Art. XLV.—Description of a New Genus of Gramineæ.
[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, 17th February, 1897.]
Spikelet solitary, 1-flowered, pedicellate, the rhachis prorduced into a minute bristle. Glumes, 3, the 2 outer unequal, minute, hyaline, persistent. Flowering-glume much longer than the outer glume, lanceolate-acuminate, awnless; nerves 2, rarely 3, obscure. Palea almost as long as the glume. Stamens 2 or 1. Stigmas 2. Lodicules 2. Ovary minutely stipitate; grain enclosed in the palea, free.
1. S laxa, n.s.
[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]
Culms weak, decumbent, flaccid, filiform 10in.—18in. long. Leaves flat, 1in.—4in. long, 1/20 in.—⅛ in. broad, sheath rather long, glabrous or pubescent; ligule short, lacerate. Panicle strict, narrow, with few short capillary branches. Spikeletd about 1/18 in. long; outer glumes one-fifth to one - fourth as long as the flowering-glume, ovate, acute, minutely ciliate. Flowering-glume and palea pubescent or almost silky, the nerves of the former usually obscure. Palea as long as the flowering-glume, narrow, acute or subacute. Filaments short.
Hab. North Island — Dry River Station, Ruamahanga, Lower Wairarapa: January, 1880: T. K. South Island—-Waikouaiti and Deep Stream, Otago: D. Petrie!
Some specimens may be polygamous, as suggested by Dr. Stapf, but I have not been able to determine this point, the material at my disposal being very limited; in some specimens the rhachilla is not easily made out. The Ruamahanga specimens are much weaker, and have narrower leaves than those from Otago, but there is no other difference. Both forms are protandrous.
I am greatly indebted to Dr. Stapf, who, at the request of Sir Joseph Hooker, has kindly examined this curious plant for me. He remarks, “It comes pretty near certain species of Muhlenbergia, but has a distinct though minutely-produced rhachilla, and is probably polygamous.”
Local botanists will easily distinguish it from Deyeuxia by the outer glumes being only one-fifth the length of the awnless flowering-glume, which is destitute of hairs at the base.
Explanation of Plate XLIV.
Simplicia laxa, T. Kirk. Natural size. 1. Unexpanded spikelet, enlarged.