Art. XXXI.—Botanical Notes.
[Read before the Auckland Institute, 10th October, 1898.]
1. Ranunculus kirkii, Petrie. Plate XXV.
This plant seems to have escaped notice since I gathered it a good many years ago on the low lands skirting the head of Paterson's Inlet. As it is still so imperfectly known, I think it desirable to submit for publication the accompanying drawing of it, which was kindly executed for me at the time of its discovery by the late Mr. John Buchanan, F.L.S. The specimen here depicted is now in the Herbarium at Kew. The habit of the plant as here shown is not quite characteristic, but the material at the artist's disposal was too limited to allow of his recognising this. The scapes elongate considerably after flowering. I transcribe the following report on it by Mr. N. E. Brown, one of the botanists on the staff at Kew:—
“No. 50. Ranunculus kirkii, Petrie.—Nothing like this at Kew from the Southern Hemisphere. It is near R. acaulis and R. biternatus, but differs from both by its thick roots, leaves, and fruits, and from R. trilobatus, Kirk, by its long peduncles and glabrous leaves.”
The R. trilobatus here referred to is, I suppose, R. ternatifolius, of T. Kirk.
2. Ranunculus berggreni, Petrie. Plate XXVI.
I submit for publication a drawing of this plant, also made by Mr. John Buchanan, F.L.S., from the good suite of specimens originally collected by me on the Carrick. Range, in Central Otago. The drawings are most faithful, and show very distinctly the peculiar leaves that mark it off from the other native species. These it will be noticed present considerable variety of outline, but in most of my specimens
the base of the leaf is decidedly cordate. The plant seems to me more nearly related to my R. novæ-zealandiæ than to R. lappacus, var. multicaulis, to which some authorities have been disposed to refer it. Unfortunately, it has not been found in fruit, although I expressly visited, the locality to find ripe carpels. As it was a very dry season, every vestige of the plant had disappeared. R. lappaceus—in its typical form—grows in the same locality.
3. Haloragis spicata, Petrie. Plate XXVII.
This species is known only from the locality at the head of Lake Hawea, where it was discovered by me. The accompanying figure is from the pencil of Mr. John Buchanan, F.L.S., and is in every respect characteristic of the species.
4. Carex pterocarpa, Petrie.
I propose this name for the species originally published by me under the name “Carex thomsoni.” The latter name is preoccupied, as colonial botanists learned on the publication of the “Index Kewensis.”
5. Carex rubicunda, Petrie.
This name I propose for my C. novæ-zealandiæ, a name that also proves to be preoccupied, having been bestowed on a supposed New Zealand species by O. Böckeler in the German botanical journal “Flora” (1878).
On the Late Mr. Kirk's “Remarks on Gunnera Ovata, Petrie, Etc.”
Owing to the recent death of the late Mr. T. Kirk, F.L.S.; I shall leave the matters of controversy between him and me as to the relations of Gunnera flavida, Col., and my G. ovata for the botanists of the future to settle. But there are two points in his recent paper (Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. xxx.) on which I am called upon to offer a few observations.
Mr. Kirk says I must be under some misapprehension in writing that the authorities at Kew regarded G. prorepens, Hook, f., and G. flavida, Col., as identical species; and he gives as a reason for this statement that he had not sent to Kew specimens of G. flavida until his paper oh Gunnera appearing in vol. xxvii. of the Transactions had been written, and the comparison referred to by me could not have been made till then. My statement did not refer to specimens forwarded to Kew by Mr. Kirk, but “to Colenso's type of G. flavida deposited at Kew.” The report from Kew to which I made reference reached me nearly two years before Mr. Kirk's paper was written. The report in question is laid
on the table for inspection by members. The words of Mr. N. E. Brown's report are: “N.B.—G. flavida, Col., is true G. prorepens, Hook. f.” It will be seen that the misapprehension-has not been on my part.
Mr. Kirk further says that the drupes of G. prorepens are not described by Hooker as being fleshy; but on page 66 of vol. i. of the “Flora Novæ Zelandiæ” Hooker actually uses the term “fleshy” in describing the drupes of this species. In the very brief description in the Handbook this point is not mentioned, and Mr. Kirk was evidently not aware that a much fuller and more accurate description of the plant by the same author was in conflict with his statement on this point.