Art. XLIX.—On Curious Forms of New Zealand Fern.
[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, 4th August, 1897.]
Mr. F. Laurenson, of Wellington, has lately sent me several specimens of ferns to identify, and they seem to me worth noting, for the assistance of other collectors. The first is a frond about 9 in. long, with pinnæ almost circular and rather more than 1 in. in diameter. The upper and terminal pinnæ have entire edges, but the lower ones are slightly indented into rounded lobes. The bluish-green colour and long straight sori mark it as a form of Asplenium obtusatum, while the slight indentations of the lower pinnæ indicate it as passing into var. lyallii. It was found growing in a cleft among the rocks at Worser Bay.
Three others are forms of Asplenium flaccdum or As
plenium richardi, ferns which always seem to me to be the same plant merely changed in its habit, according as it grows pendent on a tree-trunk or erect in rocky soil. The specimens sent me by Mr. Laurenson, however, are very much broader in their pinnæ than any which I ever saw before, being in one case fully 1 in. wide, and actually overlapping each other considerably. They were gathered at unspecified places near Wellington.
Another is clearly Aspidium capense, but the frond, which is about 10 in. long, is long-lanceolate in form, instead of the usual deltoid or rhomboidal one.
Mr. Laurenson also informs me that he has gathered Asplenium lyallii at Evans Bay, where I and the Rev. A. Stock and Mr. F. Logan obtained it many years ago, showing that it still holds its ground there. He also mentions having found the proliferous form of Asplenium flaccidum near Otaihanga, which occurs also at Waitotara, and which clearly connects A. flaccidum with A. bulbiferum.