Art. LI.—A Revision of the New Zealand Species of Hymenanthera, R. Br.
[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, 26th February, 1896.]
Hymenanthera was first published by R. Brown in his account of the botany of the Congo appended to Tucker's narrative of his expedition. Two plants in the Banksian Herbarium were named by him H. dentata and H. anguistifolia respectively, but the descriptions were first published by De Candolle in 1824 (Prodr., i., 315); the former was characterized by its oblong denticulate leaves, the latter by its entire linear leaves: both are now united under H. dentata by the common consent of botanists. In 1833 Endlieher described H. latifolia from Norfolk Island; and in 1842 A. Cunningham described H. oblongifolia, which is now referred to H. dentata. The first New Zealand species was discovered by Banks and Solander in 1769, probably in Queen Charlotte Sound, but was completely lost until 1876, when it was rediscovered by J. D. Enys and the writer, who described it under the name of H. obovata in 1894. The first-described New Zealand species was discovered by R. Cunningham, on the coast opposit the Cavallos Islands, in 1834; his specimens, however, were imperfect, and the plant was published by A. Cunningham in his Precursor as Scasvola (?) nova-zealandia; it was not until 1853 that the plant was properly understood and described by Sir Joseph Hooker as Hymenanthera crassifolia, the value of the excellent description being enhanced by the beautiful plate which accompanied it. Another New Zealand species was described by J. Buchanan as II traversii in 1882, and the Australian H. dentata was collected in the Southern Alps about the same time. H. latifolia of Norfolk Island had been discovered on the Great and Little Barrier Islands by the writer six years earlier. Another species, discovered on the Chatham Islands by Captain Gilbert Mair, was referred by Baron von Mueller to H. latifolia as a variety in 1864, but in this paper is treated as a distinct species. A synopsis of the distinctive characters of each is appended.
Hymenanthera comprises sparingly-branched shrubs which are usually erect, and others which are excessively branched and most frequently depressed; the brauches of the latter are sometimes naked, divaricating, rigid, and spinous, with pale or brownish bark which is often closely dotted with lenticels. The leaves are alternate or sometimes fascicled, entire or denticulate or serrate, petioled, usually coriaceous or rarely
membranous; the stipules are usually small and fugacious. The flowers are hermaphrodite or dioecious; solitary, or more usually fasciculate and shortly pedicellate, rarely solitary; they are rarely produced in the axils of the leaves, most frequently on the naked parts of the branches. The sepals and petals are obtuse or rounded at their apices, or the petals may be narrowed above and shortly revolute. The aridrcecium consists of five sessile anthers, which open longitudinally and form a ring surrounding the style; their connectives are, however, connate, and are produced into a rounded or subacute ciliated membrane above each anther, with a curious obovate. dorsal appendage. The ciliated processes and their dorsal appendages vary in shape in the different species, but not sufficiently to afford distinctive characters. Stigmas 2. rarely 4 or 3, divergent, styles very short. The fruit is a spherical 1-celled berry of a deep purple colour, or rarely white. The seeds are 2 in number, rarely 4, 3 or sometimes solitary by abortion; they may be ovoid, planoconvex, or convex and pointed with one or two angular faces at the base and a strophiole which may be very slightly developed or large and distinctly cupular. The cotyledons are orbicular in all the seeds examined by me. The most important differential characters are those afforded by the seeds taken in conjunction with the leaves.
Baron von Mueller appears to have been the first to draw attention to the plano-convex from of fruit (Plant. Vict., i., 69), but did not attach to it the importance which it seems to me to merit:
It will be seen that H. dentata, R. Br., is only represented by its variety angustifolia; I have seen nothing in the colony approaching var. oblongifolia of Norfolk Island, in which the denticulate leaf is over 1 ½in. long, and I have not had the opportunity of examining Norfolk Island specimens of H. latifolia. The New Zealand plant, which is only known in a fruiting condition, was kindly examined for me by the director of the Royal Gardens, Kew, in 1876, and referred to H. latifolia var.; but the differences do not appear to be sufficiently marked to render it worthy of special distinction. Mr. Cheeseman sends a sterile leafy specimen from the Three Kings Islands, characterized by more strict slender branchlets and oblong or oblong-ovate leaves with obscurely sinuatedentate revolute margins and slender petioles. The leaves are of thinner texture than in H. latifolia, and the reticulations on both surfaces are not so strongly marked.
1. H. crassifolia, Hook. f. Fl. N.Z., i., 17, t. 8.
A low rigid spreading shrub, with short stout tortuous branches, bark white, furrowed, branchlets pubescent. Leaves
alternate or fascicled, very coriaceous, linear, spathulate, or linear-obovate, ½in.–1 ½in. long. entire or sinuate, toothed or lobed, rounded or retuse, petioles very short. Flowers small axillary, solitary or in small fascicles; peduncles shorter than the flowers, curved, with two ovate bracts below the middle. Sepals much shorter than the petals, minutely erose; petals linear oblong, recurved at the apex. Anthers forming a tube round the ovary, connective fimnbriate with a dorsal scale. Overy 1-celled, placentas 2. Berry purple or white, 2-seeded. Seeds 2, convex on the outer face. Handbook, 18. Scavola (?) nova-zealandia, A. Cunn., Precurs., n. 429.
North Island. — Maritime rocks opposite the Cavallos Islands : R. Cunningham. Northern shore of Cook Strait, from Cape Terawhiti to Cape Palliser, &c.; Port Nicholson : T. Kirk.
South Island.—Nelson : Coast between the Boulder Bank and Croixelles Harbour: T. Kirk. Marlborough: Pelorus Sound, &c. : J. Rutland ! Canterbury, Coast of Banks Peninsula: J.B. Armstrong ! Otago : D. Petrie.
Stewart Island.—T. Kirk. October, November.
Erect shoots with broader leaves are sometimes developed in sheltered situations.
2. H. dentata, R. Br., var. angustifolia, Benth. Fl. Austr., i., 104.
An excessively branched shrub, 2ft.-8ft. high; branchlets terete, imbricate, about as thick as whipcord, often naked and spinescent, closely dotted with minute lenticels. Leaves on very short petioles, often fascicled, narrow linear-oblong, cuneate at the base, rather membranous or subcoriaceous, entire or sinuate or shortly lobed, rounded at the apex, ½in. ¾in. long. Flowers perfect or dioecious, almost sessile, solitary or geminate. Male flower not seen. Female almost sessile, petals narrow, anthers abortive, style short, stigmas 2, spreading. Berry 2-seeded, seeds oblong, flat on the inner face, convex on the outer, with a small discoid strophiole. Hook., Comp. to Bot. Mag., i., 274; Hook. f., Fl. Tasm. i., 27; H. anyustifolia, R. Br., in DC. Prodr., i., 315; H. banksii, F. Muell., PI. Vict., i., 69.
North Island.—Wellington : Turangarere; A. Hamilton ! Upper Rangitikei; D. Petrie !
South Island.—Nelson : Wairoa North : W. H. Bryant and T. Kirk. Canterbury : Alps : J. B. Armstrong ! Otago : Paradise, Mount Earnslaw, T. Kirk; Kelso, D. Petrie.
Easily distinguished by the lenticellate bark, slender twigs which are flexuous when grown in sheltered conditions, and the dioecious flowers. The Tasmanian plant is said to produce hermaphrodite flowers. At present I have only had the op-
portunity of examining the female flowers of the New Zealand plant:
Depressed, 1ft.–2ft. high, branches very short, rigid, shout, usually terminating in stout spine. Bark whitish, lentiellate. Leaves less than ½in. long, usually fascicled, very coriaceous, oblong-obovate, petiole very short. Flowers on very short straight peduncles. Sepals erosulate-ciliate. Petals broad, recurved. Anthers very broad, connective, much produced, nearly entire, dorsal scale broadly cuneate. Style slender, stigmas 2, spreading. Berry white, 1–2-seeded; the former ovoid with a minute discoid strophiole; the latter with the inner faces flattened at the base but not angled.
South Island.—Alps of Canterbury and Otago; 2,000ft.–4,000ft. A remarkable plant, forming a mass of very short stout spinous branches. Possibly a distinct species. December, January.
3. H. obovata, T. Kirk; in Trans. N.Z. Inst., xxvii. (1894), 350.
An erect glabrous shrub, 4ft.–8ft. high, branches few, slender, ascending; bark pale. Leaves in the young state obovate-cuneate, 3-lobed or -toothed, membranous, mature, very coriaceous, lin.-2in. long, obovate or oblong, narrowed into a slender petiole below, rounded or retuse above, rarely apiculate, margins slightly recurved, rarely entire- Flowers, male not seen. Female sepals broadly ovate, rounded at apex. Ovary 2-celled; stigmas 2. Fruit solitary or twin, on very short curved peduncles; ovoid, purple, 2-seeded. Seeds nearly ovate, slightly concave on the inner face, convex on the outer; strophiole cupular, thin.
South Island.—J. Buchanan ! Nelson : Graham River, Mount Owen, T. F. Cheeseman ! between Takaka and Riwaka, T. Kirk. Marlborough : Queen Charlotte Sound, J. H. Macmahon! Canterbury : Broken River basin, J. D. Enys and T. Kirk (1876); Ashburton Mountains, T. H. Potts ! Chiefly on limestone rocks, 2,000ft.-4,000ft.
The rather slender branches and the strict habit distinguish this species from all others at sight.
4. H. traversii, J. Buchanan; in Trans. N.Z. Inst., xv. (1882), 339, t. 28.
A spreading shrub, 1ft.–2ft. high, twigs with reddish longitudinal rugose bark, viscid when fresh. Leaves rather crowded, coriaceous, oblong-obovate or oblong - spathulate, about lin. long, narrowed into a rather stout appressed petiole, obtuse or sub-acute, margins recurved, nerves
obscure. Flowers few, solitary, on short decurved pedicels in the axils of the upper leaves. Sepals coherent at the base, subacute. Petals linear, oblong, narrowed below, spreading. Fruit not seen.
South Island.—Nelson: In the forest, Gouland Downs, near Collingwood : H. H. Travers.
My knowledge of this plant is confined to Mr. Buchanan's description, and a small flowerless specimen, for which I am indebted to him. It is distinguished from all other species by the red bark and rugose leaves with appressed peduncles. Good specimens in flower and fruit are much to be desired, as the anthers and ovary are not mentioned in the original description.
5. H. latifolia, Endlicher; in Fl. Insul. Prodr. Norf., n. 127.
A sparingly - branched shrub, 2ft.–10ft. high, erect or straggling. Leaves ovate - lanceolate, or oblong - lanceolate narrowed into the petiole, 2in.–4in. long, 1in. broad, obtuse, coriaceous, entire, sinuate or sinuate-serrate, marginal nerve stout. Flowers not seen. Sepals ovate, in the fruiting state scarcely coherent at the base. Fruiting peduncles very short, erect or curved. Berry 2-seeded; seeds ovoid, flat on the inner face, with irregular longitudinal striae on the outer convex surface. Strophiole large, cupular.
North Island. — Auckland : Tapotopoto Bay, T. Kirk; Mount Camel, J. J. Buchanan; Whangapoua and Flat Island, Great Barrier Island; Arid Island, T. Kirk; Three Kings Islands, T. F. Cheeseman. Littoral. Also on Norfolk Island.
The New Zealand plant has not been seen in flower. Endlicher describes the female flower of the Norfolk Island plant as having abortive or perfect stamens. He also states that the ovary is 2-celled and the stigma capitate, both of which appear to be erroneous. The leaves are strongly reticulate on both surfaces.
6. H. chathamiea, n.s.
An erect shrub, with furrowed lenticellate bark. Leaves lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, narrowed at the base, acute, 3in.–5in. long, ¾in.–1 ½in. broad, very coriaceous, strongly reticulate on both surfaces, sharply toothed. Flowers in crowded fascicles, diœcious, pedicels slender, longer than the flowers, decurved. Sepals coherent at the base, narrow, ovate. Petals very long, obovate with a broad base, revolute at the apex. Anthers with a narrow lanceolate jagged connective, more than half as long as the anther - cells; dorsal gland cuneate-spathulate, rounded above. Female flowers not seen. Berry ovoid or almost globose, white; stigmas 4-lobed; 4- rarely 3-seeded, seeds angled, curved towards the point,
convex on the outer surface; strophiole very small. H. latifolia, var. chathamica, F. Mueller, Veg. Chat. Islds., 9.
North Island.—Wellington: Patea: Sir James Hector Flowers and fruit not seen.
Chatham Islands.—Originally discovered by Captain Gilbert Mair ! September, October.
Distinguished from all other species by the long lanceolate sharply-toothed leaves, strictly diœcious flowers, tetramerous. stigma-lobes, and 4-seeded berries. Occasionally the leaves are linear-laceolate, and less than ¼in. in breadth. I am indebted to my friend Mr. Cox for excellent specimens of the male plant.