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Volume 31, 1898
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Art. XXXIV.—Descriptions of New Species of Astelia, Veronica, and Celmisia.

[Read before the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, 22nd February, 1899.]

Astelia petriei, sp. nov.

A densely tufted evergreen plant, with large, thick, coriaceous, long-pointed leaves arising from a tuberous stem, and spreading into large patches by means of wiry subterranean stolons.

Leaves from 55 cm. long × 3 cm. broad in large specimens to a few centimetres long in small ones, linear-subulate, with & long acicular apex; upper surface almost glabrous, except for some scattered minute scaly hairs and a very few distant longer pale hairs, furrowed with many unequal longitudinal furrows, the two halves bent upwards at an angle with the sunken purple midrib, so forming a deep channel, especially towards base of leaf; under-surface with sharp green midrib, silvery with thin scaly tomentum, except on the numerous parallel green nerves; margins entire, with a few scattered hairs; sheaths pale-coloured or white, very fleshy towards the base, completely surrounding the leaf-sheath beneath, and joined to sheath on opposite side by a thin delicate transparent membrane continuous with the epidermis, the whole bundle of leaf-sheaths forming a false stem, which arises from the tuberous stem below; margins and dorsal surface of sheath hairy, with pale straggling hairs.

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Inflorescence (male) : A short, stout, upright panicle sunken among the foliage leaves, with branches 3.5cm. long, or less, arising from axils of long leafy bracts, which resemble in all respects the foliage leaves, except for longer less-adpressed hairs; upper bracts much shorter than lower.

Flowers crowded, very shortly pedicelled, strongly scented, semi-erect; perianth segments linear or ligulate, purplish and yellow at base; filaments stout; anthers black; stigmas 3, capitate; ovary (when present) 3-furrowed to about middle.

Inflorescence (female) shorter than male.

Flower : Perianth segments ovate; acute, sometimes trifid, pilose at apex.

Hab. South Island: Mount Rolleston, Canterbury; L. C. : Walker's Pass, Canterbury and Westland; R. Brown and L. C. (1889) : Kelly's Hill, Westland; D. Petrie and L. C. : Humboldt Mountains, Otago; L. C.

This plant may be at once distinguished from A. nervosa, Banks and Sol., var. alpina, T. Kirk, by its shining pale-coloured very stiff leaves, which are much less hairy on the upper surface. It grows in hollows on alpine meadows where the snow remains often until end of December or beginning of January, and which will be very wet during early summer and dry in the autumn, at. an altitude of from 1,300 m. to 1,500 m. It is very easy to cultivate, but, although I have had plants for nine years, they have never bloomed, nor did I ever observe bloom on the wild plants until January, 1898. The above description is drawn up from very imperfect material, and will certainly require considerable modification. The strong and perhaps disagreeable odour of the flowers, together with the dark-purple colour, suggests fertilisation by blowflies.

Veronica subalpina, sp. nov.

An evergreen shrub with small leaves, 75 m. to 2m. in height.

Branches not very dense, sometimes spreading, marked above with old leaf-scars; bark green, often tinged, stained, and spotted with purple; youngest twigs green, minutely pubescent.

Leaves usually patent, not very coriaceous, bright palegreen, shining above, duller beneath, sessile, narrow-lanceolate or broader at times, 3 cm. to 3.5 cm. long, subacute; upper surface concave, sometimes arched with apex pointing downwards; midrib sunken above, raised slightly beneath.

Racemes usually in a pair at the ends of the branches from axils of terminal leaves, short, equalling or rather longer than the leaves, with rhachis equalling peduncle.

Flowers crowded; pedicels minutely pubescent, equalling the calyx; bracts short, variable in shape, oblong or deltoid,

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acute, truncate or lacerate, ciliated, with slightly membranous margins; sepals acute, ovate, equalling the corolla—tube, ciliated with short hairs; corolla - tube with short hairs round the throat, near junction of segments: segments half as long again as the tube, ovate-oblong, obtuse.

Capsule ovate, acute, often with short apiculus, twice or hardly twice as long as the calyx.

Hab. Mountains of Westland, and those of Canterbury within region of western rainfall, at altitude of from 750 m. to 1,200 m.

This species, hitherto referred sometimes to V. traversii, Hook, f., and sometimes to V. lævis, Benth., is, when seen growing, a most easily recognised plant. It is the common, and away from the actual divide the only (V. salicifolia excepted), alpine Veronica of Westland. It does not vary to any great extent, thus differing most materially from its relatives of the drier regions. In cultivation it remains unchanged.

Veronica barkerii, sp. nov.

A stout erect upright-branching shrub.

Branches terete, brownish-purple, with upper internodes 1 cm. long.

Leaves 5 cm. × 1.2 cm., lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, acute or subacute, sessile, narrowed towards base, entire, pale apple-green, duller on under-surface, fleshy, patent; midrib sunken on upper very slightly raised on under surface.

Racemes about as long as the leaves, usually 2-paired at ends of branches, densely flowered, rounded at apex, cylindric; peduncles, pedicels, bracts, and calyx pubescent; peduncle green, stained with purple below, bright-purple towards apex; bracts half as long as the pedicels, subulate, acute, concavo-convex, embracing the pedicel; calyx-lobes cut nearly to base of calyx, 3 mm. to 3.5 mm. long, nearly as long as corolla-tube, ovate-lanceolate, acute, conspicuously stained on membranous margin with pink-purple : corolla—tube, 3 mm. long, throat hairy; limb, spreading, 7 mm. × 7 mm.: segments 3 mm. long, upper and lateral equal, lower smaller, broadly ovate, obtuse, margins and apex incurved, white, stained deeply on margin with lilac-purple; anthers much exserted, very wide-spreading; style most pubescent, pink; stigma bright-purple.

Capsule 5.5 mm. × 4 mm., flattened, ovate, acute or subacute with mucro, not quite twice length of calyx.

Hab. Chatham Islands; S. D. Barker (1898).

This beautiful shrub, collected by Mr. S. D. Barker, after whom I have much pleasure in naming it, is closely related to V. dieffenbachii, but differs in its erect not spreading habit, smaller leaves, shorter racemes, its extremely pubescent style,

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and its midrib not conspicuously raised. I think, when the plants of the Chatham Islands are carefully studied from living specimens, that many forms now considered identical with those of New Zealand proper will be found distinct.

Veronica glaucophylla, sp. nov.

A low-growing round shrub, with very close-set branches, glaucous leaves, and pubescent inflorescence.

Stem terete, brownish, pubescent, especially on young wood, with internodes half length of leaf.

Leaves small, 1.6 cm. × 6 mm., linear-ovate or linear-oblong, slightly concave on upper surface, glaucous on both surfaces, entire, very obscurely ciliated, patent, with laminæ horizontal, almost sessile, with broad short concavo-convex petiole; midrib sunken above and beneath.

Racemes 5.7 cm. long, much exceeding termination of branches, tapering towards tip, with close-set flowers; pedir cels equalling or smaller than calyx; bracts one-third length of pedicel, subulate, ciliated, acute; calyx ovate, acute or subacute, ciliate, scarious, rather longer than corolla-tube: corolla—tube, 1.5 mm. long, white, hairy in throat, widening towards limb; limb, spreading: segments 2mm. to 3mm. long, oblong, concave above, white, rounded at apex, upper and two lateral equal, lower much smaller; ovary pubescent; style long, straight, much exserted, pubescent; stamens much exserted, spreading.

Capsules 5 mm. × 4 mm., broadly ovate, subacute, pubescent, flattened, rather more than twice as long as calyx.

Hab. Craigieburn Mountains, Canterbury, at altitude of 1,200 m. (1890); L. C.

Easily recognised by the round habit of growth, very glaucous small linear-ovate acute leaves, slender racemes of short white flowers with long exserted style, pubescent ovary, and very small bracts.

Celmisia flaccida, sp. nov.

Leaves narrow-lanceolate to lanceolate, from 21 cm. to 14cm. long × 27 mm. to 20 mm. broad, spreading, soft, coriaceous only when dry, with subserrate considerably recurved margins; lamina at base usually tapering into the petiole, occasionally slightly rounded; upper surface covered with thin, pellicle of white sometimes brownish silky tomentum, wrinkled into long parallel ridges, leaving broader furrows between, pale-green, yellowish-brown when dry; under-surface densely covered with a thick mat of white or yellowish-white silky tomentum; midribs stout, widening gradually towards petiole; nerves usually six pairs; petioles rather more than half as long as lamina, contracted and very

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fleshy at junction with lamina, gradually widening out into a broad, white transparent sheathing base, covered with loose cobwebby hairs, numerous on under-surface, and especially on margin of sheath, fewer on upper surface and constricted portion. Scapes half as long again as the leaves, somewhat flattened, with sharp edges and slightly twisted, quite flat in herbarium specimens, tomentose with hairs as on leaf-sheaths, bracteate; bracts numerous, amplexicaul, fleshy, leafy, subulate or linear, 5 cm. to 6 cm. in length, few towards base but very numerous and imbricating towards summit of scape where the uppermost surround the flower-head, green above, purple beneath, especially on prominent rounded or sharp midrib, with margins of sheath very cobwebby; involucral scales numerous, densely imbricating, about as long as the disc-florets, linear, cobwebby, brown, inner series greener. Head 4.5 cm. in diameter; disc-florets densely crowded, numerous, divisions of corolla thickened round margin; rays linear-spathulate, 17 mm. long × 2 mm. broad, marked with parallel ridges and furrows, faintly serrate, tip yellowish-green, often swollen or bifid; pappus 6 mm. to 7 mm. long. Achenes ripe, not seen, almost glabrous.

Hob. Wet ground, near margins of swamps, in company with C. petiolata, Arthur's Pass; altitude, 900 m.; L. C. (1898). Blooms in early January or late in December.

This species has very possibly hitherto been confused with C. monroi, Hook, f., an imperfectly understood species, and possibly a mixture of C. armstrongii, C. linearis, C. coriacea (with narrow leaves), C. longifolia, and the above. At once distinguished from C. coriacea by its narrower and comparatively flaccid leaves and its much smaller flower. It seems most nearly related to C. brownii, of the Southern Lakes district, but is altogether a smaller plant, and very distinct in appearance. From C. spectabilis its tomentum at once separates it.

Celmisia mollis, sp. nov.

Leaves lanceolate, tapering into petiole or rarely subcordate at base, from 11cm. to 23 cm. long × 2.5 cm. to 2 cm. broad, not coriaceous; lamina, upper surface shining, wrinkled into unequal longitudinal furrows, sparsely hairy with scattered weak white hairs; under-surface covered with flannelly pale-yellow tomentum, densely matted below but free and shaggy towards tips of hairs, very soft to the touch, especially when dry; margins entire, slightly recurved, covered with brown-coloured tomentum; nerves evident, about six pairs; midrib raised, for short distance broad, purple, more hairy than the green surface, into which it gradually merges; petiole

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fleshy, as long as the lamina, constricted at junction with blade, but gradually widening into a broad sheath, purple, covered but not densely, except towards margin of sheath, with cobwebby yellowish-white, almost white, hairs. Scape often twice as long as the leaves, purple, densely covered with long brown hairs; bracts not very numerous, usually 6 to 8, linear, purple, sheathing with lower half, hairy as scape; involucral scales numerous, covered with shaggy yellowish hairs above, except towards and on the membranous brown tip, glabrous beneath. Heads about 2.7 cm. in diameter; ray-florets 12 mm. × 2 mm., 4- to 6-nerved, nerves swollen at bifid or trifid apex; corolla-tube of disc-florets hairy, especially at base, marked with purple lines from junction of segments to base. Achenes not seen.

Hab. Hill's Peak, Canterbury, at altitude of 1,200 m.; L. C. (1898). Flowers in early January.

Seems closely allied to C. cordatifolia, Buchanan, but differs in tomentum—one of the most constant characters in Celmisia—-and the usually tapering leaf-bases. Distinguished from C. petiolata by its shaggy, not altogether adpressed tomentum, which is yellow not white, and its wrinkled upper leaf-surface. It is very probably a hybrid between C. petiolata and C. spectabilis. I have a very closely related form from Jack's Pass, Hanmer, which may be a local variety of the above or a hybrid between C. traversii and C. spectabilis. This hybrid theory seems the more likely, since I have a most magnificent Celmisia from the last-named locality which in appearance is midway between C. traversii and C. coriacea.