Art. LV.—Botanical Notes, Nelson District.
[Read before the Nelson Philosophical Society, 13th January, 1896.]
The following brief notes of the past year may be worth recording, since anything which adds to our knowledge is, to a certain extent, a gain.
This very handsome shrub has hitherto been very imperfectly described, and I was glad to be able to supply Mr. Kirk with a large number of specimens exhibiting a wide range of variation. Last February I found a specimen in Torrent Bay so distinct that Mr. Kirk thought it worthy of varietal honours, and he proposed to name it var. involucrata. Last November I found it pretty plentiful in Sandy Bay, but with considerable variation.
It is a pity such a handsome shrub should not be cultivated; that it would be appreciated is certain, since Mrs. Jennings won a first prize at the local Horticultural Show at Motueka about a year ago with a plant from Sandy Bay, or near by.
This handsome North Island tree is stated in the Forest Flora only to have been found in the South Island in Queen Charlotte Sound and the Pelorus. I now record it as growing in the bush at Thackwood, near Nelson.
The handsome berries were gathered by me last January.
A description of this beautiful fern by Mr. Kirk is printed in vol. x. of the Trans. N.Z. Inst., p. 396, and stated to be both rare and local. It is recorded, from specimens in Kew
Herbarium, to have been found in Massacre Bay, Nelson, by Lyall. Until recently the locality was not known. I found it last year in Torrent Bay, where there are some good specimens.
In vol. x., Trans. N.Z. Inst., p. 394, Mr. Kirk describes this fern as a new species. He states it was sent to him from the mountains at the head of Lake Wakatipu.
In February, 1895, my friend Mr. W. H. Bryant and myself found it growing in the granite country on the western side of Blind Bay; but, strangely, at not more than 40ft. or 50ft, above sea-level, and near the shore. I presume, therefore, it cannot be considered as a strictly mountain species.