) of low-growing herbaceous plants, comprising, among others, the well-known Madder, Woodruff, Cross-wort, etc. It is, however, in the tropics and in the south temperate zone that the more typical members of the family are found. Many of these are highly ornamental, and are often seen in our gardens and greenhouses, as the various species of Bouvardia, Ixora, Gardenia, etc. Two well-known economic plants are also included—the Coffee shrub, and the quinine-producing Cinchona. The close alliance of these plants to Coprosma has led to the suggestion that its bark should be examined for quinine, or the allied alkaloids, and the berry for caffeine. I believe that no exhaustive chemical examination has yet been made, but some preliminary investigations that have been made by Mr. Skey and others do not warrant very favourable expectations.
The first species of Coprosma were collected in 1769 by Banks and Solander, during Cook's first voyage. Specimens of six species were brought home to England, and are now preserved in the Banksian Herbarium in the British Museum. In the manuscript account of the plants of New Zealand, drawn up by Dr. Solander, but which, for some unexplained reason was never published, although made quite ready for the press, even to the preparation of the engravings, the name Pelaphia was proposed for the genus; and the species were also fully and clearly described. However, as Dr. Solander's names were never actually published, they can have no standing in botanical works.
During Cook's second visit to New Zealand, in 1772, he was accompanied by Forster, the well-known naturalist. Plants were collected at Queen Charlotte Sound and Dusky Bay, and many of them were subsequently described by Forster in his “Prodromus.” The term Coprosma was now for the first time applied to the genus, and two species described—C. lucida and C. fœtidissima. For many years these remained the only species actually published from New Zealand.
Nothing more was added to our knowledge of Coprosma until Allan Cunningham made his two visits to New Zealand in 1826 and 1838. In his “Precursor to a Flora of New Zealand,” which contains the results of these journeys, ten species are enumerated. Three of these are mere synonyms; and two more were already known. The remaining five are good and distinct forms. Cunningham's descriptions, however, are extremely imperfect, and in many respects faulty and misleading. The types of his species are now preserved at Kew; but, according to Sir Joseph Hooker, (“Handbook,” p. 111), the specimens have been much intermixed by himself.
In 1846, M. Raoul published in his “Choix de Plantes de la Nouvelle Zelande,” a description of Coprosma robusta, perhaps the most widely distributed of all our species, but which seems to have been confounded with C. lucida by previous botanists. About the same time Mr. Colenso contributed to the Tasmanian “Journal of Natural Science” a paper entitled “A Tour in New Zealand,” in which several additional species were made known. This was afterwards reprinted in Hooker's “Journal of Botany;” but, unfortunately, I have been unable to obtain a copy. I much regret this, as it is possible that some of Mr. Colenso's species may be identical with some of those described by later writers; and, if so, his names should take precedence.
Hooker's “Flora Antarctica,” which appeared in 1845, contains an account of the Coprosmœ collected by the author in the Auckland and Campbell Isles in 1840. Seven species were enumerated, six of which were considered to be new. But of these C. affinis has since been referred by its author to C.
fœtidissima; C. myrtillifolia, which was based on barren specimens, has been abandoned, and is probably identical with C. parviflora; while it is doubtful whether there is any real distinction between C. repens and C. pumila.
In 1854, Sir Joseph Hooker brought out his “Flora Novæ Zealandiæ.” Botanists resident in New Zealand, especially Mr. Colenso and Dr. Sinclair, had sent large collections to Kew to be used in the preparation of this work, and among them no small number of Coprosmœ. The material thus brought together, though still imperfect, was much more extensive than that at the disposal of any of Hooker's predecessors, and it is needless to say that it was worked up with his customary care and accuracy, with the result of producing the first intelligible and comprehensive account of the genus. Nineteen species were described, of which five were new. The principal mistake made was in confusing a number of distinct and dissimilar species under the head of C. myrtillifolia, C. divaricata, and C. propinqua; but probably the specimens were not good enough, or complete enough, to show the distinction existing between them.
The arrangement followed in the more recently-issued “Handbook,” differs slightly from that given in the “Flora,” but there are no changes of any importance. The species confused with C. propinqua and C. myrtillifolia (= C. parviflora) are separated and put into their proper places, but no less than four distinct species are still included in C. divaricata. The disadvantage of working entirely on dried specimens is shown by the fact that in the specific descriptions hardly any use is made of the shape of the fruit, whereas it often gives good distinctive characters. The total number of species admitted in the “Handbook” is 24. Since its publication, no memoir treating of the genus as a whole has appeared, although from time to time new species have been described by Mr. Kirk, Mr. Petrie, Mr. Colenso, and myself.
The following summary sketch of the range of variation in the vegetative and floral characters of the genus may be useful to those who have not previously studied the species in detail:—
Habit, etc.—The greater number of the species are closely-branched shrubs, varying from 6 to 12 or 15 feet in height. Some attain the stature of small trees, the largest being C. arborea, which is, sometimes 30 feet in height, with a trunk 18 inches in diameter. C. baueriana is remarkable for its great range in size, according to situation and exposure. When growing on black maritime rocks it is often under 2 or 3 feet; while in sheltered places, on rich sandy soil, specimens 25 feet in height have been measured. C. areolata, C. propinqua, and C. fœtidissima occasionally reach 15 or 20 feet, although usually less than that. C. serrulata is the smallest of the large-leaved
species, and is generally under 4 feet in height. C. spathulata and C. rhamnoides have an average height of from 4 to 6 or 8 feet. C. acerosa has long and flexuous branches, often (in the typical form) much and closely interlaced, forming a dense bush 2 to 4 feet high; but some states of it are prostrate and sparingly branched. C. depressa is prostrate or sub-prostrate, and often under 1 foot in height. C. repens and C. petriei are the smallest species of the genus. They have prostrate and rooting, almost herbaceous, stems, closely appressed to the ground, and frequently only a few inches long.
The arrangement and disposition of the branches occasionally afford characters of importance: thus C. areolata can be at once distinguished from its nearest allies (C. tenuicaulis and C. rotundifolia) by its comparatively narrow and almost fastigiate outline. The mode of branching of C. propinqua, C. parviflora, C. acerosa, and others is characteristic of the species, and gives important aid in their identification.
Leaves.—In Coprosma, as in so many Rubiaceœ, the leaves are invariably opposite, entire, petiole, or sub-sessile, and connected by interpetiolar stipules. In size there is considerable range. C. grandifolia often has them as much as 9 inches in length, while in C. repens and C. petriei they are frequently under ⅛ inch. The large-leaved species C. grandifolia, C. lucida, C. robusta, C. baueriana, etc., have a well-developed many flowered inflorescence, and thus form a fairly well-characterized section of the genus. In the small-leaved species the flowers are either arranged in few-flowered fascicles or are solitary. As to shape, the leaves may be orbicular, ovate, oblong, lanceolate, or even linear. In the same species there is often considerable diversity of shape, and in C. rhamnoides leaves varying from orbicular to linear may be observed on the same bush. C. serrulata has the margins of the leaves minutely serrulate. All the other members of the genus have them quite entire when mature, but in some the very young leaves are obscurely incised. This is well seen in C. robusta. The texture varies considerably—from very coriaceous in C. lucida, C. robusta, and C. crassifolia to comparatively thin and membranous in C. rotundifolia and C. tenuifolia. The venation is pinninerved, at any rate in the great majority; but some of the small-leaved species have few lateral veins, although the midrib is always conspicuous and well developed. The veins frequently anastomose, in some forming copious minute reticulations, as in C. tenuifolia; in others larger areoles, as in C. areolata and C. tenuicaulis. All the species have a stout vein running round the whole of the margin of the leaf, and often giving it a thickened appearance.
In nearly all the species, except a few of the smaller-leaved ones, curious little pits exist on the under-surface of the leaves,
in the axils formed by the union of the primary veins with the midrib. They are never more than ⅛ inch in length, and are usually much less. Inside they are lined with numerous stiff white hairs, which, on being treated with caustic potash, are seen to be composed of two or three cells. So far as I have observed, the pits do not secrete anything, and I am quite unable to guess at their function. They are often inhabited by a minute yellow acarid, which makes use of them as a home. Sometimes two or three acarids may be found in the same pit, and they crawl freely about the young leaves and branches.
Stipules.—All the species possess interpetiolar stipules. They are more or less triangular in shape, often with minute denticulations towards the apex. The margins, or the whole surface, are frequently ciliated or puberulous. At their bases they are generally connate with the petioles, thus forming a short sheath round the branch. In C. linariifolia, especially on the young leafy branches, the sheaths are elongated, and form a very conspicuous, though variable character.
At the apex of the very young stipule a gland is situated which secretes a copious supply of a viscid mucilaginous fluid. These glands are highly developed and in an active state when the adjacent leaves are in the early stages of growth, but shrivel up and cease to secrete long before the leaves attain their full size. Their office is evidently to keep the young and tender leaves and branches plentifully bathed with fluid.
Indumentum.—Many of the species have puberulous or pubescent branches, and some have the under-surface, or both surfaces, of the leaves similarly provided, C. rotundifolia, C. areolata, and C. ciliata being perhaps the most conspicuous examples. The degree of pubescence is, however, a very variable character throughout the genus, and can only be employed with considerable caution for systematic purposes.
Inflorescence.—It is not always easy to understand the arrangement and position of the flowers, especially in some of the small-leaved species. The most developed inflorescence is seen in C. grandifolia, where it consists of trichotomously-divided many-flowered cymes, springing from the axils of the leaves. These cymes are often 3 inches in length, and bear from 20–40 flowers in the males, but a much smaller number in the females. At each division of the axis is a pair of connate leaf-like bracts. The ultimate divisions terminate in little clusters of flowers, each cluster being enclosed at the base by a shallow involucel formed by a pair of depauperated leaves and their stipules. Minute bracts are also present at the base of each flower. In C. lucida the inflorescence has precisely the same structure, but through the internodes of the primary and secondary axes being shortened it is much more compact. The internodes being still further reduced in length, we reach the arrangement seen in
C. robusta, where the flowers are congested into a dense many-flowered glomerule, or with two or three superposed glomerules. In C. baueriana, C. petiolata, and C. cunninghamii, the flowers are much less in number than in C. robusta, but their arrangement is on the same principle. In C. arborea the glomerules are rounder, and even more compact, and in addition to occupying the axils of the leaves, they often terminate the branches, which is never the case in C. robusta.
In the small-leaved species the flowers are much reduced in number, and are often solitary, especially the females. As to their arrangement, there are two main types, but they graduate insensibly into one another. In the first, the flower, or fascicle of flowers, is placed in the axil of a leaf, and is thus axillary. If, however, the pedicel of the flower is examined, it will be seen that in all cases two or three series of connate bracts are placed under the flower. The upper series forms a cup-shaped involucre, closely investing the base of the flower, and can be easily mistaken for a calyx, especially in the males, where the true calyx is either much reduced or altogether absent. These connate bracts evidently represent depauperated leaves and their stipules, so that the flowers really terminate minute arrested branchlets. This is the arrangement seen in C. rotundifolia, C. areolata, and C. tenuicaulis. In the second class the flowers quite obviously terminate leafy branchlets. In C. fœtidissima, C. colensoi, etc., they are placed at ends of the main branches, as well as on lateral branchlets, and several pairs of well-developed leaves are usually present, in addition to the bracts mentioned above. In other species (C. propinqua, C. parviflora, etc.), the flowers terminate short lateral branchlets only. As these branchlets are frequently much reduced, and often have only one pair of small leaves below the bracts, there is really not much to distinguish the inflorescence from that of the first type. This is particularly the case when the leaf at the base of the branchlet, and from the axil of which it has sprung, is persistent, as frequently happens.
Flowers.—The flowers are unisexual, and the sexes are placed on different plants. Occasionally, however, a few male flowers are intermixed with the females, and vice versâ. Some species, and especially C. robusta and C. fœtidissima, now and then produce hermaphrodite flowers, to all appearance well-developed and perfect, but which seldom mature fruit. The flowers are very uniform in shape all through the genus, and thus are of little value in the discrimination of the species.
The males are always larger and more numerous than the females. They have a broad or narrow campanulate corolla, divided half-way down, or further, into four or five lobes. The calyx, in the species in which it is present, is minute and cupular, and either truncate or obsoletely 4–5-toothed. In C.
arborea and C. spathulata, however, it is much larger, and has well-developed linear lobes. Most of the small-leaved species do not possess even the rudiment of a calyx, so far as the male flowers are concerned, but its place is well supplied by the cupular involucel previously alluded to. This involucel is a shallow cup-shaped organ, closely investing the base of the corolla. It is usually four-lobed, two of the lobes being rather larger than the others, but sometimes is quite truncate. It corresponds so closely in shape and position to a calyx as to be readily taken for one, and, in fact, it has often been described as such by authors. But there are sufficient reasons for believing it to be composed of a pair of depauperated leaves and their connecting stipules. In the first place, a similar involucel exists in the female flowers, where the true calyx is always developed; and in the second, if a sufficient number of specimens are examined, examples can be found where the two longer lobes are better developed, and evidently answer to metamorphosed leaves. In some species, and notably in C. acerosa, it is possible to trace a gradation of forms, from instances where the two longer lobes are hardly distinguishable from ordinary leaves, to cases where they are reduced to minute prominences on an otherwise truncate involucel. It should be mentioned, too, that the long lobes of the involucel are always placed crosswise (or decussately) to the pair of undoubted leaves below, which is precisely the position they ought to occupy on the assumption that they are metamorphosed leaves.
The stamens, which are either four or five in number, have long slender filaments, and rather large oblong anthers, which hang pendulous from the mouth of the corolla, swinging about with every breath of air. The pollen is small, smooth, and elliptical, and is produced in large quantities.
The female flowers are smaller and narrower than the males, approaching tubular in shape. The calyx tube is adnate to the ovary; the limb is almost always minute, and either obsoletely 3–5-toothed or truncate at the mouth. In C. arborea, C. spathulata, and C. linariifolia, however, the limb has comparatively long linear lobes. The styles are two, very long and slender, being often several times longer than the corolla. They are free to the base, and are covered with stigmatic papillæ for their whole length. The ovary is normally two-celled, with a single ovule in each cell; but frequently it is three- or four-celled, and more rarely six-celled. In C. repens it is quite common for the ovary to be four-celled.
Fruit.—This is a drupe with two (rarely four or six) one-seeded plano-convex pyrenes, applied to each other by their flat faces. In shape it varies from oblong or ovoid to globose; and in size from ⅛–¾ inch. The colour is chiefly orange or red; but some species have a semi-transparent colourless drupe (C.
arborea, C. cunninghamii, etc.). In others it is blueish (C. acerosa, C. parviflora), and in some black (C. spathulata, C. tenuicaulis, etc.). The shape is pretty constant in each species, and hence it is of considerable value as a distinguishing character; but the size, and to a lesser degree the colour, are very variable.
Fertilization.—All the species appear to be wind-fertilized. When a male tree in full flower is shaken, clouds of the loose incoherent pollen are driven off; and the long projecting styles of the female flowers, densely clothed with stigmatic papillæ, are well calculated to catch the pollen. As a rule, insects are seldom seen on the flowers of any of the species. A small dipterous insect occasionally visits those of C. robusta and C. propinqua, apparently to feed on the pollen; but I have never observed it on the female flowers, and consequently it cannot aid in the fertilization of the species.
Distribution of the species.—Of the thirty-one species admitted, all but three are confined to New Zealand, including in that term the adjacent groups of the Kermadecs, the Chathams, and the Auckland and Campbell Islands. The species found outside the Colony are the following:—C. baueriana, which is plentiful in Norfolk Island; C. petiolata, which occurs both there and in Lord Howe Island; and C. repens (C. pumila), which is found on the mountains of Victoria and Tasmania.
In the systematic portion of this paper the distribution of the species within the Colony is given as fully as possible, so that it is unnecessary to dwell on that point here. With respect to the character of their habitats, the species may be roughly divided into the following five classes:—
Maritime, including C. baueriana, C. petiolata, and the typical form of C. acerosa.
Lowland species of wide and general distribution, with no marked preference for any particular soil or situation, such as C. robusta, C. lucida, C. grandifolia, etc.
Lowland species preferring swampy forests or rich alluvial soils—C. propinqua, C. rotundifolia, C. areolata, and several others.
Lowland species with a local and confined distribution, as C. spathulata, C. arborea, etc.
Species confined to hilly or subalpine localities, as C. fœtidissima, C. colensoi, C. cuneata, C. repens, and a few others.
Before passing to the systematic part of the paper, I have to tender my most sincere thanks to several gentlemen for their kind assistance in its preparation. To Mr. Petrie, of Dunedin,
I am especially indebted. From him I have received copious and well-selected suites of specimens of the Otagan species, accompanied with descriptive notes of great value. In addition to this, he has communicated to me, in the course of a correspondence extending over several years, very many original and important observations derived from his own study of the genus, and which have been of great use to me. Such liberal and generous assistance is as rare as it is valuable. I have also to thank Mr. Colenso, Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Adams, Mr. Reischek, and others for specimens of species of the genus, and for information respecting them.
There remains for me to acknowledge the very important aid afforded by Sir J. D. Hooker and Mr. N. E. Brown, of the Kew Herbarium. The latter gentleman has most kindly made a comparison of my specimens with the types preserved at Kew, drawing up a special report on all points of interest; and his conclusions have been examined and verified by Sir J. D. Hooker. My warmest thanks are due to both.
Synopsis of the Species.
Division A.—Erect trees or shrubs. Leaves large, broad, usually over 1 inch in length. Flowers fascicled on lateral peduncles, fascicles usually many-flowered.
|Section I.—Peduncles long, 2–4 inches, trichotomously divided; flowers numerous, in fascicles at the ends of the divisions of the peduncle.|
|Leaves large, 3–9 inches long, membranous; male corolla ⅓ inch, funnel-shaped||1. C. lucida.|
|Leaves smaller, 2–5 inches, coriaceous; male corolla ⅕ inch, broadly tubular||2. C. grandifolia.|
|Section II.—Peduncles short, rarely over 1 inch; fascicles dense, many-flowered, or, more rarely, smaller and few-flowered.|
|Sub-alpine dwarf shrub. Leaves with serrulate margins||3. C. serrulata.|
|Maritime shrub. Leaves dark green, fleshy, obtuse, black when dry; branches glabrous, or slightly pubescent||4. C. baueriana.|
|Maritime shrub. Young leaves and branchlets minutely pubescent||5. C. petiolata.|
|Leaves coriaceous, oblong or elliptical, acute, 1 ½–5 inches long; drupe orange||6. C. robusta.|
|Leaves coriaceous, linear or lanceolate, ½–1 inch long; drupe pale and transparent||7. C. cunninghamii.|
|Leaves 1–2 inches, membranous, ovate-oblong, acute, perfectly glabrous, areolation very minute||8. C. acutifolia.|
|Leaves 1–4 inches, membranous, ovate to oblong-lanceolate, areolation not so minute as the preceding, veins and stipules often hairy||9. C. tenuifolia.|
|Tree, 20–25 feet. Leaves coriaceous, ovate- or orbicular-spathulate, narrowed into winged petioles||10. C. arborea.|
Division B.—Erect, rarely prostrate, shrubs. Leaves small, usually under 1 inch. Flowers in few-flowered fascicles on short lateral branchlets, or solitary. (The lateral branchlets are sometimes so much reduced that the flowers appear to be axillary.)
|a. Leaves spathulate, suddenly narrowed into linear winged petioles, often longer than the blade. Small shrub||11. C. spathulata.|
|b. Leaves orbicular to linear-obovate or -oblong; petiole short.|
|* Twigs usually densely pubescent (nearly glabrous in C. tenuicaulis). Leaves orbicular, orbicular-spathulate or broad oblong (often narrow in C. rhamnoides). Drupe globose, black or red.|
|Height 4–10 feet. Branches widely divaricating. Leaves ⅓–1 inch, membranous, orbicular, cuspidate. Drupe often didymous, red, ⅛ inch diameter||12. C. rotundifolia.|
|Height 5–20 feet; branches fastigiate; bark pale; leaves ⅓–⅔ inch, membranous, orbicular-spathulate or ovate-spathulate, veins reticulated in large areoles; fruit dark-red, or nearly black, ⅙–¼ inch diameter||13. C. areolata.|
|Height 5–8 feet; branches widely divaricating; bark purplish; leaves ¼–½ inch, orbicular- or ovate-spathulate, rather coriaceous, veins reticulated in large areoles; fruit globose, black, ⅛–⅕ inch diameter||14. C. tenuicaulis.|
|Height 2–8 feet; dense or open; branches interlaced; leaves very variable, orbicular to narrow oblong, ⅕–⅔ inch long, fruit globose, red, ⅛–⅕ inch||15. C. rhamnoides.|
|** Twigs densely pubescent. Leaves oblong to linear-oblong or -obovate. Drupe (unknown in C. ciliata) globose.|
|Height 4–10 feet; leaves oblong, ¼–⅔ inch, densely ciliate||16. C. ciliata.|
|Height 5–15 feet; branches slender, often spreading in a horizontal plane. Leaves obovate or linear-oblong, ⅕–¾ inch, obtuse, coriaceous||17. C. parviflora.|
|*** Twigs nearly glabrous. Leaves variable. Drupe oblong (sub-globose in C. crassifolia), usually yellow.|
|Height 4–12 feet; branches excessively rigid, interlacing; leaves orbicular, very thick and coriaceous, ¼–¾ inch; fruit sub-globose, ¼–⅕ inch||18. C. crassifolia.|
|Height 4–15 feet; branches stout or slender, often interlacing; leaves orbicular-spathulate to oblong, rather coriaceous, ¼–¾ inch; drupe oblong or obovoid, ⅕–⅓ inch||19. C. rigida.|
|Height 4–10 feet; branches divaricating, leaves rounded-oblong or orbicular, thin, ¼–¾ inch; drupe oblong, ¼ inch||20. C. rubra.|
|Height 4–10 feet; branches slender, interlacing; leaves ovate-spathulate or elliptic-spathulate, thin, small, ⅕–⅓ inch; drupe oblong, greenish-yellow, ⅕–¼ inch||21. C. virescens.|
|c. Leaves narrow-linear, ¼–⅓ inch x 1/20 inch. A rambling or prostrate bush, 1–5 feet high; branches flexuous, interlaced||22. C. acerosa.|
|d. Leaves narrow, linear-oblong, ¼–½ inch x 1/10 inch. A large shrub, 8–20 feet high; branches widely divaricating||23. C. propinqua.|
Division C.—Erect, rarely prostrate shrubs. Leaves small or of medium size, ⅙–2 inches long. Flowers terminating leafy branchlets, always solitary (except the males in C. linariifolia and sometimes in C. fœtidissima).
|Height 6–15 feet; leaves linear or linear-lanceolate, acute, ½–1 ½ inch; stipules sheathing; male flowers in terminal 3–5-flowered fascicles||24. C. linariifolia.|
|Slender, 6–15 feet high, extremely fœtid when bruised; leaves oblong, obtuse, rather thin, ½–2 inches; male flowers large, ⅓ inch, sometimes fascicled||25. C. fœtidissima.|
|Slender, 3–8 feet high; not fœtid; leaves ¼–¾ inch, oblong, obtuse or retuse, rather thin; flowers ⅙–⅛ inch||26. C. colensoi.|
|Stout, much branched, 4–10 feet high; leaves ¼–¾ inch, linear-obovate, obovate-oblong, or cuneate-oblong, obtuse, coriaceous||27. C. cuneata.|
|Slender, leafy, erect, 5–10 feet high; leaves ¼–⅓ inch, linear or linear-lanceolate, flat, thin||28. C. microcarpa.|
|Stout, erect or prostrate, 1–4 feet high; leaves ⅙–¼ inch, linear-lanceolate, concave, coriaceous||29. C. depressa.|
[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]
Division D.—Stems short, prostrate, and rooting. Leaves small, 1/10–⅓ inch long. Flowers solitary, terminal.
|Leaves linear-oblong to rounded-oblong or obovate; male corolla large, curved, tubular, ⅓–⅔ inch long||30. C. repens.|
|Leaves linear-oblong or linear-obovate, often hairy. Male corolla small, narrow below, campanulate above, ⅕–⅓ inch long||31. C. petriei.|
1. C. grandifolia,
North Island.—Common throughout, from the North Cape to Wellington. Altitudinal range from sea level to 2,500 feet.
South Island.—Nelson, common in lowland districts, both in the eastern and western portions of the Province, T.F.C.
Quoted from Otago by Mr. Buchanan (“Trans. N.Z. Inst.,” i., p. 43), but I have seen no specimens from thence.
A large, sparingly-branched shrub, 8–15 feet high, with dark-brown bark. Leaves much the largest of the genus, 5–9 inches long, obovate-oblong or elliptic-oblong, acute, dull green, not shining or glossy, membranous, veins very finely reticulated. Peduncles 1–3 inches long, trichotomously divided. Flowers in fascicles at the ends of the divisions of the peduncle, each fascicle being enclosed in a shallow involucre formed by a pair of reduced leaves (bracts) and their connecting stipules. A distinct though minute calyx is present in both sexes. Male corolla ⅓ inch long, funnel-shaped. Female much smaller, ⅕–¼ inch, tubular, Drupe about ⅓ inch long, oblong, obtuse, yellowish-orange.
One of the most distinct species of the genus. The large foliage and well-developed inflorescence separate it from all its allies. C. lucida approaches it in inflorescence, but is at once distinguished by the much smaller more obovate coriaceous leaves, and by the stouter and more compact habit. C. tenuifolia has leaves very near in outline, colour, texture, and venation, but they are much smaller; and, judging from the fruit, the inflorescence is very different.
Mr. Colenso has very kindly favoured me with flowering and fruiting specimens (collected at Hawke's Bay) of a Coprosma labelled “C. latifolia, Col.,” and which I understand he has lately described as a new species closely allied to C. grandifolia. After a careful examination, however, I have failed to find any characters to separate his plant from C. grandifolia, even as a variety. The leaves are perhaps a trifle more obtuse than is usual, but otherwise I see no difference at all from the ordinary form common near Auckland and in many other places.
2. C. lucida.
Forst., Prodr., p. 138; D.C., Prodr., iv., p. 378; A. Rich., Flora, p. 262; A. Cunn., Prodr., ii., p. 206; Raoul, Choix des Plantes, p. 46; Hook. fil., Flora Nov. Zeal., i., p. 104; Handbk. N.Z. Flora, p. 112. Pelaphia laurifolia, Banks et Sol., MSS.
North Island.—Common throughout, from the North Cape to Wellington. Altitudinal range from sea-level to over 3,000 feet.
South Island.—Nelson, plentiful, T.F.C.; Marlborough, J. Buchanan; Westland, A. Hamilton!; Canterbury, in Banks Peninsula and lowland districts, J. B. Armstrong, T.F.C.; Otago, common on the south-east and west coasts, not so plentiful in the north or in the interior, D. Petrie!; Stewart Island, plentiful, D. Petrie.
A handsome stout leafy shrub, 4–15 feet high, perfectly glabrous in all its parts. Leaves 2–5 inches long, oblong-obovate,
oblong-lanceolate, or elliptic-oblong, coriaceous, obtuse, apiculate or acute, gradually narrowed into short stout petioles, pale glossy-green. Peduncles 1–2 inches long, trichotomously divided. Flowers numerous, in fascicles at the ends of the divisions of the peduncle. Calyx present in both sexes, but limb very inconspicuously toothed. Male corolla ⅕ inch long, broadly tubular; female rather shorter and narrower. Drupe ⅓–½ inch long, oblong or oblong-obovoid, obtuse, yellowish-orange.
C. lucida varies considerably in habit. When growing in the open it usually forms a dense round-topped shrub; but when met with as undergrowth in the forest it is much more sparingly branched, and the branches are much longer and spread more. It is allied by its inflorescence to C. grandifolia, but is at once recognised by its very different foliage and habit. From C. robusta it is removed by its paler obovate more coriaceous leaves, which dry a yellowish-green, and not blackish-brown as in that species; and by the longer peduncles and more open inflorescence. The drupe is also much larger and much more pulpy and juicy than that of C. robusta. There is no danger of its being confounded with any other of the large-leaved species. In the “Handbook” the leaves are erroneously described as membranous, probably from becoming thin when dried. In the fresh state they are always coriaceous.
3. C. serrulata.
Hook. fil., MSS.; Buchanan, Trans. N.Z. Inst., iii., p. 212; Kirk, l.c. x., App. p. xxxv.
South Island.—Sub-alpine localities, but not very common. Nelson, slopes of Mount Arthur and Mount Peel, 3,000 to 4,000 feet, T.F.C. Canterbury, mountain districts above 2,000 feet, J. B. Armstrong!; Arthur's Pass, Waimakariri Glacier, mountains near Lake Tekapo, T.F.C. Otago: Mount Ida, 2,000 to 3,000 feet; Mount St. Bathans, 2,000 to 3,000 feet; Mount Tyndall, 4,000 feet, D. Petrie!; Dusky Bay, on the mountains, A. Reischek!
A robust, leafy, sparingly-branched dwarf shrub, 1–4 feet high, perfectly glabrous in all its parts. Branches few, stout, straggling; old bark white and papery. Leaves coriaceous, 1–2 ½ inches long, oblong-obovate, broadly obovate, or nearly orbicular, rarely narrower and elliptical-oblong, obtuse or apiculate, narrowed into a short broad petiole; margins thickened, minutely serrulate; veins reticulated, very conspicuous on the under-surface. Stipules very large, triangular, margins ciliated. Inflorescence diœcious. Males: in axillary 3–7-flowered fascicles. Calyx apparently wanting. Corolla ¼–⅓ inch long, between
funnel-shaped and campanulate, 4–5-lobed. Stamens, 4–5. Females: solitary, or in 3–5-flowered fascicles. Calyx adnate to the ovary, limb minute, cupular, sometimes with a few irregular teeth. Corolla ⅕–¼ inch long, tubular, shortly 3–5-lobed. Styles long and stout, often 1 inch long, cohering up to the mouth of the corolla. Drupe broadly oblong or sub-globose, ¼–⅓ inch long, reddish.
A remarkably distinct plant, at once recognized by the minutely serrulate leaves. It is usually found in sheltered places on steep mountain slopes, and rarely attains a greater height than four or five feet. The bark of the stem and branches is white and papery, and is easily detached. The leaves are often very coriaceous, perhaps more so than in most of the species. The male fascicles are often reduced to three or four flowers, and occasionally to a single one. The female flowers are generally solitary, although there is no difficulty in finding specimens with fascicles of three, and, more rarely, with five flowers.
It may be remarked, in passing, that in several of the species the very young leaves have their margins minutely incised or serrate, but the character is always an obscure one, and is never present in fully mature leaves, except in C. serrulata.
4. C. baueriana.
Endl., Iconog., t. iii.; Hook. fil., Flora Nov. Zeal., i., p. 105; Handbk. N.Z. Flora, p. 112. C. lucida, Endl., Prodr. Flor. Ins. Norfolk, p. 60, non Forst. C. retusa, Hook, fil., Lond. Journ. Bot., iii., p. 416. Pelaphia retusa, Banks et Sol., MSS.
North Island.—Abundant all round the coasts, on maritime rocks and sand-hills, but not found inland, save where planted by the Maoris in the cultivations, etc.
South Island.—Southern shores of Cook Strait, from Collingwood to Picton, but not common.
Chatham Island.—J. Buchanan (“Trans. N.Z. Inst.,” vii., p. 336). Also found in Norfolk Island.
A shrub or small tree, very variable in size and habit of growth, in exposed rocky places often not more than 2–3 feet high, with almost prostrate branches; in rich sandy soils sometimes 15–25 feet, with a close head of spreading branches. Branches stout, glabrous, or the young ones minutely pubescent. Leaves bright shining green, almost fleshy, black when dry, 1–3 inches long, broadly ovate or oblong, rarely narrow oblong, obtuse or retuse, rarely sub-acute, quite glabrous; margins usually recurved, and often conspicuously so; veins finely reticulated. Stipules short and broad. Male flowers clustered in dense heads on short axillary peduncles. Calyx minute, cupular, obsoletely 4-toothed. Corolla campanulate, ⅕–¼ inch,
4–5-lobed. Females: Peduncles smaller and more slender than in the males, and heads smaller, rarely more than 3–6-flowered. Calyx-limb minute, truncate or obsoletely 4-toothed. Corolla smaller and narrower than in the males. Drupe oblong or ovoid, ¼–⅓ inch long, yellowish-orange.
I doubt whether there is any real distinction between this species and C. petiolata. From C. robusta it is separated by its stouter and closer habit, more obtuse, and much more fleshy and glossy leaves, with recurved margins, by the smaller heads of flowers, and by the rounder fruit.
C. baueriana is more frequently seen in cultivation than any other species, chiefly on account of its very handsome glossy foliage and compact habit. States having the leaves variegated with white or yellow are not uncommon, and have been introduced into European gardens. It forms an excellent hedge, and as it is not easily affected by exposure to salt spray or drifting sand, is very suitable for planting in exposed places near the sea. Thus, at Taranaki, luxuriant garden hedges composed of it may be seen in situations open to the full force of the westerly gales.
At Maketu, in the Bay of Plenty, there exists a grove of this species, which the Maoris state had its origin from the skids which were used in pulling ashore the Arawa canoe, on its arrival in New Zealand with the first Maori immigrants. It is said that the skids were brought in the canoe from Hawaiiki, but the acceptance of this statement is rendered difficult by the fact that C. baueriana is not known to occur anywhere in Polynesia, or, indeed, out of New Zealand, save at Norfolk Island.
5. C. petiolata.
North Island.—Tapotopoto Bay, North Cape. T. Kirk (“Trans. N.Z. Inst.,” i., p. 143); Castle Point, Wellington, Colenso (“Handbook”).
Also found in Lord Howe's Island and Norfolk Island.
With this species I am imperfectly acquainted. According to Sir Joseph Hooker it is distinguished from the preceding by the leaves being less fleshy, and by the young foliage and branches being covered with a minute pubescence. But C. baueriana often has the young branches covered with a minute velvety pubescence, and the leaves vary in texture. Sir F. Mueller, in his “Fragmenta” (vol. ix., p. 69), unites both species, and probably this is the correct view to take.
6. C. robusta.
North and South Islands.—Common in lowland districts, from the North Cape to Invercargill.
Chatham Islands.—J. Buchanan (“Trans. N.Z. Inst.,” vii., p. 336).
A stout, leafy, glossy-green shrub, 6–15 feet high, perfectly glabrous in all its parts; bark greyish-brown. Leaves coriaceous, very variable in size and shape, 1 ½–5 inches long, lanceolate to broad elliptic-oblong, acute, rarely obtuse, narrowed into short stout petioles, dark-green and shining above, paler below. Flowers clustered in axillary many-flowered glomerules. Males: Calyx minute, cupular, minutely 4–5-toothed or quite truncate. Corolla ⅕–⅓ inch long, campanulate, shortly or deeply 3–5-lobed. Stamens, 3–5. Females: Much smaller, ⅙–¼ inch long. Calyx-limb truncate, or rarely with a few irregular teeth. Corolla tubular, shortly 3–5-lobed. Drupes densely packed, oblong to ovoid, rarely obovoid, ¼–⅓ inch long, yellowish- or reddish-orange.
C. robusta, has a very wide and general distribution. Unlike many of the other species, it is not restricted to any particular class of habitat, but is seen in all soils and situations, whether sheltered or exposed, near the sea or inland. As a rule, however, it does not ascend the mountains to a greater height than about 2,500 feet. In its ordinary state it is not at all difficult to recognize. The characters separating it from C. lucida I have pointed out under that species. From C. baueriana it is chiefly distinguished by its firm coriaceous leaves, which are not at all fleshy, by the much larger fascicles of flowers, and by the rather smaller and more pointed fruit. From C. cunninghamii it differs in the larger broader leaves, much more numerous flowers, and in the colour of the drupe, which appears to be always pale and transparent in C. cunninghamii. I have, however, intermediate forms which are difficult to place, judging from foliage and inflorescence alone. From C. acutifolia, C. tenuifolia, and C. arborea, it is at once separated by the texture and shape of the leaves, and by numerous other points.
7. C. cunninghamii.
Hook. fil., Handbk. N.Z. Flora, p. 113. C. fœtidissima, A. Cunn., Prodr., in part, non Forst.
North Island.—Not uncommon in the lowlands, chiefly in alluvial grounds by the banks of rivers.
South Island.—Usually near the coast. Various localities in Nelson, T.F.C. Banks Peninsula and lowlands of Canterbury,
Armstrong, T.F.C. Otago: near Dunedin; Milton; Invercargill, etc., D. Petrie!
Chatham Islands.—Dieffenbach (“Handbook”); Buchanan (“Trans. N.Z. Inst.,” vii., p. 336).
Altitudinal range from sea-level to 500 feet.
A large, sparingly-branched shrub, or small tree, 6–15 feet in height; bark pale. Leaves flat, coriaceous, variable in size, ½–2 inches long, usually linear or linear-lanceolate, but occasionally broader and shorter and linear-oblong, acute, gradually narrowed into short stout petioles. Inflorescence composed of 3–12-flowered axillary glomerules. Male flowers ⅙–⅕ inch long. Calyx minute, cupular, truncate, or obscurely lobed. Corolla campanulate, 4–5-lobed. Female flowers much smaller and narrower. Calyx-limb 4–5-toothed. Corolla ⅛–⅙ inch, tubular, 3–5-lobed. Styles very long and stout. Drupe broad-oblong or sub-globose, pale, and semi-transparent.
Most closely allied to the preceding species, but in its usual state differing in the more slender open habit, pale bark, much smaller and narrower leaves, smaller fascicles of flowers, and particularly in the rounder, pale, and semi-transparent fruit. Intermediate states are plentiful, and some are very puzzling to place in the absence of fruit, especially some Otago specimens sent by Mr. Petrie, and which may be referable to small and narrow-leaved forms of C. robusta. It is also related to C. propinqua, which, however, can be easily separated by its more spreading habit, dark bark, smaller and narrower leaves, fewer flowers, and more elongated drupe.
8. C. acutifolia.
Kermadec Islands.—McGillivray (“Handbook”).
I am totally unacquainted with this species, and can add nothing to Sir J. D. Hooker's description. It seems to be allied on the one hand to C. grandifolia, and on the other to C. tenuifolia, but to be distinct from both. It is confined to the Kermadec Islands.
9. C. tenuifolia.
Cheeseman, Trans. N.Z. Inst., xviii., p. 315.
North Island.—Ruahine Mountains and other localities in Hawke's Bay, W. Colenso! Pirongia and Karioi Mountains, Mount Egmont Ranges, T.F.C. Forests between the Upper Wanganui and Taupo, T. Kirk!
I have already given a description of this species in the volume of the “Trans. N.Z. Inst.” quoted above, and do not
propose to repeat it here, as I have no fresh information to offer. The plant was first collected on the Ruahine Mountains by Mr. Colenso, many years ago. In the “Handbook” Sir Joseph Hooker referred it, with some doubt, to C. acutifolia. He now considers it to be distinct, and in this view is supported by Mr. N. E. Brown, who has pointed out to me that the venation of the leaves is entirely different in the two plants, and that C. acutifolia is quite glabrous, while C. tenuifolia is more or less pubescent on the stipules, young branchlets, and midrib and petioles. The inflorescence is probably quite distinct, but as at present the male flower of C. acutifolia and the young females of C. tenuifolia are alone known, it is difficult to form an opinion; although it seems likely that the inflorescence of C. tenuifolia will prove to be more compact than that of C. acutifolia.
10. C. arborea.
Kirk, Trans. N.Z. Inst., x., p. 420.
North Island.—Not uncommon from the North Cape southwards to the Waikato and Thames Rivers. Altitudinal range from sea-level to 1,000 feet.
A closely-branched round-headed tree, 20–30 feet high, with much of the habit and appearance of Myrsine urvillei. Trunk 6–14 inches in diameter, wood yellowish. Branchlets terete, puberulous towards the tips, bark greyish-brown. Leaves coriaceous, variable in size, 1–3 inches long, ½–1 ½ inches broad, ovate-spathulate or orbicular-spathulate, obtuse or retuse, suddenly narrowed into winged petioles ⅕–¾ inch long, yellowish-green above, often reddish below; veins closely reticulate; margins flat. Stipules short, triangular, finely ciliate when young. Flowers densely clustered in many-flowered glomerules or heads, which terminate the main branches as well as short axillary branchlets. Males: calyx narrow, deeply divided into 4–5 linear or linear-oblong ciliate lobes. Corolla campanulate, ⅕-inch long, deeply 4–5-lobed, lobes broad, acute. Stamens 4–5, filaments very long. Females: glomerules smaller, usually 4–12-flowered. Calyx-limb 4–5-toothed. Corolla smaller and narrower than in the males. Drupes closely packed, globose, or more rarely broadly oblong or obovoid, colourless and semi-transparent, ¼–⅓ inch in diameter.
The largest species of the genus, and very distinct from any other. The foliage is nearest to that of C. spathulata, but is much larger, and the petioles much shorter in proportion. The male flowers are very closely packed, forming large spherical glomerules, and these are placed at the terminations of the main branches, as well as on short axillary branchlets. The calyx of the male flowers is better developed, and has deeper divisions than in any other species.
11. C. spathulata.
A. Cunn., Prodr. ii., p. 207; Hook. fil., Flora Nov. Zeal., i., p. 106; Handbk. N.Z. Flora, p. 114; Raoul, Choix des Plantes, p. 46. Pelaphoides rotundiflora, Banks et Sol., MSS.
North Island.—Abundant in forests from the North Cape to the Upper Waikato. Altitudinal range from sea-level to 1,000 feet.
A small shrub, rarely more than 5–6 feet in height. Branches few, slender and straggling, very young ones finely puberulous. Leaves rather distant, very variable in size, from ½ to 1 ½ inch long; blade orbicular or broadly oblong, obtuse, retuse, or emarginate, coriaceous, quite glabrous, suddenly narrowed into a narrow winged petiole which may be longer or shorter than the blade. Stipules triangular, cuspidate. Male flowers in 2–3-flowered axillary fascicles or solitary. Calyx deeply 4–5-lobed, invested at its base by an involucel composed of a pair of depauperated leaves and their stipules. Corolla campanulate, ⅕–¼ inch long, 4–5-lobed to the middle, lobes revolute. Stamens usually 4. Females usually solitary, but occasionally fascicled. Calyx-limb deeply 4-lobed, lobes erect, acute. Corolla rather smaller and narrower than in the males, funnel-shaped. Drupe globose, ⅕–⅓ inch diameter, black and shining when fully ripe.
Allied to C. arborea, from which it is easily separated by the small size, different habit, smaller foliage on longer petioles, fewer flowers, and by the larger black fruit. The leaves are often a bronzy colour, shining and polished on the upper surface.
12. C. rotundifolia.
A. Cunn., Prodr., ii., p. 206; Hook. fil., Flora Nov. Zeal., i., p. 108; Handbook N.Z. Flora, p. 114; Raoul, Choix des Plantes, p. 46. C. rufescens, Colenso, Trans. N.Z. Inst., xviii., p. 261.
North and South Islands.—Common in alluvial soils at moderate elevations, from the North Cape to Invercargill. Altitudinal range from sea-level to 1,500 feet.
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A large laxly-branched shrub, 6–12 feet high. Branches long and slender, widely-spreading, irregularly and sparsely branched, the young ones densely pubescent or almost villous towards the tips; bark greyish-brown. Leaves in distant opposite pairs, ¼–1 inch long, usually orbicular, but varying to broadly-oblong or ovate-oblong, cuspidate or abruptly acute, rarely obtuse, very thin and membranous, more or less pubescent and ciliate, especially on the margins and on the veins below, veins finely reticulated; petioles short, villous. Flowers in axillary few or many-flowered fascicles, rarely solitary. Males: True calyx absent, but in its place one or two membranous involucels composed of a pair of depauperated leaves and their stipules. Corolla broadly campanulate, 1/10–⅛ inch
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long, deeply 4-lobed. Stamens, 4. Female flowers smaller and narrower than the male. Calyx adnate to the ovary, invested at the base by involucels similar to those of the male; limb minute, truncate, or obscurely toothed. Corolla 1/10–1/12 inch, tubular, 3–4-lobed. Drupe variable in size, ⅛–¼ inch diameter, globose or broader than long, often didymous, red.
Distinguished from the following species by its spreading habit, large round leaves, usually densely aggregated flowers, and the smaller red drupe. From C. tenuicaulis it is removed by its coarser and more open habit, much larger and more membranous leaves, and by the colour of the drupe. C. rubra often closely approaches it in foliage; but the flowers are larger, and the drupe is oblong and yellow.
C. rotundifolia usually affects deep rich alluvial soils by the banks of rivers, and is particularly abundant in the swampy forests fringing the Northern Wairoa, Thames, Waikato, and other large streams in the North Island. The leaves are often deciduous, so that in spring the plant is usually quite bare. They are perhaps the most membranous of the genus. The fruit is frequently didymous, as described in the “Handbook,” but by no means invariably so.
13. C. areolata.
Cheeseman, Trans. N.Z. Inst., xvii., p. 315.
North Island.—Not uncommon in lowland districts.
South Island.—Nelson, plentiful, T.F.C. Westland, A. Hamilton! Canterbury, Banks Peninsula, T.F.C. Otago, not uncommon, D. Cetrie.
An erect, closely branched, shrub or small tree, 6–15 feet in height. Branches slender, close, fastigiate, ultimate pubescent or almost villous with soft greyish hairs. Leaves in opposite pairs, ⅓–⅔ inch long, orbicular-spathulate, ovate-spathulate, or elliptic-spathulate, usually acute or apiculate, rather thin and membranous, flat, glabrous or nearly so above, usually pubescent on the veins below, suddenly narrowed into short hairy petioles; veins reticulated in large areoles. Flowers axillary, solitary or in few-flowered fascicles. Males: Usually 2–4 together, small, ⅛–⅙ inch. True calyx wanting, but one or two calycine involucels closely invest the base of the corolla. Corolla broadly campanulate, deeply 4–5-lobed. Females: solitary, or two together, rarely more, 1/10–⅛ inch long. Calyx-limb minute, truncate, or obscurely toothed. Corolla narrow, tubular. Drupe globose or broadly obovoid, ⅙–¼ inch diameter, reddish-black or nearly quite black.
Allied on one side to C. rotundifolia, and on the other to C. tenuicaulis. I have already pointed out its differences from the first of these, and C. tenuicaulis is at once separated by its
smaller size, spreading branches, dark-coloured bark, more glabrous leaves and branchlets, smaller and more coriaceous leaves, and perfectly black globose fruit.
14. C. tenuicaulis.
Hook. fil., Flora Nov. Zeal., i., p. 106; Handbk. N.Z. Flora, p. 115.
North Island.—Not uncommon, especially in swampy forests. I have seen no South Island specimens. Altitudinal range from sea-level to 500 feet.
A densely and widely branched shrub, 4–8 feet high. Branches slender, bark plum-colour or dark purplish-brown; young branchlets finely and shortly puberulous. Leaves in opposite pairs, ¼–½ inch long, orbicular or ovate-spathulate, obtuse, somewhat coriaceous, flat, glabrous on both surfaces, narrowed into a broad flat petiole; veins reticulated in large areoles. Flowers axillary, solitary or more generally in 2–3-flowered fascicles. Males: No true calyx, but the usual calycine involucre present. Corolla broadly campanulate, ⅙–⅛ inch long, 4–5-lobed. Stamens, 4–5. Females: tubular, 1/7–⅛ inch long. Calyx - limb truncate. Corolla, 3–5-lobed. Drupe globose or depresso-globose, ⅛–⅕ inch diameter, shining black.
A distinct and well-marked species, which keeps its characters well in all stations. I have already pointed out its differences from C. areolata, which is its nearest ally. It is also closely related to C. rhamnoides, some broad-leaved forms of which come very close. But C. rhamnoides always has much more pubescent branches, and usually narrower and more pointed leaves, with very different venation, and the drupe is usually red.
15. C. rhamnoides.
A. Cunn., Prodr., ii., p. 206; Hook. fil., Flora Nov. Zeal., i., p. 107; Handbk.N.Z. Flora, p. 116; Raoul, Choix des Plantes, p. 46. C. divaricata, A. Cunn. Prodr., ii., p. 207, not of Hook. fil. C. concinna, Col., Trans. N.Z. Inst., xvi., p. 330. C. heterophylla, Col., Trans. N.Z. Inst., xviii., p. 263. ? C. gracilis, A. Cunn., Prodr.
North and South Islands.—Abundant throughout, from the North Cape to Stewart Island. Altitudinal range from sea-level to 3,000 feet.
A small, densely-branched bush, 2–6 feet high. Branches spreading, stiff, rigid, and often interlaced in exposed places; more slender and open in shaded. Bark greyish, or reddish-brown, fissured. Ultimate branches densely pubescent, with short stiff white hairs. Leaves very variable in shape and texture, from orbicular or broadly-ovate to narrow oblong, and in some varieties lanceolate or even linear leaves are mixed with the broader ones; rounded, retuse, or acute, narrowed into a very short petiole, from coriaceous to almost membranous;
glabrous or puberulous on the under-surface, ⅕–¾ inch long by ⅛–½ inch broad; veins reticulated and evident, except in the more coriaceous forms. Flowers axillary, or on short decurved lateral branchlets, solitary or in few-flowered fascicles. Males: True calyx wanting, but the usual cupuliform involucre composed of depauperated leaves and their stipules present. Corolla 1/10–⅛ inch long, campanulate, 4–5-lobed to below the middle; lobes often recurved. Stamens, 4–5. Females: smaller, 1/12–1/10 inch long. Calyx adnate to the ovary, its limb very short, truncate, or obsoletely toothed. Corolla tubular, 4-lobed to below the middle; lobes narrow, revolute. Drupe globose, usually bright red, occasionally black, ⅕ inch diameter.
Var. α. vera.—Leaves orbicular or broadly-ovate, obtuse, often coriaceous. C. rhamnoides, A. Cunn.
Var. β. divaricata.—Leaves broadly ovate, oblong-ovate or oblong, acute, rather thin. Narrower leaves, linear or lanceolate, often mixed with the broader ones. C. divaricata, A. Cunn.; but not C. divaricata, Hook. fil.
One of the most puzzling and variable species of the genus. Two main forms are distinguishable, as described above; but it must be borne in mind that numerous intermediates occur, which might be placed under either head. Var. α, with rounded obtuse leaves, I am informed by Mr. N. E. Brown, answers to Cunningham's type-specimens of C. rhamnoides, now preserved in the Kew Herbarium. In its extreme state it is stiff and rigid, with coriaceous leaves; but the branches often become longer and more slender, and the leaves thinner, narrower, and sub-acute. In this state it is C. concinna, Colenso, as I find from specimens kindly forwarded by Mr. Colenso himself. Var. β, Mr. Brown assures me, is identical with the true C. divaricata of A. Cunningham, a very different plant to the C. divaricata of the “Handbook;” and with this view Sir J. D. Hooker now concurs. It varies much in the shape of its leaves—from nearly round to ovate, trowel-shaped, or oblong; but as a rule, they are narrower, thinner, and more acute than in the preceding variety, into which, however, it passes by insensible gradations. Some common subvarieties of it are remarkable for having narrow lanceolate or linear leaves mixed with those of the ordinary form; these leaves being most plentiful on the younger branches. Mr Colenso has described this as a distinct species, under the name of C. heterophylla.
The flowers are very uniform in both varieties, and offer no distinctive characters of importance. They are perhaps the smallest in the genus, C. tenuicaulis, C. areolata, and C. rotundifolia being the nearest in this respect. The fruit is always globose, and usually a dark red—“port-wine” colour. Some varieties, however, have a crimson drupe, and in others the fruit becomes nearly black when decaying.
16. C. ciliata.
(Hook. fil., Flora Antarct., i., p. 22; Handbk. N.Z. Flora, p. 115.)
Auckland and Campbell Islands.—Abundant (“Flora Antarctica”).
I am not acquainted with this species, and can therefore add nothing to Sir J. D. Hooker's description. The flowers and fruit are unknown, and I am not sure that the plant will not prove to be a variety of C. parviflora, mountain forms of which often have ciliate leaves.
17. C. parviflora.
Hook. fil., Flora Nov. Zeal., i., p. 107; Handbk. N.Z. Flora, p. 116. C. myrtillifolia, Hook. fil., Flora Antarct., i., p. 21; Flora Nov. Zeal., i., p. 108 (var. α. only).
North and South Islands.—Abundant throughout, both in the lowlands and on the mountains.
Auckland Isles.—Sir J. D. Hooker.
Altitudinal range from sea-level to 4,000 feet.
A stout, erect, leafy shrub, 4–12 feet high. Branches stout or slender, much divided; branchlets often arranged in a horizontal plane, densely pubescent, sometimes quite shaggy; bark light grey. Leaves usually close set, fascicled on short lateral branchlets, ⅕–¾ inch long, 1/10–¼ inch broad, obovate, linear-obovate, or linear-oblong, obtuse and rounded at the tip, more rarely acute, coriaceous, flat or margins slightly recurved, glabrous, or the petiole and midrib slightly puberulous, or surfaces and margins ciliate with scattered soft hairs, gradually narrowed into short petioles, veins not conspicuous. Flowers solitary or 2–4 together. Males: True calyx wanting, but two minute 4-toothed involucels present at the base of the flower. Corolla 1/10–⅛ inch long, broadly campanulate, 4–5-partite almost to the base. Stamens, 4–5. Females: Calycine involucels present as in the males. Calyx-limb minutely 4–5-toothed. Corolla 1/12–1/10 inch, much narrower than in the males, and not so deeply cleft. Drupe globose, ⅕–¼ inch diameter, white or yellowish-white, translucent.
A well-marked and distinct species, which, though varying within certain limits, can always be distinguished from its allies by its leafy habit, pubescent branches, obovate or linear-obovate coriaceous leaves, and semi-transparent globose drupe. There are three main forms: the first, which may be considered the type of the species, is rather stout and closely branched, with moderately pubescent branches and obovate or linear-obovate coriaceous leaves, which are nearly glabrous. This form is found both in the lowlands and on the mountains. The second, which is common in many places on the mountains of Nelson
and Canterbury, has a much more slender habit, softer more pubescent branches, and rather broader much thinner leaves, which are usually ciliate on both surfaces and margins with soft hairs. This might be distinguished as var. pilosa. The third form is stiff and rigid, and very closely branched, with white bark and very small almost linear leaves. It also is montane, and occurs in several places in the Southern Alps, from Nelson to Otago.
18. C. crassifolia.
Colenso, Tasmanian Journal of Natural Science.
North Island.—Whangarei, T.F.C.; Head of Manukau Harbour, W. Colenso, T. Kirk!, T.F.C. Sand-hills between Helensville and the West Coast, T.F.C.
South Island.—Nelson, Maitai Valley, and other places, T.F.C. Otago, not uncommon throughout the Province, D. Petrie!
A compact rigid bush, 6–12 feet high. Branches divaricating, excessively stiff and rigid, often interlacing. Bark reddish-brown or greyish-brown, rough, uneven, and fissured on the branches, smoother on the twigs. Ultimate branchlets glabrous or very finely puberulous. Leaves in pairs on opposite twigs, broadly oblong, ovate, or orbicular, rounded at the tip or retuse, suddenly narrowed into a very short puberulous petiole, flat, usually very thick and coriaceous, quite glabrous, often whitish below, ⅕–1 inch long, ⅙–¾ inch broad; veins usually concealed; margins thickened. Flowers terminating short lateral often leafless branchlets (and thus appearing axillary), solitary or more rarely 2–3 together. Males: True calyx wanting, but one or more involucels present, composed of depauperated leaves and their stipules. Corolla ⅙–¼ inch long, campanulate, 4-lobed to nearly the base, Stamens, 4. Females tubular, ⅛–⅙ inch long. Calyx adnate to the ovary, limb minute, truncate or obsoletely toothed. Drupe sub-globose or broadly oblong, ⅕–¼ inch diameter, dull yellow.
C. crassifolia, which is a distinct species, though closely allied to the following, was originally discovered by Mr. Colenso nearly 40 years ago, near the head of the Manukau Harbour. In the “Flora,” and also in the “Handbook,” Sir J. D. Hooker referred it, together with the three next species, to C. divaricata, A. Cunn. But Mr. N. E. Brown, who has lately carefully examined the whole of the Coprosmas in Cunningham's herbarium, has satisfied himself that the original type of C. divaricata is only a variety of C. rhamnoides, and that the four plants placed under it by Hooker are quite distinct, both from it and from one another. I understand that Sir Joseph Hooker now
accepts this view. As a species, C. crassifolia is best distinguished by the excessively stiff and rigid habit, almost glabrous branchlets, rounded thick and coriaceous leaves, and sub-globose yellow fruit. The next species is separated by its more slender habit, narrower spathulate leaves, and more oblong drupe; C. rubra by its larger thin orbicular leaves, and much larger oblong fruit; while C. virescens is at once removed by its slender habit and thin spathulate leaves.
19. C. rigida, n. sp.
C. divaricata, Hook. fil., Flora Nov. Zeal., i., p. 107, in part; non C. divaricata, A. Cunn., Prodr.
North and South Islands.—Not uncommon throughout, in swampy forests.
A branching shrub or small tree, 5–15 feet high. Branches divaricating, stout or slender, open or much interlaced, glabrous or the very young twigs minutely pubescent; bark reddish-brown or plum colour. Leaves in opposite pairs on short lateral branchlets, ¼–¾ inch long, obovate or oblong-spathulate, coriaceous but variable in texture, dark-green above but paler below, quite glabrous, gradually narrowed into short petioles, veins not reticulated. Stipules triangular, glabrous. Flowers solitary, or in 2–4-flowered fascicles on short lateral branchlets. Males: True calyx wanting, but one or more cupuliform involucres closely investing the base of the corolla. Corolla broadly campanulate, ⅙–⅕ inch long, divided more than half-way down into 4–5 lobes. Stamens, 4–5. Females: Calyx adnate to the ovary, limb with 4–5 minute lobes. Corolla tubular, ⅙–1/7 inch long, deeply 3–5-lobed. Drupe oblong, yellow, ⅕–⅓ inch long.
This is one of the species included by Sir J. D. Hooker in C. divaricata of the “Flora” and “Handbook.” It is very near to the preceding, but the habit is not nearly so rigid, the leaves are narrower and not so coriaceous, and the fruit is larger and more oblong.
20. C. rubra.
Petrie, Trans. N.Z. Inst., xvii., p. 269. C. divaricata var. latifolia, Hook. fil., Flora Nov. Zeal., i., p. 107; non C. divaricata, A. Cunn.
North Island.—Colenso, in Herb. Kew, Nos. 380, 1976.
South Island.—Otago: near Dunedin; Otepopo; Palmerston South, D. Petrie!
An open or closely branched shrub, 5–12 feet high; branches slender, divaricating, ultimate ones pubescent; bark reddish-brown, smooth. Leaves varying from broadly-oblong to nearly orbicular, obtuse or sub-acute, glabrous or ciliolate, rather thin and membranous, narrowed into rather long ciliolate petioles, ¼–¾ inch long, ⅙–½ inch wide; veins reticulated. Flowers
sometimes solitary, but more generally in twos or threes on short lateral branchlets. Males: True calyx wanting, but one or more involucels closely invest the base of the corolla. Corolla ⅛–⅙ inch long, bell-shaped, 4-lobed. Stamens, 4. Females: Calyx adnate to the ovary, limb minute, 4–5-toothed. Corolla tubular, 4-partite. Drupe oblong, ¼–⅓ inch long, yellowish-white, translucent.
This species has much resemblance in foliage and habit to C. rotundifolia, but differs altogether in the flowers and fruit, which clearly place it in the same section as the two preceding plants. It seems to have been originally discovered by Mr Colenso in some locality in the North Island; but I have myself only seen Mr. Petrie's specimens, collected in Otago. Mr. N. E. Brown informs me, however, that Mr. Colenso's specimens exactly match Mr. Petrie's.
21. C. virescens.
Petrie, Trans. N.Z. Inst., xi., p. 426. C. divaricata var. pallida, Hook. fil., Flora Nov. Zeal., i., p. 107; non. C. divaricata, A. Cunn.
North Island.—Wairarapa Valley, Colenso. (No. 333 in Herb. Kew.)
South Island.—Otago: vicinity of Dunedin; Otepopo, etc., D. Petrie!
A compact glabrous shrub, 6–12 feet high. Branches numerous, slender, interlaced; bark greenish. Leaves in pairs on opposite twigs, spathulate, obtuse, glabrous, membranous, ⅕–⅓ inch long. Flowers solitary or in fascicles of two or three, terminating short lateral branchlets. Males: True calyx wanting, but the usual involucels formed of depauperated leaves and their stipules present. Corolla campanulate, deeply 4-lobed, ⅛ inch long. Females: Calyx-limb indistinctly 4-toothed. Corolla tubular, deeply 4-lobed, smaller than in the males. Drupe oblong, ¼ inch long, greenish-white or yellowish, translucent.
A very distinct species, but perhaps more closely allied to C. rubra than any other. I give the North Island locality on the authority of Mr. N. E. Brown, who informs me that Mr. Colenso's specimens agree very well with Otago ones collected by Mr. Petrie.
22. C. acerosa.
A. Cunn., Prodr., p. 207; Hook. fil., Flora Nov. Zeal., i., p. 109; Handbk. N.Z. Flora, p. 118; Raoul, Choix des Plantes, p. 46.
North and South Islands.—Common throughout, from the North Cape to Stewart Island, and also in the Chatham Islands. Altitudinal range from sea-level to 4,000 feet.
A depressed, often excessively branched wide-spreading bush, 1–5 feet high. Branches numerous, spreading, trailing, or
prostrate, tortuous and often interlaced, often zigzag, puberulous; bark yellowish-brown or dark-brown. Leaves in close or remote opposite pairs or fascicles, ⅕–⅗ inch long, 1/20 inch wide, very uniform in shape, narrow-linear, obtuse or sub-acute, sub-erect, rather rigid, veinless. Flowers apparently lateral, but in reality terminating minute arrested branchlets. Males: solitary, or in fascicles of 2–4. True calyx wanting, but one or two involucels present, composed of depauperated leaves and their stipules. Corolla broadly campanulate, ⅙ inch long, 4-lobed to below the middle. Stamens 4, rarely 5. Females always solitary, invested at the base by calycine involucres similar to those of the males. Calyx adnate to the ovary, limb minutely 4-toothed. Corolla 1/10 inch long, tubular, 4-lobed. Drupe globose, variable in size, ⅙–½ inch, pale blue.
Var. α.—Sand-dune form. Yellowish-green; branches long, slender, much and closely interlaced. Leaves close set, rather long and slender. Flowers usually solitary.
Var. β.—Inland and mountain form. Browner and darker; branches not so numerous, stouter and more rigid; leaves often short and stiff; male flowers usually fascicled.
The typical form of this species is a most abundant plant on sand-hills all round the New Zealand coast. It has long weak flexuous and tortuous branches, which are usually much and closely interlaced, thus forming a dense scrambling bush 1–5 feet high. Var. β is by no means common in the North Island, but is plentiful in the elevated central districts of the South Island. Extreme forms of it, with few prostrate branches, shorter and stiffer, much more remote leaves, look very different to the typical state; but intermediates are common. As a species, C. acerosa is at once distinguished by its peculiar habit, extremely narrow leaves, and sky-blue drupe.
23. C. propinqua.
A. Cunn. Prodr., ii., p. 206; Hook. fil., Flora Nov. Zeal., i., p. 109; Handbk.N.Z. Flora, p. 116; Raoul, Choix des Plantes, p. 46. Pelaphia parvifolia, Banks et Sol., MSS.
North Island.—Abundant throughout, in swampy forests or by the sides of rivers.
South Island.—Not uncommon, extending as far as Stewart Island.
Chatham Islands.—H. Travers!
Altitudinal range from sea-level to 1,500 feet.
A large branching shrub or small tree, 6–20 feet high. Branches widely divaricating, glabrous or puberulous at the tips; bark brown, or brownish-grey. Leaves opposite or in opposite pairs, usually rather distant, ¼–½ inch long, 1/12–⅛ inch wide, narrow linear-oblong, obtuse or sub-acute, rather coriaceous,
gradually narrowed into a very short petiole or quite sessile. Flowers terminating short lateral branchlets. Males: In fascicles of 3–4, or, more rarely, solitary. True calyx wanting; but a 4-toothed cupuliform involucre, composed of a pair of depauperated leaves and their stipules, invests the base of each fascicle and also of each flower. Corolla broadly campanulate, ⅙–⅕ inch long, deeply 5-lobed. Stamens, 4–5. Females solitary, much smaller than the males. Calyx adnate to the ovary, its limb 4-toothed or irregularly notched. Corolla tubular, 1/7–⅛ inch long, 3–4-lobed. Drupe variable in shape, oblong to globose, ⅓ inch long, blueish or blueish-black.
One of the largest of the species, being sometimes 20 feet high. It is allied on the one hand to C. cunninghamii, and on the other to C. linariifolia. From the first it differs in the more spreading habit, dark-coloured bark, smaller narrower leaves, and smaller and fewer flowers; from the last in the smaller, less acute, and more coriaceous leaves, in the stipules not being sheathing, in the inflorescence not being so distinctly terminal, and in the less-developed calyx of the female flowers. In the swampy kahikatea forests of the Thames and Waikato it is a most abundant plant, often forming the chief undergrowth over large areas. Though common in the South Island, it does not seem to attain the same size as in the North.
24. C. linariifolia.
Hook. fil., Handbk. N.Z. Flora, p. 118. C. propinqua var. γ. Hook. fil., Flora Nov. Zeal., i., p. 109.
North Island.—Hilly and mountainous districts, and in the interior, as far north as the Thames Valley.
South Island.—Abundant throughout, especially in river valleys.
Altitudinal range, from sea-level to 2,500 feet.
A large branching shrub or small tree, 6–20 feet high. Branches slender, spreading; younger puberulous; bark dark-grey. Leaves all opposite, ½–1 ½ inch long, ⅛–¼ inch broad, linear or linear-lanceolate, more rarely oblong-lanceolate, acute or acuminate, flat, hardly coriaceous, suddenly narrowed into rather short slender petioles, blackish when dry, veins indistinct. Stipules glabrous or puberulous, upper ones connate for some length and sheathing the branch, margins usually ciliate. Flowers terminating leafy lateral branchlets. Males: in 3–5-flowered fascicles; each fascicle enclosed in one or two involucels composed of depauperated leaves and their stipules, and each flower with minute bracts at its base. True calyx wanting. Corolla broadly campanulate, ⅙–¼ inch long, divided about half-way down into 4–5 lobes; lobes usually revolute. Stamens, 4–5. Females: always solitary, seated within one or
two involucels similar to those of the male fascicles. Calyx limb with 4–5 large oblong erect lobes. Corolla ⅛ inch long, tubular. Drupe broadly oblong, ⅓ inch long, pale and semitransparent, with blueish streaks, crowned by the persistent calyx lobes.
The long sheathing stipules form a conspicuous, though variable, character for this species. In several respects it approaches C. propinqua and C. cunninghamii. I have already pointed out its differences from the first of these; and C. cunninghamii is easily separated by its larger paler foliage and more numerous flowers, the females of which have not the long calyx lobes of C. linariifolia. In exposed mountainous localities the habit becomes more compact, and the leaves shorter, broader, and more coriaceous, thus showing an approach to C. cuneata.
25. C. fœtidissima.
Forst., Prodr., No. 138; D.C., Prodr., iv., p. 578; A. Rich., Flora Nov. Zel., p. 261; A. Cunn., Prodr., ii., p. 206; Hook. fil., Flora Antarct., i., p. 20; Flora Nov. Zeal., i., p. 105; Handbk. N.Z. Flora, p. 116; Raoul, Choix des Plantes, p. 46. C. affinis, Hook. fil., Flora Antarct., i., p. 21.
North Island.—Chiefly in hilly and mountainous localities, but not common to the north of the East Cape, although extending as far as the Thames Goldfields.
South Island.—Abundant throughout, especially in the interior.
Auckland and Campbell Islands.—Plentiful, Sir J. D. Hooker and others. Altitudinal range from sea-level to 5,000 feet.
Usually a slender, sparingly branched shrub or small tree, 6–15 feet high, but occasionally attaining a greater size, and in the Auckland Isles reaching 20 feet, with a trunk 1 ½ feet in diameter (Hook. fil., “Flora Antarctica”); intensely fœtid when bruised or while being dried. Branches slender, terete or tetragonous, glabrous or the very young ones minutely puberulous; bark pale. Leaves variable in size and shape, ½–2 inches long, ¼–¾ inches broad, usually oblong, but varying from linear-oblong or linear-obovate to rounded oblong or broad-ovate, obtuse, acute, or retuse, narrowed into rather long and slender petioles, rather membranous, or in some varieties coriaceous; margins flat; veins indistinct or few and diverging. Stipules short and broad, cuspidate, often puberulous, margins ciliate. Flowers sessile, terminating the branchlets. Males: solitary or two or three together; rather large, ⅓–⅔ inch long, often decurved. Calyx minute, cupular, irregularly 4-lobed, not always present, closely invested at its base by one or two cupuliform involucres composed of modified leaves and their stipules. Corolla campanulate, divided about half-way down
into 4–5, rarely 8–10, lobes. Stamens the same number as the lobes. Females: always solitary, erect, ¼–⅓ inch long. Calyx adnate to the ovary, limb truncate or obscurely toothed. Corolla tubular, 3–4-lobed. Drupe ⅓ inch long, oblong or ovoid, generally pale red in southern specimens, often white and transparent in the north.
C. fœtidissima forms a very considerable proportion of the undergrowth in the mountain forests of the South Island, but is not nearly so plentiful in the North. The horribly disagreeable odour of the leaves when bruised or drying, and the large terminal flowers, render it easy to recognise. The flowers are very frequently polygamous, and when so the calyx is always well-developed, which is not always the case in the normal male flowers. Its nearest ally is the following species.
26. C. colensoi.
Hook. fil., Handbk. N.Z. Flora., p. 117. C. myrtillifolia var. linearis, Hook. fil., Flora Nov. Zeal., i., p. 108.
North Island.—Thames goldfields, J. Adams! Te Aroha, Pirongia, and Karioi Mountains, altitude 1,500 to 3,000 feet, T.F.C. Mountains near Cook Strait, Colenso (“Handbook”).
South Island.—Stewart Island, D. Petrie!
A small, slender, open or closely-branched shrub, 4–8 feet high. Branches slender, terete, puberulous; bark pale, when old often loose and papery. Leaves yellowish-green, variable in size, ½–1 inch long, linear-oblong or linear-obovate to broad-oblong or obovate, obtuse, retuse, or emarginate, rarely acute, narrowed into rather slender petioles, rather membranous; margins flat or slightly recurved; veins usually indistinct. Flowers solitary, terminating the branchlets. Males: On very short decurved pedicels. True calyx wanting, but corolla seated in an involucel composed of a pair of depauperated leaves and their stipules. Corolla small, ⅛ inch long, broadly campanulate, 4-lobed. Stamens, 4–5. Females: On short decurved pedicels as in the males. Calyx-limb minute, 4–5-toothed. Corolla not seen. Drupe (unripe) oblong, ⅙ inch long.
It will be noticed that the above description, which is drawn up entirely from specimens collected by myself on Te Aroha and Pirongia mountains, hardly corresponds with that given in the “Handbook.” Sir Joseph Hooker, who has examined my specimens, is inclined to think that they represent a new species; but Mr. N. E. Brown places them under C. colensoi; stating, however, that they do not match the typical form of that plant. Not being acquainted with the true C. colensoi, I can hardly state what the differences are, for in a genus like Coprosma too much reliance cannot be placed on descriptions alone. However, the
most prudent course is to keep the two plants under the one name until further information is obtained. Mr. Petrie's specimens from Stewart Island have very much more coriaceous leaves, with different venation, and may be true C. colensoi; but as they have neither flowers nor fruit, it is difficult to pronounce on them.
27. C. cuneata.
Hook. fil., Flora Antarct., i., p. 21, t. 15; Flora Nov. Zeal. i., p. 110; Handbk. N.Z. Flora, p. 117.
North Island.—Mount Egmont, abundant, 3,500 to 5,000 feet altitude. Dieffenbach, T.F.C. Ruahine Mountains, Colenso, H. Tryon! Lake Taupo, and Hikurangi, Colenso.
South Island.—Abundant in mountain districts.
Auckland and Campbell Islands.—Sir J. D. Hooker.
Altitudinal range from 500 to 5,000 feet.
A stout, densely-branched shrub, 2–10 feet high, in alpine situations becoming smaller and still more compact and rigid. Branches stout, usually densely leafy, the younger ones puberulous; bark dark-grey or brown. Leaves close set, often crowded on short lateral branchlets, variable in size, ⅕–¾ inch long, 1/10–¼ inch wide, obovate-lanceolate, linear-obovate, or oblong-obovate, more rarely cuneate-oblong, obtuse or sub-acute, patent or recurved, rigid and coriaceous, often concave above, almost veinless, margins often slightly recurved. Stipules short and broad, when young with the margins densely fimbriate or ciliate. Flowers solitary, terminating the branchlets, sessile. Males: True calyx wanting, but the base of the corolla invested by one or two involucels. Corolla ¼–⅓ inch long, broad campanulate, tube short and narrow, lobes widely spreading, 4 or 5. Females: Calyx-limb 4-lobed, lobes rather long, blunt, unequal. Corolla shorter and narrower than the males, ⅕–¼ inch long, 4-lobed to the middle or below. Drupe globose, ⅛–⅙ inch diameter.
One of the most variable species of the genus, but well-marked off from any other by its dense and leafy habit, broad fimbriate stipules, coriaceous recurved linear-obovate or cuneate leaves, which are often concave above, and by the rather large terminal flowers. It varies exceedingly in size, and when high up on the mountains is often reduced to a bush little more than a foot in height, the leaves, etc., being correspondingly reduced. It is exceedingly abundant on the slopes of Mount Egmont, near the upper limit of the forest, forming a leafy shrub 12 feet in height, or even more, and with leaves sometimes ¾ inch in length. Further up the mountain it forms a dense scrub, 2–3 feet high, with close and matted branches. North Island specimens appear to have stouter branches and broader leaves than the majority of those from the South Island.
28. C. microcarpa.
Hook. fil., Flora Nov. Zeal., i., p. 110; Handbk. N.Z. Flora, p. 118.
North Island.—“Tops of the Ruahine Mountains, Colenso” (“Handbook”).
I am either unacquainted with this species, or have not identified it, and can consequently add nothing to Sir Joseph Hooker's description. It appears to differ from C. cuneata in its slender habit, and narrower thin and flat leaves.
29. C. depressa.
Colenso; Hook. fil., Flora Nov. Zeal., i., p. 110; Handbk. N.Z. Flora, p. 118.
North Island.—Lake Taupo, and Ruahine Mountains, Colenso; Mount Egmont, T.F.C.
South Island.—Mount Arthur plateau, Nelson, altitude 4,000 to 5,000 feet, T.F.C.
A low, densely-branched, often prostrate bush, 2–4 feet high. Branches leafy, trailing or prostrate, puberulous; bark greyish. Leaves opposite or in opposite fascicles, linear-lanceolate, about ⅕ inch long by 1/15 inch wide, acute or obtuse, rigid and coriaceous, veinless, somewhat concave, glabrous or with a few scattered hairs towards the margins, sub-erect patent or recurved, narrowed into very short stout petioles. Stipules short and broad, ciliate on the margins. Flowers terminating the branchlets, solitary, sessile. Males: True calyx wanting, but the usual calycine involucels present. Corolla 1/10–⅛ inch long, campanulate, deeply 4-lobed. Stamens, 4. Females: Invested by involucels similar to those of the males. Calyx-limb 3–4-toothed. Corolla 1/10 inch, deeply 4-lobed. Styles 2, short and stout. Drupe globose, ⅛ inch diameter, yellowish-red.
The plant described above is not uncommon on the Mount Arthur plateau, Nelson; and is, I think, identical with Colenso's C. depressa. It is principally separated from C. cuneata by its smaller size, more slender and prostrate habit, and by the smaller narrower leaves. Small forms of C. cuneata, however, approach very close to it, and it may prove to be a variety only.
30. C. repens.
Hook. fil., Flora Antarct., i., p. 22, t. 16A; Flora Nov. Zeal., i., p. 110; Handbk. N.Z. Flora, p. 119. C. pumila, Hook. fil., Flora Antarct., ii., App., p. 543; Flora Nov. Zeal., i., p. 110; Handbk. N.Z. Flora, p. 119.
North and South Islands.—Common in alpine localities, altitude 2,500 to 6,000 feet.
Auckland and Campbell Islands.—Common from sea-level to the tops of the mountains. Sir J. D. Hooker (“Flora Antarctica”).
A small alpine creeping species. Branches glabrous, long or short, 4–18 inches, often closely matted together, prostrate and rooting, bark pale or dark grey. Leaves usually close-set, but sometimes distant, sub-erect or patent, bright-green, coriaceous and somewhat rigid, ⅛–⅓ inch long, linear-oblong or linear-obovate to broad oblong or broad obovate, acute or obtuse, narrowed into very short broad petioles or nearly sessile; veinless. Stipules short and broad, obtuse, often ciliate. Flowers greenish-white, solitary, terminating short erect branchlets. Males: Large for the size of the plant, ⅓–1 inch long. Calyx present, small, cupular 4–8-toothed. Corolla tubular, often curved, shortly 4–8-toothed. Stamens, 4–8; filaments often twice as long as the corolla; anthers narrow, large. Females: Much smaller, seldom more than ⅓ inch long. Calyx-limb 4–8-toothed. Corolla tubular, 4–8-lobed to about one-third way down. Styles 2–4 or 5. Drupe globose, ¼–⅓ inch diameter, red; nuts, 2–4.
C. repens is easily distinguished from all the New Zealand species of Coprosma, except C. petriei, by its small size and creeping and prostrate habit. From C. petriei it is separated by the rather larger and broader always glabrous leaves, much larger tubular male flowers, and red globose drupe. It will be noticed that I have treated C. pumila, Hook. fil., as a synonym of C. repens. This I have done on the authority of Mr. N. E. Brown, of the Kew Herbarium, who informs me that, after a careful examination of the specimens on which the species was based, he can find no sufficient characters to separate it from C. repens. As I understand that Sir Joseph Hooker accepts this view, and as I have had no opportunity of examining the types, I am inclined to follow it also. There is a probability, however, that a closely-allied species exists, differing from C. repens to a certain extent in habit, in floral characters, and in the much larger purple drupe. I understand that Mr. Kirk considers this to be the true C. pumila; but this view is not supported by the description given in the “Handbook,” where the fruit is described as orange-yellow. It does not follow that, because a species allied to C. repens probably exists, it must of necessity answer to Hooker's C. pumila.
31. C. petriei.
Cheeseman, Trans. N.Z. Inst., xviii., p. 316.
South Island.—Mount Arthur, Nelson, altitude 4,000 to 6,000 feet, T.F.C. Mountains near Lake Tekapo, Canterbury, 4,000 feet, T.F.C.; uplands in the interior of Otago, common, D. Petrie!
A small species, with prostrate and creeping stems. Branches 6–18 inches long, usually densely matted, creeping and rooting,
glabrous or puberulous. Leaves close-set or distant, erectopatent, 1/10–¼ inch long, linear-oblong or linear-obovate, acute or obtuse, narrowed into short petioles or sessile, veinless, glabrous, or margins and both surfaces sprinkled over with short white hairs. Flowers solitary, terminating short erect branchlets. Males: ⅕–⅓ inch long. True calyx wanting; but the usual calycine involucels investing the base of the corolla. Corolla tubular at the base, campanulate above, 4-lobed. Females: smaller, 1/10 inch long. Calyx-limb irregularly toothed. Corolla short, broadly tubular, 4-lobed to below the middle. Drupe globose, ⅙ inch diameter; red in Mount Arthur specimens, but blueish in Otago, according to Mr. Petrie.
Apparently a very distinct little plant, at once separated from C. repens by the shape of the male corolla.