Art. XLIX.—Description of New Species of Centrolepis, Labill.
[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, 13th February, 1891.]
A minute species, forming small patches. Glabrous in all its parts. Stems ¼in.—⅓in. High. Leaves few, subulate, membranous, not sheathing, acute, channelled above. Peduncle terminal, bracts not exceeding the leaves, opposite. Flowers, 1 in each bract; carpels 2–4, rarely 6, styles 2–6, slightly cohering at their base.
Hab. South Island: Shores of Lake Brunner, T. Kirk.
This species forms small rather loose patches, which are rather inconspicuous, only the tips of the leaves and bracts rising above the sandy mud. I find no trace of scales, possibly owing to the advanced season at which my specimens, were gathered.
Forming cushion-like masses, sometimes 2ft. in diameter and an inch or more in height. Leaves ¼in.–½in. long, sheathing and imbricating at the base, filiform, obtuse, or with minute acicular points, often setaceous, channelled above; sheaths more or less clothed, with scattered hairs. Peduncles terminal, usually exceeding the leaves, bracts distant, almost equal, the basal one with a short obtuse mucro; flowers, 1 or rarely 2 in each bract, each flower consisting of a narrow
hyaline scale as long as the bract, 1 stamen with elongated filament, and 1 carpel with protruding style. Carpels 1-ovuled. Capsule dehiscing loculicidally. Centrolepis monogyna, T. Kirk, Journal of Linn. Soc, xix. 286, not of Bentham.
Hab. South Island. In mountain-bogs, 3,000ft.—4,000ft. Nelson: Mount Arthur Plateau; Owen Mountains, Wairau Gorge, T. F. Cheeseman. Canterbury: Arthur's Pass, &c, T. Kirk. Otago: Mountains above Lake Harris, Longwood Range, T. Kirk. Stewart Island, T. Kirk. Descends to the sea-level in Stewart Island.
Varying greatly in luxuriance and in the length of the peduncles. The lower bract is articulated with the peduncle, and the upper with a short pedicel which is also articulated with the peduncle; upper bract with broad membranous margins. Capsule dehiscing longitudinally.
I formerly referred this to C. monogyna, Bentham, but the lowest flower is invariably perfect and the seed narrower than in that minute species. The occasional occurrence of two carpels in the same flower proves the accuracy of Bentham's judgment in removing C. monogyna from Aphelia, in which it had been placed by Hieronymus on account of its having a solitary carpel.
It should have been stated that in some specimens the hairs on the sheaths are somewhat dense, the stems appearing villous at the first glance.
More slender than the typical form. Leaves ½in.—¾in. long, spreading, filiform, obtuse or sub-acute, with larger sheaths, which are marginate, the upper portion of the margin forming a kind of ligule.
Hab. Stewart Island, near Fraser Peaks.
C. strigosa, Rein and Schulter, Syst. Veg., i., 43. Hieron., Central, 101. Benth., Fl. Aust., vii., 207. F. Mueller, Key to Vict., pl. i., 449.
Hab. South Island: The Bluff Hill, T. Kirk.
A tufted annual, ½in.—2in. high. Leaves all radical, linear or almost filiform, shorter than the naked scapes, with few rigid hairs. Floral bracts close together, broadly-ovate, strongly ribbed, hispid except the short glabrous spreading points. Flowers 3–5 in each flower with 3 hyaline scales, laciniate at the tips, the largest nearly equalling the outer bract, the others shorter. Carpels 3–8 in each ovary. Styles free.
The outer bract of each scape contains the largest number of flowers, and the basal flower in each bract contains the largest number of carpels.
Gaimardia pallida, Hook, f., Fl. Antarct., i., 86. Alepyrum pallidum, Hook, f, Fl. N.Z., i., 268, t. 62c, from the Ruahine Mountains, Ruapehu, and Campbell Island.
Appears to me to belong to Centrolepis rather than to Gai- mardia, in which it was doubtfully placed by its learned, author. It has the habit of C. monogyna, Benth., and the carpels are superposed, although usually one of them becomes absorbed; the bracts are much more like those of Centrolepis than Gaimardia. Its position is somewhat intermediate, and there is much to be said in favour of maintaining R. Brown's genus Alepyrum for its reception as proposed by Hieronymus.