Art. LIII.—Description of a New Species of Celmisia.
[Read before the Otago Institute, 9th July, 1889.]
Plant 9in.–12in. high. Rootstock short.
Leaves 9in. long, oblong, subacute. Greatest width 3½in., falling away, first rapidly, then gradually, towards the petiole. Petiolar part 1½in.–2in. long, broadening to a sheath. Sheath membranous at edges, slightly purple near base on lower side. Petiole and sheath glabrous. Upper surface of leaf glabrous, with here and there a few scattered brown hairs on young leaves grown in winter. Lower side covered with close, short, French-grey tomentum, neither appressed nor woolly, but like velvet or peach-down, with the grain pointing towards the apex of the leaf. Midrib broad, shining, semi-transparent, pale-green, narrowing but still naked to the tip. The naked veins for the major part of their length like threads of light-green running through the tomentum. Viewed from above: Leaf longitudinally divided into about twelve corrugations, as in C. verbascifolia and some other species; petiole, and the midrib for half its length, semi-transparent and pale-green, as from below. Leaf obscurely toothed or rough at edges, the roughness being commonly masked by tomentum. Colour of leaf from above, olive-green; from below, between French-grey and green. Leaf not rigid, but rather kid-like to the touch.
Scape, length same as that of leaves, or 2in.–3in. longer. Covered, like leaves, with hairy tomentum, through which it retains its pale-green colour. Very much flattened, and not rigid. Bracts few, and only near the head leafy, 2in.–4in. long, glabrous near sheathing-base, tomentose near tip.
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Head 2in. in diameter. Involucral scales numerous, glabrous towards the tip, linear-subulate. Inner scales slightly tomentose. Rays 100, in two series, ¾in. long, 1/12in. wide. Achehe pilose, covered with short bright hairs ⅙in. long. Pappus longer. Corolla-tube pilose, or silky like achene.
Locality. Mystery Pass, Disaster Burn, between Lake Manapouri and Smith Sound; altitude, 3,000ft.–3,500ft.
A single specimen of this plant, one of the finest of the genus, was brought down by Mr. Malcolm Ross, who was a member of the second search-party which went out in December, 1888, to endeavour to ascertain the fate of my lamented friend Professor Mainwaring Brown, in whose memory I have named the species. I have succeeded in grow-
ing the plant in a pot. Though in form this beautiful plant bears a general likeness to C. verbascifolia, it differs strikingly in general appearance and in several important characters. As it is here described from a single specimen grown under difficulties, some points may not be found persistent, especially the general olive-green colour, which has modified under cultivation. The height of the scape may differ from that of a naturally-grown specimen.