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Volume 26, 1893
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Art. XXIII.—Description of New Cyperaceous Plants, chiefly from the Nelson Provincial District.

[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, 21st February, 1894.]

Eleocharis neo-zelandica, C. B. Clarke, MS.

A small species with short creeping rhizomes; culms 1in.- 2in. high, striate spreading, sheath membranous, mouth oblique, mucronate; spike broadly - ovate ⅕in. long, glumes ovate, obtuse, almost keeled, midrib stout, not extending to the apex, margins membranous; stamens 3, bristles O, style-arms 2. Nut broadly pyriform, slightly convex, or almost plano-convex, smooth.

Hab. South Island: Cape Farewell, Nelson (1884). T. K.

Mr. Clarke, who has for some years been engaged on a

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revision of the Cyperaceœ, kindly examined my specimens of this curious little plant, for which he suggests the name here adopted. In his letter he states, “This belongs to my subgenus Eleogenus. In the absence of setæ, and in the very small style-base, it approximates to some of the New Zealand species of Scirpus.”

I need only add that small specimens of E. acuta, R. Br., approach this species very closely in general appearance, but may easily be distinguished by the truncate mouth of the sheath with its foliaceous mucro, the presence of bristles, and the trigonous nut.

Gahnia robusta, n. s.

A robust species, with erect culms, 6ft.-7ft. high, as thick as the little finger. Leaves 5ft.-6ft. long, more or less involute, excessively scabrous, produced into long filiform pendulous points. Panicle 2ft.-3ft. long, dense, striate, narrow, erect; lower branches 5in.-10in. long; stem-leaves narrow with long filiform points. Spikelets narrow-lanceolate; outer bract lanceolate-acuminate; strongly 3-nerved; empty glumes 4, coriaceous, with a strong nerve. Outer flowering-glume closely enwrapping the flowers, broadly ovate, obtuse, faintly nerved; inner flowering-glumes similar, but more membranous; lowest flower male, stamens 6, filaments united at the base, flattened, flexuous and elongating; upper flower hermaphrodite, stamens 5, ovary fusiform, style-arms 2. Nut ovoid, black or brownish - black, shining, transversely furrowed within.

Hab. North Island: Mungaroa, Wellington. T. K.

This species has the strict habit of G. rigida, T. Kirk, but is more robust. Its affinities are with G. setifolia, Hook. f., and G. xanthocarpa, Hook. f.: it differs from both in the erect culms, the strict panicle, and the number of style-arms; it is more robust than the former, from which it differs essentially in the larger black ovoid nut. From G. xanthocarpa it differs also in the nut being smaller, shorter, and broader.

Carex dallii, n. s.

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A small, slender, tufted species. Culms about 6in. high. Leaves shorter than the culms, 1/15in.-1/12in. broad, involute. Spikelets 3–5, distant, ⅜in.-⅝in. long, narrow, the lowest basal on a long slender peduncle, the uppermost female, sessile, with a few male flowers at base, rarely at apex. Glumes membranous, ovate-acuminate, the lower shortly awned. Style-arms 3. Utricles (immature) ovate-fusiform, shortly bifid. Bracts overtopping the culms. Male spikelet longer than the female.

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Hab. South Island: Near the source of the Heaphy River, Nelson. J. Dall.

This species is related to C. lucida, Boott, from which it differs in the bifid stigmas and fusiform utricles. Better specimens are badly wanted those forwarded by Mr. Dall being immature.

Carex traversii, n. s.

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A slender, tufted species, 6in.-9in. high, culms suberect, or prostrate, almost filiform. Leaves much shorter than the culms, 1/30in. broad, filiform at the tips, involute. Spikelets 2—4; terminal male, shortly pedunculate; the others female, with one or two male flowers at base; sessile, ⅜in.-½in. long, broadly-ovate, approximate, except the basal one, which is sometimes distant, and carried on a capillary peduncle; glumes ovate or ovate-lanceolate, many-nerved, with a stout midrib produced into a short awn. Utricle slightly fusiform, bifid at the apex, scaberulous. Style-arms 3.

Hab. South Island: Dun Mountain, &c.; 3,000ft.-4,000ft. W. T. L. Travers.

This species bears considerable resemblance to C. novæ-zelandiæ, Petrie, which is distinguished by its bifid stigmas and plano-convex utricles.

Carex australis, n. s.

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Culms tufted, slender, slightly compressed, 1 ½ft. high, pale. Leaves involute, equalling or exceeding the culms, 3/16in.-¼in. broad, with long filiform points. Spikelets 4–5, broadly-ovate, sessile, ⅜in.-½in. long, glumes broadly-ovate-acuminate, shortly awned. Utricles broadly-ovate, equalling the glumes, plano-convex, with a short broad bifid beak, nerves prominent. Style-arms 3.

Hab. Stewart Island. C. Traill and T. Kirk (1882).

Allied to C. longiculmis, Petrie, but distinguished by the slender habit, narrow leaves, short spikelets, shorter broader glumes, and broader utricles, which are not stipitate.

The following species of Carex are not enumerated either in Mr. Cheeseman's excellent catalogue of the plants of the Provincial District of Nelson,* or in my list of additional plants found in the Nelson District.

Carex lagopina,Wahl.

Dun Mountain, &c. W. T. L. Travers!

C. teretiuscula, Good.

Rotoiti, &c. T. K.

[Footnote] * Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. xiv.(1881), p. 224.

[Footnote] † Ibid., xviii. (1885), p. 322.

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C. trachycarpa, Cheesem.

Mount Owen. T. F. C.

C. muelleri, Petrie.

Valley of the Stanley, Amuri, &c. T.K.

C. buchanani, Berg.

Amuri, Spenser Mountains, &c. T. K.

C. dipsacea, Berg.

Motueka Valley, &c. T. K.

C. devia, Cheesem.

D'Urville Island; H. B. Kirk! Dun Mountain; R. I. Kingsley!

C. wakatipu, Petrie.

Amuri. T. K.

C. uncifolia, Cheesem.

Wairau Valley. T.F.C.!

C. comans, Berg.

Amuri, Spenser Mountains. T. K.

C. petriei, Cheesem.

Mount Arthur District. T. F. C.

C. litorosa, Bailey.

Nelson Harbour. T.K.

C. solandri, Boott, in Fl. N.Z., i., 284.

Westport, Richmond, &c. T.K.

In the “Handbook of the New Zealand Flora” this species is erroneously united with C. neesiana, Endlicher, of Norfolk Island, from which it differs in the more slender habit, narrower leaves, ♀ spikelets slender, distant, pendulous, on long filiform peduncles; the glumes are almost papery, and the awn is very short, or O, more especially in the faintly nerved, narrow-ovate, black, shining utricles.

C. flava, L., var. cataractæ.

Mount Captain Range, Amuri; Spenser Mountains; Lake Guyon.