Art. XXXIII.—A Description of some newly-discovered and rare indigenous Phænogamic Plants, being a further Contribution towards making known the Botany of New Zealand.
[Read before the Hawke's Bay Philosophical Institute, 11th October, 1886.]
Genus 1. Clematis, Linn.
1. C. aphylla, sp. nov.
A slender prostrate trailing plant. Stems 2–4 feet (or more) long, cylindrical, very narrow, 1 line diameter, green, glabrous, striate, few-branched; nodes at pretty regular distances, 5–6 inches apart. Leaves, O. Peduncles slender, hairy,
[Footnote] * The numbers in this paper attached to both orders and genera are those of “The Handbook of the New Zealand Flora.”
1 ½–2 inches long, a 2-lobed connate densely hairy bract at base, and another about the middle; hairs brown. Flowers hermaphrodite, axillary, opposite, single, small, greenish with a brown tinge, about 1 inch diameter, (?) monœcious; sepals 4, broadly-lanceolate, or sub-ovate lanceolate, sub-acute, 6 lines long, conniving, very silky on both surfaces, many nerved (6–7), nerves branching; margins uneven at tips, sub-ciliate. Stamens 10, sub-lanceolate-linear, rather broad, green; anthers long, linear, very narrow, with a minute blunt connective; achenes (immature) slightly silky; styles shorter than sepals, green, silky, tips recurved.
Hab. Trailing and hanging down on cliffy spots, Puketapu, near Napier; 1885–6: Mr. H. Hill.
Obs. This is a very peculiar plant, widely differing from the other New Zealand species of this genus, as well as from those of Australia and Tasmania. We have now known it for two years, and it always presents the same appearance—long trailing slender green stems, no leaves, and single 4-sepaled hermaphrodite flowers. I have examined several specimens, and they do not vary; only one of them had three flowers, all on separate peduncles and with separate basal bracts springing from one axil, as if fascicled but distinct. It would have been described by me last year, but I had a suspicion that it might prove to be identical with C. fœtida, var. β depauperata, or a variety of it; which, however, I do not now believe, after re-examining several fresh specimens.
Genus 2. Melicytus, Forst.
1. M. microphyllus, sp. nov.
A tall, slender shrub or small tree, 12–15 feet high, trunk 5 inches diameter; bark pale drab-brown, much and densely mossed, etc.; branches long, slender; branchlets many, sub-erect, pubescent. Leaves small, numerous, sub-coriaceous, glabrous, scattered, single and sub-fascicled 2–4 together, 1–3 (rarely 4) lines long, oblong-orbicular, sub-panduriform, and orbicular, reticulately and coarsely veined, green, margin purple, sinuate, acutely toothed with a small red curved tooth at extremity of each primary vein (usually 6 on a leaf); apex very broad, obtuse, and retuse, with a small central tooth; base tapering; petiole short, under 1 line long, slightly puberulous, with small scarious stipellæ at base. Flowers pretty numerous, rather small, orbicular, 1 ½–2 lines diameter, axillary and lateral, solitary, sometimes in pairs; peduncle longer than petiole, 1–1 ½ lines long, stout, slightly puberulous, bracteate; bracts generally above, rarely below. Calyx purple, glabrous, veined,
acutely 5-lobed, lobes spreading, tips sub-laciniate. Petals (sometimes 6) sessile, rather large, spreading, broadly ovate and sub-orbicular, with a single middle vein, pale, streaked and tipped with purple; tips slightly erose or sub-laciniate, sub-apiculate and recurved. Anthers (sometimes 6) sessile, large, gibbous, didymous, with a large thickish clavate connective a little higher than the anther. Stigma very small, sessile, conical, slightly sub-trifid. Fruit O.
Hab. Forests, banks of River Mangatawhainui, near Norse-wood, County of Waipawa; 1886: W.C.
Obs. This species certainly approaches very near to M. micranthus, Hook. fil., but it differs in several characters, as well as in its much larger size, with larger flowers and smaller leaves. I suspect this plant is diœcious, and the above description of the male flowers only. I first detected it in full flower in March; and on again visiting the same tree in May (end of month), hoping to obtain fruit, there was not a berry to be found, but the plant still bearing a few flowers. I have for many years noticed young plants of upright growth, and 5–7 feet high, in those woods, but always in leaf only, although frequently diligently examined by me. This tree is the only one I found bearing flowers.
Genus 3. Colobanthus, Bartling.
1. C. repens, sp. nov.
A small quite glabrous low creeping perennial plant, about ¾-inch high, forming a short densely matted turf; branches 3–4 inches long, procumbent, rooting at nodes. Leaves about ½ inch long, narrow-linear, subulate, sub-acute with acicular tips, thickish, not rigid, nerveless, green, shining, spreading, recurved; the lower dilated and largely membranous at base, the upper connate; minutely ciliate on lower margins; ciliæ fugacious. Scapes solitary, axillary, slender, erect, straight, 6–7 lines long, longer than leaves. Perianth 1 line long; sepals 4, broadly ovate, obtuse, shorter than capsule, green, concave, 3-nerved, slightly margined; margins translucent. Stigmas 4, strongly recurved, stout, papillose, brown. Capsule pale, longer than perianth, valves obtuse, tips rounded. Seeds light-brown, sub-triangular-orbicular, finely granulate.
Hab. On low alluvial banks, (growing intermixed with Pratia and Hydrocotyle), sides of River Mangatawhainui, near Norsewood, County of Waipawa; 1886: W.C.
Obs. A species possessing affinity with C. quitensis and C. billardieri (both New Zealand plants), but differing in habit and in several particulars.
Genus 1. Hydrocotyle, Linn.
1. H. involucrata, sp. nov.
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Plant procumbent, trailing. Stems 10–00 inches long, slender, glabrous, with a few weak scattered hairs; nodes 3–5 inches apart, each having a large clasping sub-orbicular-reniform stipule, the margins irregularly and minutely lobed and toothed, pellucid and highly cellular; cells large oblong. Leaves few, distant, membranous, somewhat roughish from raised bases of hairs, dull light-green, reniform, 1–1 ¼ inches broad, 6-lobed; lobes rounded, cut into one-fifth of leaf, their sinuses overlapping; margins irregular, sub-crenate-toothed; basal sinus very broad, the margins more acutely toothed; 8-veined, veins (and margins) light-reddish; hairy on both sides, but much more so below; hairs short, thickish, acute, white; petioles very long 3–5 inches, slender, weak, hairy below with long scattered weak 1-nerved reflexed hairs that increase in density upwards towards the apex. Peduncle one-third length of leaves, 1–1 ½ inches long, hairy. Umbels 8–14-flowered, in a compact sub-globular head. Involucre in 2 rows, composed of 10–12 convex incurved membranous leaflets with darkish-brown centres and pellucid margins; the outer, ovate, margins laciniate; the inner, linear-oblong, margins entire. Flowers rather large, pale-brown, pedicelled; pedicels erect, glabrous, 1 line long, with sometimes a small bracteole near the apex; petals valvate, broadly ovate, 1-nerved; tips sub-acute and obtuse, their margins finely crenulate-toothed (sub lente); stamens largely exserted, curved; anthers orbicular (a little broader than long), pale; styles stout, long, at first converging, afterwards very divergent. Fruit rather large, pale-greenish-brown, nearly orbicular, 1/10 inch broad, straight below, apex very slightly notched, flat, glabrous, shining, thickest at centre, intermediate ribs obscure, dorsal edge of carpels obtuse; seed narrow, linear-ovate, obtuse.
Hab. Low wet spots in forests, hilly country north of Napier, County of Wairoa; 1886: Mr. A. Hamilton.
Obs. A species having some affinity with H. novæ-zealandiæ, D.C., H. pterocarpa, F. Müell., and H. vagans, Hook. fil., (an Australian species), but differing from them (and from all the species described in the “Handbook, Flora N.Z.,”) by its involucral leaflets; in this respect, however, it approaches a few of the Australian species; also, the two newly-described species (mihi), H. colorata and H. alsophila,* in their floral bracteoles.
[Footnote] * “Trans. N.Z. Inst.” vol. xviii., pp. 260–261.
Genus 1. Coprosma, Forst.
1. C. autumnalis, sp. nov.
Plant, a small tree, or tall slender shrub, erect, 12–16 feet high, few-branched; trunk 3–5 inches diameter, clear of branches; branches distant, slender, long, drooping; bark thin, light-brown, with a fine scaly silvery-white epidermis; inner bark orange. Leaves large, membranous, not numerous, sub-terminal on branchlets, 1–1 ¼ inches apart, broadly lanceolate, 5–6 ½ inches long, 2 ½–3 ½ inches broad, acute, narrowly margined; margins sub-crenulate, especially towards tips; dark-green and shining above, much paler below, coarsely reticulated on both sides, deeply and largely foveolate in main axils; foveolæ ciliate; petioles stout, 1–1 ¼ inches; stipules large, sub-conical, cuspidate, hard, black, glossy. Peduncles axillary; (fem.) stout, sub-compressed, 1–1 ½ inches long, trichotomously branched; the 3 sub-peduncles fascicled, each ½ inch long; stipules at base 4-fid. Flowers—Male: Peduncles ½–¾ inch long, rather slender, 3- sometimes 5-branched, with a pair of small leafy bracts at base; sub-peduncles 4–5 lines long; heads of flowers large, densely compact, outer heads each 6–9, middle head 8–16 flowers; calyx small, cup-shaped, with 5–6 stoutish teeth; corolla campanulate, 3 lines long, 5-lobed; lobes rather large, one-third length of corolla, sub-acute, erect; anthers 6 (sometimes in outer flowers 5), large, stout, 2 lines long, linear, obtuse, purple-tipped, base much hastate, very pendulous; stamens ½ inch long, filiform, minutely papillose. Female: outer 2 sub-peduncles, each 3–4, and the central one 6–9 flowers; involucral or floral bract large, with 6–8 coarse teeth; calyx greenish, purple spotted, sub-urceolate, with 5–6 stout teeth; teeth conniving; corolla pale green, infundibuliform, 2 ½ lines long, 5-sometimes 6-lobed; lobes large, obtuse, spreading, sub-recurved; stigmas 2, ½ inch long, stout, divergent, much crumpled, very pubescent. Fruit 3–4, sometimes 5–6 (rarely 9), drupæ, clustered, sessile, broadly elliptic, 4–4 ½ lines long, bright red (red-currant-colour), very glossy. Seeds large, oval, sub-acute, 3 ½ lines long, 2 lines broad, convex on the outside, flat within, white, somewhat silvery.
Hab. Forests near Norsewood, County of Waipawa; 1881–6: W.C. Flowering in May and June.
Obs. I. The near affinity of this fine species is with C. grandifolia, Hook. fil., from which, however, it differs in several characters: as the larger number of its flowers in heads, both male and female, in its corollas, anthers, and large elliptic fruits. It is a curious and novel sight to see in the autumn the female plant loaded with both ripe fruit and the
new opening flowers of the coming spring-summer season; at such time, too, the ground is covered with the glossy red fruits, which are also juicy and sweet. The pleasing phenomenon served to remind me of the poet Thomson's ideal of vegetation in the beginning—the Golden Age of man,—
“Great Spring before
Green'd all the year; and fruits and blossoms blush'd
In social sweetness on the self-same bough.”
—Seasons: Spring, 1. 319.
The male flowers likewise, at the same time, are really handsome, with their large heads of fringe-like anthers.
Obs. II. I have long known this plant in fruit only; this, however, was owing to its autumnal flowering (different to the other species of this genus), for which I was not prepared.
Genus 4. Gratiola, Linn.
1. G. concinna, sp. nov.
Plant procumbent, creeping, matted, sub-ascending. Stems 7–10 inches long, stout, purple-spotted, simple or slightly branched, puberulous with long white flattish-jointed glandular hairs. Leaves distant, sub ½ inch apart, orbicular and orbicular-elliptic, 2 lines long, membranaceous, of a pleasing green, glabrous, reticulately veined, with 4–5 small obtuse teeth each having a coloured spot at its base, petioled; petioles short, broad. Flowers rather few, axillary, solitary, peduncled; peduncles 1–2 lines long, stoutish, hairy. Calyx coloured, hairy, leafy, 5-parted to base; lobes long, unequal, 3-nerved, pellucid-dotted, toothed, recurved, tips obtuse; with two long similar bracts at base. Corolla 4 lines long, white, somewhat hairy; tube slightly curved, much veined; veins purple and branched above; limb spreading, 4-lobed; upper lip large, sub-bilobed, thickly clothed with yellow glandular hairs; lower lip 3-fid, each lobe emarginate. Stigma sub-rhomboid, dilated, flattish. Capsule sub-orbicular, turgid, green, glabrous, shining. Seeds brown, conical, very obtuse, a little curved.
Hab. Edges of a swamp in forest, south bank of the River Mangatawhainui, near Norsewood, County of Waipawa, where it thickly covers the ground in large spreading patches, presenting a very pleasing and neat appearance; March, 1886: W.C.
I have not noticed it anywhere else.
Obs. This species is evidently allied to G. nana, Benth., but it is a much larger plant, and is very distinct in several of its characters.
Genus 10. Euphrasia, Linn.
1. E. tricolor, sp. nov.
Plant perennial, sub-shrubby, 8–12 inches high; erect, com-
pact, branched above. Stems and peduncles densely puberulous. Leaves numerous in opposite pairs, mostly small, under 3 lines long (a few scattered lower ones 8–9 lines long), sub-rhombicovate, or obovate, impressed underneath as if stamped (sunk) within margin and between veins, once or twice toothed, the smallest entire. Flowers rather numerous, showy, solitary, axillary in opposite pairs; peduncle 1 line long. Calyx 2 ½ lines long, glabrous, sub-campanulate, 4-lobed; lobes large, obtuse, coarsely and prominently veined. Corolla ringent, inflated, pilose without, 9 lines long; white, with straight dark-pink veins (usually 8 above and 9 below), with a large orange spot at base of lower lip, and also of filaments; tube rather short; lower lobes large, spreading, sub-rectangular, with straight lateral margins; apices deeply emarginate and sinuous; upper lip recurved, lobes notched. Anthers glabrous, very obtuse, dark-umber; edges of valves largely ciliate with stiff white hairs; spurs of posterior pair equal, white, acute. Stigma sub-globose and (with style) finely pilose. Capsule oblong, 3 ½ lines long, obtuse, sub-compressed at top, with base of style persistent, puberulous. Seeds white, membranaceous; testa very lax, winged above, produced below, striate with minute transverse bars.
Hab. Bases of high wooded cliffs forming the banks of the River Mangatawhainui, near Norsewood, County of Waipawa; 1886: W.C.
Obs. I. This plant is nearly allied to E. cuneata, Forst., but differs from that species in several particulars: as in its larger lobes to both calyx and corolla, the latter spreading, richly coloured, with straight lateral margins; in its glabrous and coloured and largely ciliated (almost crested) anthers, with equal spurs, etc. But, as both Hooker and Bentham have each separately remarked (the former on our New Zealand, and the latter on the Australian species), “the several species are very variable”; and this I have also often proved.
II. A small variety of this plant (a. microphylla) is found 20 miles further south, in the open plains between Tahoraiti and Woodville; it closely resembles this one, only it is very much smaller in all its parts, its numerous leaves being only 1–1 ½ lines long; E. tricolor, var. microphylla, Col.
Genus 5. Astelia, Banks and Solander.
1. A. hastata, sp. nov.
Leaves very long, sub-coriaceous, linear-acuminate, 4 feet long, 1 ½ inches broad at middle, tip filiform; many nerved, with 2 very prominent and coloured narrow ones; upper surface
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glabrous, thickly pubescent underneath, as if minutely and regularly pitted (very apparent under a lens), sharply keeled; base much dilated and clasping, 4 ½ inches broad, black, shining, margins thin; veins spreading laterally, largely and coarsely reticulate. Male: Scape 2 feet long, stout, triquetrous, 1 ¾ inches circumference at base, composed of 7 nearly equal equidistant long single drooping racemes, the lowest 9 inches long, ¾ inch wide, each about 3 inches apart on scape; peduncles 1 inch long, each with an excessively long bract at its base, ovate, very acuminate, caudate, drawn out into a very long narrow tip, the lowest being 2 feet 6 inches long and 3 inches wide at the broadest; the upper portion light-green, sub-coriaceous and glabrous, the lower white, soft, and densely silky on both sides; the pubescence adpressed in stippled dots. Flowers yellow-brown, numerous, crowded, spreading, above 1 inch diameter; segments cut to base, narrow, linear, obtuse, ½ inch long, much longer than anthers, reflexed, with 1 central nerve running to tip and 2 lateral nerves ending half-way; all shaggy below on the outside (with pedicels and bracteoles), but the 3 inner have only a narrow central shaggy line to tip, with membranous glabrous margins, the 3 outer being hairy, with ciliated edges; pedicels 2 lines long, each with a small linear 1-nerved bracteole the length of pedicel. Stamens 3 lines long, spreading, rumpled; anthers, 1/10; inch long, triangular, obtuse, emarginate, largely hastate, their basal extremities curved and divergent, corrugated, somewhat bladdery. Stigma rather large, slightly produced, 3-fid. Female: Scape 15–18 inches long, very stout, composed of seven long narrow cylindrical simple flaccid racemes; much more compact on scape than male, each 9–10 inches long and ½ inch wide; peduncles very short, 2–4 lines, but the lowest 1 ½ inches; bracts much as in male, very silky below, the lowest 2 feet 6 inches long, and 2 inches wide at base. Flowers light-brown, exceedingly numerous and compact, very small, scarcely 2 lines long including ovary; segments not split to base, very small, about ½ line long, somewhat linear-ovate, reflexed from middle, the 3 outer more shaggy and ciliate, 1-nerved to tip; tips obtuse; the lower part of perianth forming a cup around the base of ovary; pedicels about 3 lines long, erect, close, but not crowded, sub-verticillate, patent, very shaggy, each with a narrow-linear bracteole at base the length of the pedicel; hairs flat, membranous, glossy, sub-ovate-lanceolate, nerved, white. Ovary (immature) ovate, beak produced; stigma, large, spreading, very pubescent; anthers (abortive) minute, triangular, acute, hastate, adhering closely to ovary, and with a part of the stamen appearing above the reflexed segment.
Hab. Forests, hilly country north of Napier, County of Wairoa; January, 1886: Mr. A. Hamilton.
Obs. This very fine species is naturally allied to A. solandri, A. Cunn., and to A. microspermum, Col.,* but differing largely from them both in several important characters, particularly in size, length, and shape of sub-panicles (racemes), in its extraordinarily long bracts, its different yellow-brown flowers, its very peculiar large corrugated and hastate anthers, and its curiously flattened broad and nerved hairs.
2. A. graminifolia, sp. nov.
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Plant slender, few (7–8) leaved; apparently of simple distinct habit of growth. Leaves sub-membranaceous, largely drooping, 15–21 inches long, ¼ inch wide, linear-acuminate, tips filiform; the upper surface glabrous, dull greyish-green; the lower pubescent-hoary; hairs small, greyish, very closely adpressed; many nerved, with small distant transverse veinlets between them, and 2 very prominent narrow equidistant reddish nerves on the upper surface; margins slightly recurved and ciliate with fine shaggy white hairs; the base spreading, gradually dilated, 1 inch wide, very membranous, with fine silvery shining hairs thick on both surfaces. Scape (female) 6–7 inches long including panicle, erect, densely shaggy with white shining hairs, as also pedicels and outsides of floral bracts and bracteoles; panicle loose, 2 inches long, composed of 2 distant erect racemes and 3 intermediate solitary flowers; flowers in racemes close-set, pedicelled; pedicels 1/10th inch, patent; the upper raceme of top about ½ inch long, composed of 17 flowers; the lower raceme, distant about 1 ½ inches from the upper one, about ¾ inch long, composed of 20 flowers, with peduncle ½ inch, and a long leaf-like membranaceous and very acuminate bract, 6 ½ inches long at base; each of the solitary flowers having a long bract at base of pedicel. Flowers: perianth rather large, reddish-brown, glabrous, somewhat scarious, forming a very loose globular cup around ovary; segments free, ⅖th of perianth, narrow, linear-ovate, acuminate, 1-nerved, the nerve extending to base of perianth; a long very narrow linear sub-erect reddish 1-nerved bracteole at base of each pedicel. Ovary (immature) broadly ovoid-acuminate, rather suddenly contracted towards apex in forming a long beak; style O; stigma 3-lobed, puberulous; anthers (abortive) opposite segments, arising from segmental nerve at edge of cup, minute, long, filiform, sub-hastate.
Hab. Woods, hilly country north of Napier, County of Wairoa; 1886: Mr. A. Hamilton.
Obs. A very peculiar species, unlike all others of the genus known to me; yet possessing near affinity to A. spicata, Col.,†
[Footnote] * “Trans. N.Z. Inst.,” vol. xvii., p. 251.
[Footnote] † “Trans. N.Z. Inst.,” vol. xiv., p. 335.
from which it differs in habit, length of leaves, panicle, pedicelled flowers, large loose perianth, and shape of ovary. Unfortunately I have had only one female specimen (all that was collected) to examine; this, however, was perfect and in good condition, except its immature fruit.
3. A subrigida, sp. nov.
Plant epiphytal, perennial, densely cæspitose. Leaves, about 20 to a single tuft or plant, rather short, equitant, diverging fan-like regularly and distichously from the base, which is sub-cylindrical, not triquetrous, linear-acuminate, 9–11 inches long, 4 lines wide, erect, sub-rigid, tips sharp, sub-coriaceous, glabrous, yellowish-green, striate, 10–12-nerved; nerves strong; the upper portion of the under-surface closely appressed with short greenish-grey glossy hairs, having a minutely pitted appearance; dark-brown, gradually dilated and largely clasping at base, with white shining hairs at the extreme base only. Female: Scape (including panicle) 12–14 inches long, rather slender, trigonous, woody, hard, thickly pilose above with appressed hairs, and shaggy at the base; hairs white, glossy; panicle very compact, short, sub-ovate, 5 inches long, composed of 7 sub-panicles; the lower three being compound, each containing 3 small racemes, the middle one longest, 2 ½ inches long, and the two laterals short, about 1 inch; the upper four being short simple racemes; each sub-panicle with a long membranous bract at base, the lowest one being 7 inches long, broad below, but soon very narrow, and much acuminate. Flowers very compact, brownish; pedicels stout, short, about 1/10 inch; perianth rather small, spreading, 6-fid to base, the three outer lobes larger than the three inner ones. Fruit small, globular, 1 ½ lines diameter, dull glaucous-green; style short, thick; stigmas 3, large, coalescing; seeds small, 12–18, sub-lunate-pyriform, thickest at apex, black, shining, minutely and thickly tuberculate (sub lente), gibbous on one side, slightly obtusely angled on the other, testa produced at funiculus end, sub-trifid.
Hab. High up in the upper forks of large forest trees, where the plant forms large dense masses; woods near Norse-wood, County of Waipawa; 1886: W.C.
Obs. This species of Astelia I have long known in its leafing state, but failed (until this year) in obtaining it in flower and fruit, and then only perfect female scapes; the male scapes being similar in size, etc., but old, or too long past flowering for accurate description. From the great quantity of barren plants that I have seen and examined at various seasons, I should suppose this species to flower but rarely. It seems to be widely different from all known and described species; approaching,
however, on the one hand A. spicata, Col.,* (which also very rarely flowers), and serving to unite that small species in a natural and progressive series with the larger species of the genus. I yet hope to succeed in obtaining the perfect male flowers during the approaching summer.
Genus 1. Juncus, Linn.
1. J. luxurians, sp. nov.
Plant perennial; stout, tall, dark-green, forming thick bushy tufts and patches, that are sub-erect, drooping, and prostrate; rhizome creeping, with many small scale-like bracts, and sending up numerous new shoots every year; roots fibrous. Culms terete, leafless, 6–8 ½ feet long, 2 lines diameter below, smooth, minutely striate, upper portions soft and tender; tips very acuminate and sharp; the bases brown, glossy, with 3–4 adpressed sheathing bracts, the longest about 12 inches long; tips of bracts thin, very obtuse, sometimes acute; pith soft, woolly, and not continuous, yet not regularly broken or jointed. Panicle lateral, 8–12 inches from tips, large, effuse, pale-green, fascicled, sub 20 branchlets mostly compound; 1–3 being very large, stout, compressed, 2–3 inches long, each bearing at tip sub 10 compound branchlets; involucral bracts 1 ½ lines long, ovate-acuminate, very acute, membranous, white with a brown central nerve. Flowers 1/10 inch long, bibracteolate at base; bracteoles ovate, acute, membranous, white; pedicelled, pedicels long slender; perianth segments lanceolate-acuminate, very acute, rather longer than capsule, their centres bright green with broad white membranous margins. Stamens, 3; anthers small, yellow, oblong, with a minute connective; filaments short, rather broad. Stigmas 3, long and spreading, rumpled, plumose, dark-red. Capsule sub-prismatic, turgid, obtuse, very light brown, or dirty-white, shining, less than 1 line long. Seeds small, numerous, bright yellowish-brown, convex, oblong, sub-clavate; testa not produced.
Hab. In wet swampy hollows between hills, in a dense forest south of Norsewood, County of Waipawa; 1885–6, W.C.
Obs. This remarkably fine rush is found growing in middlesized tufts, and also in very large and dense patches, with the ground thickly strewed with them in a prostrate state, forming several layers, all living and dark-green. It is rather difficult to force one's way through a large sub-erect patch, owing to their height, their very close growth, and their being so greatly
[Footnote] * Vide “Trans. N.Z. Inst.,” vol. xiv., p. 335 (female); and vol. xvi., p. 340 (male).
entangled. Its extreme softness and tenderness (for a rush), its great length, and its prostrate habit, led me to suspect its being a species nova when I first saw it; but at that time (winter) I could not procure any good specimens. Through its being so soft and tender it is much browsed on and trampled by cattle, so that it is rather difficult to obtain whole and perfect specimens. Hitherto I have only noticed it growing in that one undisturbed forest swamp, where, however, it is plentiful.
Genus 13. Uncinia, Persoon.
1. U. polyneura, sp. nov.
Plant perennial, clear green, densely cæspitose, forming large bushy tufts, with numerous brown ovate bracts at base, deeply costate. Culms erect, 20 inches long, smooth, unequally triquetrous, the upper portion channelled on the two narrower sides; usually with 4 sheathing leaves nearly together at base, Leaves sub-erect and drooping, linear, long and narrow, 22 inches long, 2 lines wide, very acuminate; tips obtuse, thickened and very closely serrulate; their bases much sulcated; striæ broad, smooth, dark-brown; the upper surface glabrous, regularly striate, many and finely nerved (sub 24), with 3–5 stout whitish nerves equidistant between mid-rib and margin on each side; the lower surface finely scabrid; mid-rib narrow, smooth, slightly keeled in upper portion but very prominently so in the lower; margins closely serrulate; vagina entire, crescent-shaped, membranous; ligula small, sub-lunate, extending from midrib to margin. Spikelet 5–6 inches long, rather slender, lax; the upper 1 ½ inches male, dark-brown, cylindrical and narrow; the denticulation of rhachis very deep, with raised and thickened edges; bract O. Glumes closely imbricate, nearly 2 ½ lines long, narrow, ovate-acuminate, obtuse, margin of tip irregular (sub lente), dark-brown, obscurely striped, striate and prominently so at sides. Utricle 2 ½ lines long, a little longer than the glume, narrow, spindle-shaped, dark blackish-brown, glossy; bristle 2 lines long, slender, pale, much thickened and rugulose at the curve, tip of hook reflexed. Stigmas 3, long, lax, very shaggy, dark-brown.
Hab. Edges of forests and glades near Norsewood, County of Waipawa; 1886: W.C.
Obs. This plant in its general appearance has some affinity with U. alopecuroides, Col.,* but differs in the culms being twice as long, differently angled, smooth, and bractless; in the leaves not being scabrid on both surfaces, and the midrib smooth; in
[Footnote] * “Trans. N.Z. Inst.,” vol. xv., p. 335.
the spikelet being much more slender; in the glume being shorter than the utricle, and dissimilarly coloured and marked; in the utricle being longer than the glume and very dark brown; and in the bristle being shorter than the utricle.