2. P. criniferum, Hook, f., Fl. Antarct., i., 32, tt. 24 and 25.
Radical leaves, 1ft.—4ft. long, 4in.—12in. broad, with long sheathing-petioles, sub-erect, spreading (except the leaf), oblong-lanceolate, ovate-lanceolate, or almost ovate, usually acute, membranous but firm, white with, thin tomentum beneath, upper surface slightly scabrid or setose, margins with a few distant projecting teeth. Stems 2ft.—6ft. high, stout, strongly grooved, cauline leaves sessile, white above and beneath. Heads discoid, 1in.—1½in. diameter. Involucral leaves ovate-acuminate, or oblong, sparingly ciliate. Ray-florets short, bifid or trifid or tripartite. Achene strigose; pappus - hairs slightly thickened upwards. Pleurophyllum hombroni, Decaisne, Bot., Voy. an Pole Sud, p. 36. Albinea origenesa, Homb., Icon., t. 4, Dicot. Phan. P. hookeri, J. Buch., Trans. N.Z. Inst., pl. xxxvii.
Hab. Antipodes Island, T. Kirk. Auckland and Campbell Islands, Hook. f. Macquarie Island (?), Professor Scott. Sea-level to 1,100ft.
The petiolate leaves at once distinguish this species, which is easily recognized even at a considerable distance. The leaves vary in outline to even a greater extent than stated in the descriptions, some specimens being almost linear-lanceolate, others obovate-lanceolate, and others again almost orbicular-ovate; the sheathing-petioles sometimes equal the lamina, at others they are not one-third of its length, but they, are never absent, and are invariably tomentose below: the cauline leaves should be considered as large bracts; they are never petioled, and are usually tomentose on both surfaces; they give the entire plant a handsome conical form, which is very distinctive. The curious projecting marginal teeth are sometimes reduced to mere points, but are rarely absent; the principal nerves, 7 to 15, are extremely slender, and follow the outline of the leaf; they may easily be traced from the base of the petiole. Flower-heads from 15 to 30 or more, the terminal being the largest; peduncles varying in length from 1in. to 6in., erect. The rays are few and very short, so that the discoid form of the anthodium is not impaired. The pappus-hairs are in three series, and slightly thickened above, as observed by M. Decaisne.
The examination of numerous specimens in the living state demonstrated the impossibility of maintaining P. hombroni as a species distinct from P. criniferum. The supposed absence of the petiole in P. criniferum is clearly due to the error in the original plate; the other characters to which M. Decaisne attaches importance are the longer peduncles, the widely separated stigmas, and the slightly clavate hairs of the
pappus. The divergent condition of the stigmas is the only point that could prove of the slightest value for specific purposes, and that is doubtless due to the more advanced period of the flowering-season at which the specimens collected by MM. Hombron and Jacquinot were collected. My specimens collected in January have most of the styles in a divergent condition, and but few approximate; but the English Antarctic Expedition finally left these islands on the 17th December, which was a very early period for these southern plants, and enhances the feeling of admiration with which the large amount of work accomplished by the distinguished botanists who accompanied the expedition is necessarily regarded.
Professor Scott includes P. criniferum in his catalogue* of the plants of Macquarie Island; but his specimen must be referred to the next species. It is extremely probable that both species occur there.
3. P. hookerianum, J. Buchanan, in Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. xvi. (1883), p. 395, in part, excl. pl. xxxvii. P. gilliesianum, T. Kirk, MS.
Radical leaves 6in.—10in. long, 3in.—4in. broad, white on both surfaces with silky, lax, or close tomentum, flat, appressed to the ground, forming a rosette; obovate or oblong obovate, abruptly acuminate, narrowed into a broad sheathing membranous base; principal ribs 9–13, with numerous intermediate parallel nerves, marginal teeth reduced to small points. Scapes 1–3, 15in.—24in. high, naked below, except 3 or 4 lanceolate bracts at the base. Heads hemispherical or almost globose, ¾in. diameter. Involucral leaves linear, acute or acuminate, the outer with a few scattered hairs. Ray florets few or 0, ligulate corollas short, bifid or bilobate. Achene silky, pappus hairs in three series, not thickened upwards.
Hab. Mountains above Carnley Harbour, Auckland Islands, T. Kirk; Campbell Island, J. Buchanan, T. Kirk; Macquarie Island, Professor Scott ! 600ft.-1,200ft.
Easily distinguished by its silky acuminate leaves, rayless, hemispherical, or globose heads, and its small size. The middle nerves are sometimes so close as to form a kind of false midrib in the middle third of the leaf, but widen out in the narrow basal portion. The scape is rigid, and carries from 15 to 24, heads on spreading peduncles, varying from ¼in. to 1in. in length, with a linear almost filiform deciduous bractlet at the base of each; in some, specimens the upper portion of the scape is so deeply grooved that it becomes angular. In most respects the ray-florets resemble those of P. criniferum,
[Footnote] * Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. xiv., p. 382.
except that they are smaller, and are rather bilobate, or even emarginate, than deeply bifid; they are also of a deep lurid red or reddish-purple.
As pointed out by Mr. Buchanan, there can be no doubt that this is the supposed dwarf mountain form of P. criniferum mentioned in “Flora Antarctica,” p. 33, “with all the leaves lanceolate and more densely silky, more nearly approaching Argyroxiphium than the ordinary state.” The early period of the flowering-season at which the expedition visited the islands doubtless accounts for the characters of this species not having been recognized, as it is very late in developing its flowers, which could scarcely be fully expanded before Christmas.