Art. XXXIX.—Botanical Notes from Takaka District.
[Read before the Nelson Philosophical Society, 28th March, 1892.]
The ferns which I exhibit this evening are a portion of those I collected during a recent trip to the Takaka district in company with Mr. W. H. Bryant, of Brightwater.
We carried our tents and provisions ourselves without the aid of a horse, and could therefore stop where and when we chose. For real enjoyment and effective work this method, although somewhat laborious, has many advantages over the customary trap or pack-horse.
On our trip we touched at the Tata Islands, and walked from Waitapu by Rangihaeata Point and Anahau to Puramahoi, thence back to Motupipi, thence up the Takaka Valley over the range to Motueka.
The following are the most rare specimens collected or noted on the trip:—
Schizea bifida. Between Takaka and Puramahoi. This has not been hitherto recorded as found in this part of New Zealand.
S. fistulosa. Very plentiful near Takaka.
Lycopodium laterale. Near Takaka; not very common.
Hymenophyllum tunbridgense. Fine examples on Takaka Ranges.
H. tunbridgense, var. unilaterale. Also on Takaka Ranges.
H. malingii. This beautiful fern is fairly plentiful on the top of the range.
H. rufescens. Also growing on the top of the range.
H. demissum and subtilissimum. Of these, exceedingly large and fine specimens were collected.
Trichomanes strictum and rigidum. Both forms were growing luxuriantly near Puramahoi; so also was
T. colensoi, near the same locality.
Cystopteris fragilis. Good specimens of this beautiful fern were obtained on the limestone, Takaka Ranges.
Lindsaya linearis, trichomanoides var. lessoni, Pteris scaberula, tremula, incisa, and macilenta, were also fairly plentiful.
Lomaria nigra and fraseri. Some remarkably fine specimens were collected at Puramahoi.
Gleichenia flabellata. Growing near Takaka. This is quite new to this Island.
Asplenium trichomanes, obtusatum, var. lyalli, and umbrosum. Also noticed the latter abundant in Takaka Valley.
Todea superba and Botrychium ternatum. Very fine specimens of both between Takaka and Riwaka.
Lycopodium billardieri between 5ft. and 6ft. long, and Tmesipteris forsteri over 4ft. long, were collected, and I now exhibit specimens.
Mr. Bryant also found Senecio laxifolia and Arthropodium cirrhatum in flower, although so late in the season.
In conclusion, I should like to add that the district appears to be a perfect paradise for a botanist. The people are kind and hospitable, and the weather we experienced was almost perfect. The bush scenery is quite charming—that is, where the axe of the settler has not yet destroyed it, or the fire-loving vandals of these colonies have not desecrated it. One thing afforded great pleasure, and that was the presence of many little native birds; whereas in the neighbourhood of Nelson one rarely sees any, in consequence of the supineness of the authorities to the wilful destruction by guns and catapults in the hands of boys, who at every opportunity sally forth to gratify their bloodthirsty proclivities by taking the lives of those confiding insectivorous birds, designed by Nature to restrain the increase of insect pests. The destruction of these birds in the near future, I am convinced, will be looked upon as an irreparable calamity.