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Volume 25, 1892
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Art. XXXII.—Description of a New Genus and of New Species of Native Plants.

[Read before the Otago Institute, 12th July, 1892.]

Plate XX.

Natural Order Boragineæ

Tetrachondra,* genus novum.

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Flores parvi, tetrameri. Calyx persistens alte 4-fidus, segmentis ovatis obtusis; fructifer immutatus. Corolla subrotata calycem paullo superans, limbi segmentis ovatis, fauce esquamata, æstivatione imbricata. Stamina 4, sinubus corollæ inserta; filamentis brevibus antheræ subæquilongis; antheræ parvæ rotundatæ dorsifixæ, biloculares, inappendiculatæ. Ovarium 4-partitum; stylus inter lobos erectus ovario 2-plo longior; stigma parvum. Nuculœ sæpius 4 erectæ areola parva basilari affixæ, dorso et apice rotundatæ, setulosæ, inferne triangulares, calycem persistentem stylumque subduplo superantes. Semina erecta, albuminosa; embryo teres albumini subæquilongus, cotyledonibus radiculæ æquilongis. Herba depressa, repens, glabra v. subglabra. Folia omnia oppsita, parva, 1/12–1/10 poll. longa, elliptica, obtusa v. obtusiuscula, integra, carnosula, obscure punctata; petioli latiusculi, plani, interdum, parce setuloso-ciliolati, connati. Flores ramulos breves axillares foliiferos terminantes, sœpius solitarii.

Tetrachondra hamiltonii, sp. un. Plate XX., figs. 8–11.

A slender, perennial, matted and creeping herb. Leaves gland-dotted, small, elliptic, obtuse, entire, glabrous, subsessile, in opposite pairs; petioles connate and shortly sheathing the stem.

Flowers axillary, minute, subsessile, solitary, the slender peduncle elongated and decurved in fruit. Other characters as in genus.

Hab. Wet clay hollows in fields at Waipahi; and wet grounds at Hindon and Sutton Creek (Strath Taieri). This remarkable plant clearly belongs to the order Boragineœ; but its position in the order must for the present remain uncertain. Mr. N. E. Brown, A.L.S., and Professor Oliver, of Kew, think

[Footnote] *Through the courtesy of the Secretary to the Institute I have been able to include the generic character, as published by Professor Oliver in the “Icones Plantarum.” An excellent plate (No. 2250, Fourth Series, vol. iii.) accompanies the character.

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it should be placed in the tribe Borageœ, next to Eritrichium, Schrad.; but its abundant albumen separates it sharply from the genera of this tribe, which are all ex-albuminous. I have a very slight acquaintance with this natural order, which is represented in New Zealand only by Myosotis, Linn., Exarrhena, Br., and Myosotidium, Hook., in addition to the genus here described, and I shall therefore offer no opinion as to its position in the order. Mr. Brown informs me that my plant is identical with Tillœa hamiltonii, T. Kirk, noticed in a paper by Mr. W. S. Hamilton in volume xvii., page 292, of the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute, specimens of which Mr. T. Kirk, F.L.S., had sent to the Kew Herbarium. Mr. Kirk's specimens were very imperfect; otherwise I should not have had the opportunity of bringing this interesting new genus under your notice. To avoid useless synonymy I have retained the specific name proposed by Mr. Kirk.

Tillœa novœ-zelandiœ, sp. nov.

A short, slender, matted species, with the stems erect and lin. long, or prostrate and rooting when they reach a length of 2in. or more. Leaves linear, acute, opposite, connate at the base. Flowers axillary, solitary, small, shortly peduncled, 4-merous. Sepals coherent at the base. Petals ovate, acute, longer than the calyx. Stamens alternate with the petals. Scales linear, thin, flat. Style long, reflexed. Seeds, two or three in each carpel.

Hab. Waipahi, Lake Waihola, Lake Te Anau.

The specimens from Waipahi are taken as the type. Those from Lake Waihola are more robust and creeping. The Te Anau ones are very slender, and have fewer, shorter, and narrower leaves. Mr. N. E. Brown, A.L.S., of Kew, informs me that he cannot detect scales in the specimens I forwarded to the Royal Herbarium; but they are constantly present, and can be readily found in the bud and in newly-opened flowers. They are not so easy to detect in older, and especially in dried, flowers, in which they may be readily overlooked or mistaken for parts of the filaments. In some respects the present species resembles Tillœa debilis, Colenso, but the scales and the much longer petals readily distinguish it from that species. It is not so slender or densely matted as Tillœa sinclairii, Hook. f.

Azorella nitens, sp. nov.

A small, creeping, matted, glossy-green plant, the scapes and petioles usually buried in the soil for quite half their length. Leaves broadly-cuneate in outline; usually three-partite to the base, rarely shortly three-lobed; the segments

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½3/16in. long, ovate-oblong, obtuse, entire, thickened at the margin; petiole slender, 1in. to 2in. long.

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Scapes as long as the leaves, bearing one to three leaf-like petiolate bracts at the middle, where they usually subdivide into two or three branches. Umbels few-flowered (flowers 2 or 3); involucral bracts short, linear, acute; pedicels as long as the fruits or shorter. Fruits turgid, rounded at the back, broader than thick, deeply grooved between the mericarps, ½1/16in. long; ribs absent or very indistinct.

Hab. Shores of Lake Te Anau and banks of Clinton River (700ft.—1,000ft.). The small number of flowers in the umbel, the turgid almost ribless carpels, and the leaves three-partite to the base, mark this species off from all its congeners in New Zealand. In habit it much resembles Hydrocotyle muscosa, Br.

Lagenophora linearis, sp. nov.

A minute plant, with numerous entire, flat, glabrous, narrow-linear leaves, ½¼in. to ½¾in. long.

Scapes very slender, solitary or several, about twice as long as the leaves, elongating in fruit to nearly thrice their length.

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Involucral scales broadly-oblong with dark-purple tips; flowers as long as the involucre. Heads broader than long, minute, ½1/16in. in length; receptacle flat, rather broad. Achenes compressed, linear, tapering at both ends.

Hab. Grassy flats on the shores of Lake Te Anau. A very inconspicuous plant, easily overlooked if not in flower.

Carmichœlia curta, sp. nov.

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A slender, sparingly-branched shrub about 2ft. high; branches dichotomous, subcompressed, grooved and striate, glabrous; leaves not seen. Flower-clusters alternate on the shoots, erect, racemose, 8–10-flowered, with pilose peduncles and pedicels; flowers ½1/6in. long, on pedicels as long as the calyx. Calyx more or less pilose, campanulate, shortly toothed, usually with two small bracts at the base. Corolla rather large, creamy-yellow striped with purple; the the standard longer than the wings, broad, very obtuse. Ovary more or less pilose.

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Ripe pods almost or quite glabrous, when immature generally pilose, ½1/6in. long; beak half the length of the pod, subconical, sharply curved towards the tip; pods thin, two or three-seeded; seeds subreniform, usually pale-green with dark spots and blotches.

Hab. Waitaki River, at Duntroon and Kurow. The present species is most closely allied to C.juncea, Colenso. The flowers are, however, twice as large as in that species, the racemes

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more pilose, the young pods generally pilose, and the pods and seeds nearly twice as large. In C. juncea, Col., the seeds are smaller, rounder, and more elongated. Flowering and fruiting specimens were gathered in the month of March.

Carmichœlia diffusa, sp. nov.

A low, slender, semi-erect, branched shrub.

Branches slender, grooved and striate, narrow, compressed, glabrous.

Racemes short, of 6 or fewer flowers, springing from the axil of a prominent white scale. Flowers ½⅛in. long, on short pilose pedicels. Calyx glabrous, undulate and jagged or ciliate at the margin which is hardly toothed; ovary glabrous; pedicels not longer than the flowers.

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Pods four or fewer in each raceme, ½1/6in. long, ½1/10in. wide, bluntly and broadly obovate, abruptly narrowed into a very short, straight, subulate beak continuous with the upper half of the pod; inner surface of pod puberulous, not cottony; replum strong; sides thick, slightly wrinkled, at length falling away, leaving the seed attached to the replum as in C. australis, Br. Seeds usually solitary, rarely two in a pod, large (½1/11in. long, ½1/15in. broad), subterete, stouter at one end, yellow-brown with dark-green or blackish spots.

Hab. East coast of Otago, near the mouth of the Otepopo River. The pod of this species is very characteristic. It resembles that of C. corymbosa Colenso, and some states of C. flagelliformis, Col., but is shorter, smaller, and broader at the apex. The seeds are much larger than in C. flagelliformis, and are not detached when the sides of the pod fall away.

Ourisia prorepens, sp. nov.

Stems slender, creeping and rooting, more or less branched, 4in. long or less.

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Leaves loosely bifariously imbricate, ½½in. long, ½¼in. to ½1/3in. broad, obovate, crenate, obtusely rounded at the apex, contracted into a broad thin petiole one-third the length of the blade, densely glandular-pilose above, slightly glandular-pilose below, not recurved at the margin; veins distinct on the undersurface.

Scapes slender, 4in. high or less, slightly glandular-pubescent; bracts in pairs, leaf-like, crenate or shortly lobed, nearly glabrous; flowers 3 to 6, solitary, on slender petioles lin. to 1.½in. long. Calyx ½¼in. long, divided to the middle into five oblong, obtuse, glandular-pubescent, and finelyciliate lobes. Corolla large, ½¾in. long and broad, the tube nearly twice as long as the calyx. Style very slender, twice as long as the calyx. Ripe fruit not seen.

Picture icon

To illustrate paper by D. Petrie

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Hab. Mount Bonpland, 4,000ft. The present species is somewhat closely allied to O. glandulosa, Hook. f., differing in the larger crenate leaves, the longer and more slender scape and peduncles, the larger and longer flowers, the crenate or shortly-lobed bracts, and the slight pubescence of the scape, bracts, and flowers.

Carex novœ-zelandiœ, sp. nov.

A short reddish-brown species, forming small tufts with stiff erect leaves that are curled at the tips. Culms, 4in. high or less, leafy, slender, terete, smooth. Leaves, always as long as, and usually longer than, the culms, very narrow, plano-convex, or concave above and convex below, smooth above, striate on lower surface, stiff, rather obtuse, curled and twisted at the tip.

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Spikelets 4 or 5, ½1/5in. long, rather stout, erect, the lowermost usually distant, the others crowded, sessile or shortly-peduncled; uppermost spikelet male only, the rest female with a few male flowers at the base; bracts as long as the leaves, leaf-like.

Glumes membranous, broadly-ovate, entire, rather obtuse, nerved and apiculate.

Utricle biconvex, smooth or faintly ribbed, gradually and equally narrowed at either end, red-brown; beak smooth, hardly bifid.

Style-branches, two.

Hab. Boggy ground at the edge of Lake Te Anau. Gathered February, 1892.

This plant has much the same appearance as Carex petriei, Cheeseman; the twisted and curled tips of the leaves readily mark it off from all the other native species. From C. petriei it differs in having two style-branches, much shorter spikelets, narrower and more rigid leaves, and less turgid utricles.

Gastrodia minor, sp. nov. Plate XX., figs. 5—7.

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A much smaller and more slender plant than Gastrodia cunninghamii, Hooker fil. Stems 8in. to 15in. high, terete, polished, ½1/12in. to ½1/16in. in diameter near the base; scales few, forming short oblique subacute sheaths round the stem, the upper ones distant; the whole plant except the tips of the flowers of a uniform umber-brown colour, not spotted.

Racemes lin. to 3in. long, of 1 to 9 pendulous flowers (usually 3 to 5). Bracts short, rather broad, scarious. Pedicels slender, 2 lines long; ovary as long as the pedicel, ribbed, slightly tuberculate. Perianth 5 lines long, ventricose, 5-fid, the very narrow division behind the labellum extending to about one-third the length of the tube, the others

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very shallow (less than 1 line deep); the sepals and two inferior petals rounded, undulate, crumpled and incurved along the thickened margin; tips and inner surface of the perianth-lobes dirty-white.

Labellum, included, oblong, dull-yellow, sometimes slightly expanded at the base, with two subpapillose narrow more or less confluent medial ridges, incurved and thickened at the undulating and crumpled margin; the upper third free, the lower half adnate to the tube and with or without obscure ridge-like wings at the sides.

Column short, with straight very short lateral appendages that are either acute or obtuse.

Hab. Town Belt, Dunedin, in shady manuka bush. Flowers first weeks of January.

The present species differs from G. cunninghamii, H. f., in its small size, short racemes, smaller flowers, and umber-brown colour, but most of all in the structure and attachment of the labellum. Mr. A. Hamilton has kindly drawn for me the flowers of both species, and his drawings show the points of difference plainly enough. In G. cunninghamii (Plate XX., figs. 1—4) the free part of the labellum is trowel-shaped and much thinner at the sides than in my plant, and it has a distinct claw which is wanting in G. minor. The curiously-twisted wing of the lower part of the labellum of the former is wholly absent in the present species, in which, moreover, all the divisions of the flower except the labellum are of equal length. The lateral appendages of the column in G. cunninghamii are slender, curved, and horn-like; in G. minor they are short, erect, and straight. I had the good fortune to find both plants in flower in the neighbourhood of Dunedin at the same time, so that a very complete comparison of the two species was practicable. The flowers of the present species open but very slightly, and the groove behind the labellum cannot be seen without pushing apart the sepals which the latter separates.

Gunnera ovata, sp. nov.

Rhizome creeping, tufted.

Leaves broadly-ovate, obtusely rounded at the tip and cordate or subcordate at the base, finely crenately toothed all round the margin, nearly glabrous or with short scattered pale hairs, about lin. long and ½¾in. broad. Petiole slender, glabrous or more or less clothed with short pale hairs, twice as long as the blade.

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Flowers on peduncles about ½in. long, lengthening in fruit to 1.½in. Male flowers in a slender interrupted spike 2in. to 3in. long; female flowers forming a dense oblong spike about 1/3in. long; Fruiting spike ¾in. long, rather slender; drupes

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⅛in. long, sessile, turbinate, dark-red, placed at right angles to the peduncle, not pendulous.

Hab. South Island—Lake Te Anau; Catlin's River; mouth of the Clutha; Hindon; and Kaikorai (Dunedin). North Island—Near Erehwon (Upper Rangitikei). I hear from Mr. N. E. Brown, of Kew, that this species is the plant, gathered near the base of Tongariro by Colenso, and in the South Island by Dr. Lyall, to which Sir Joseph Hooker refers at page 68 of the Handbook as a probable fourth species of Gunnera. It grows only in ground saturated for most of the year with water, and is generally accompanied by masses of Sphagnum.

Agrostis multicaulis, Hook. f.

This species was gathered by me in January of the present year at the head of the Clinton Valley (Te Anau). It is a native of Campbell Island, and has now been met with for the first time on the mainland of New Zealand. I am not sure that there are sufficient grounds for merging this species in A. antarctica, Hook. f., as Sir Joseph Hooker has done in the “Handbook of the New Zealand Flora.” At any rate, the plant from the Clinton Valley differs widely from that figured as A. antarctica, Hook. f., in vol. ii. of the “Flora Antarctica.”

Explanation of Plate XX.

Flower of Gastrodia cunninghamii, Hook. fil.


Column and labellum of ditto.


Column and appendages of ditto (enlarged).


Perianth of ditto laid open.


Part of spike of Gastrodia minor.


Column of ditto.


Perianth of ditto laid open.


Flowering branch of Tetrachondra hamiltonii (enlarged).


Corolla of ditto laid open.


Flower of ditto, the corolla and front lobes of the calyx removed.


Fruit of ditto.