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Volume 31, 1898
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Art. XXXVII.—Notes on the New Zealand Musci.

[Read before the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, 3rd August, 1898.]

Plate XXXVIII. (in part).
Genus Weissta, Hedwig.

This genus is composed of species which have ovoid or ovoid-oblong capsules, oblique operculums, single peristomes, 16 teeth free to the base, without a medial line, entire or perforate, annulate or exannulate and cucullate calyptra.

The species are of various habits: some of them grow in small tufts on rocks or in crevices; others grow in dense patches on damp banks; one species was found by Mr. Donald Petrie growing in swampy ground near Mount Pembroke, and he has kindly consented to allow it to be recorded in this paper; it is named Weissia petriei. Nearly all the species have alpine or subalpine habits, although some of them are occasionally found near the sea-level.

In the “Handbook of the New Zealand Flora” five species of this genus have been described as belonging to New Zealand, two of which have been identified as being similar to European species—viz., W. controversa and W. crispula. I have seen no New Zealand example of the former species, although I have searched for it wherever I have been botanising; neither does it occur in the large herbariums of Mr. Bell and Mr. Wright, who have allowed me to examine their valuable collections. The plants originally identified as W. controversa were collected by Sir J. D. Hooker at the Bay of

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Islands, and subsequently by Mr. Knight, near Auckland. There are no available records of its having been found in any other place in New Zealand. It is very doubtful if it has a habitat in the South or Stewart Islands, although the climatic conditions are most favourable.

The plant which I have identified with considerable doubt as W. flavipes, Hook. f. and W., in this paper, is the only one among the large collection of specimens which have been examined by me that comes near the W. flavipes described and figured in the “Flora Novæ Zelandiæ,” vol. ii., t. 33, f. 2. In that work the teeth of the peristome are described and figured as being perforated at the base, whilst the plant adopted by me in this paper as W. flavipes has the teeth of the peristome entire. The leaves also differ slightly in their outline from the figures of the former plant. This plant may therefore be a different species.

I have been unable to collect specimens of W. irrorata, Mitt., or W. contecta, H. f. and W.; neither do they occur in the before-mentioned herbariums—indeed, no one appears to know anything about them.

The species described in this paper, as W. chrysea is an exceedingly common and variable plant, the colour ranging, from yellowish-green to a deep green, according to the locality where it grows. The former colour occurs when the habitat is on rocks, where the plants are subject to be often dried up; the other colour occurs when the habitat is on damp banks. It also, varies not only in the size of the plants, but in the size of the capsules. This species has previously been partly described by Mr. T. W. N. Beckett as a Blindia, in the “Transactions of the New Zealand Institute,” vol. xxv., page 270. It is evidently named thus in mistake, its capsule being oval, whilst in the genus Blindia the capsule is turbinate or subpyriform. As this plant was incomplete when originally described, I have completed the description, and have placed it in the proper genus.

Where the description of the generic characters is incomplete I have temporarily placed those plants in this genus as doubtful members of it, in order that they may be recorded.

In the plate the peristomes are more highly magnified than the other parts.

1. W. acutifolia, sp. nov. Plate XXXVIII., fig. 1.

Plants monœcious, perennial, brown below, green above, growing in dense tufts ⅜ in. high, branched, fastigiate. Leaves small, imbricating round the stem, flexuous or recurving from an erect base, oblong-lanceolate, acuminate, or linear-concave. Margins entire. Nerve continued to the apex. Upper areola small, dense; lower oblong; slightly crisp when dry. Peri-

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chætialleaves oblong-lanceolate, acute or acuminate; acrocarpous. Fruitstalk slender, ¼ in.⅝ in. long. Capsule ovate. The plants being past maturity, neither the peristome, operculum, nor calyptra were found.

Hab. Crevices of limestone rocks, near Broken River. Collected by R. B.

2. W. torlessensis, sp. nov. Plate XXXVIII., fig. 2.

[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]

Plants monœcious, perennial, yellowish-green, about ⅓ in. high, growing in loose tufts. Stem slender, branched, fastigiate. Leaves small, spreading or erecto-patent from an erect base, imbricating round the stem, lanceolate, tapering into an acute point, concave. Margins entire. Nerve continued to the apex. Upper areola small; lower quadrate; scarcely altered when dry. Perichætial leaves smaller than the upper ones, lanceolate, acute, otherwise similar to the others; acrocarpous. Fruitstalk slender, reddish, 3/16 in. long. Capsule narrow, ovate, oblong. Operculum conico-rostrate. Peristome single. Teeth 16, free to the base, consisting of a single row of cells. Calyptra not found.

Hab. Damp banks, Mount Torlesse. Collected by R. B.

3. W. waymouthii, sp. nov. Plate XXXVIII., fig. 3.

Plants monœcious, perennial, yellowish-green, growing in small dense patches ¼ in. high, branched, fastigiate. Leaves imbricating, spreading or recurving from an erect base, linear-or oblong-lanceolate, obtuse, concave. Margins entire. Nerve ending below the apex. Areola: Upper, small, dense; lower, quadrate, small; crisp when dry. Perichætial leaves: Inner smaller than the outer one, linear - lanceolate, obtuse, in other respects similar to the other leaves; acrocarpous. Fruitstalk dark-red, ⅜ in. long. Capsule ovate-oblong. Operculum conico-rostrate, about two-thirds the length of the capsule. Peristome fragile, single. Teeth 16, free to the base. Calyptra cucullate.

Var. β. Larger in all the parts.

Hab. On dripping rocks, Palmer's Pass. Var. β: At Kaikoura; January, 1898. Collected in both places by R. B. Named after Mr. Waymouth, of Hobart, a celebrated Tasmanian botanist.

4. W. flavipes (?), Hook. f. and W. Plate XXXVIII., fig. 4.

Plants monœcious, perennial, green, growing in dense tufts ¼ in. high, branched near the base, fastigiate. Leaves erecto-patent, imbricating, linear-lanceolate, acute, or minutely apiculate, very concave. Margins entire. Nerve pellucid, slightly excurrent. Areola: Upper, small, dense; lower, small, oblong; crisp when dry. Perichætial leaves erect, innermost smallest,

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[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]

linear-lanceolate, acute in outline, otherwise similar to the stem leaves; acrocarpous. Fruitstalk pale, 3/16 in. long. Operculum oblique, conico-rostrate, about half the length of the capsule. Peristome single, fragile. Teeth 16, free to the base. Calyptra cucullate.

Hab. Damp banks, Port Lyttelton hills; November, 1882: at Kaikoura; January, 1898: and at Otaihape, North Island. Collected by R. B.

5. W. crispula (?), Ludwig. Plate XXXVIII., fig. 5.

Plants monœcious, perennial, growing in yellowish-green tufts about ¼ in. high, branched near the base. Branches short, fastigiate. Leaves erecto-patent, incurving, imbricating round the stem, linear-subulate, minutely apiculate, upper half convolute. Margins entire, nerved to the apex. Upper areola small, dense; lower small, oblong; crisp when dry. Perichætial leaves: Innermost smallest, linear-subulate, minutely apiculate, upper half convolute; acrocarpous. Fruitstalk ⅝ in. long. Capsule ovate-oblong. Annulus persistent. Peristome single. Teeth 16, free to the base. Operculum conico-subulate, three-quarters the length of the capsule. Calyptra cucullate.

Var. β. Leaves longer and more slender.

Hab. Damp rocks, Water of Leith, Dunedin; January, 1883 : R. B. North-east Valley, Dunedin; 1886 : W. Bell.

Var. β. Water of Leith: R. B.

Note.—The nerve in the perichætial leaves is not excurrent in this plant, as described in the Handbook of the New Zealand Flora”; hence this may be possibly a different plant.

6. W. webbii, sp. nov. Plate XXXVIII., fig. 6.

Plants monœcious, perennial, growing in dense tufts, yellowish-green, about ½ in. high, branched, fastigiate. Leaves closely imbricating, secund, ovate-lanceolate near the base, upper two-thirds tapering into a convolute, subulate point, subfalcate. Margins entire. Nerve running into the subulate point. Upper areola small, dense; lower linear; crisp when dry. Perichætial leaves erect, shorter than the upper ones, oblong-lanceolate, acuminate, sheathing; acrocarpous. Fruitstalk pale, ¼ in. long. Capsule ovate.

Hab. Damp rocks, Moa Creek; June, 1885. Collected by R. B.

7. W. petriei, sp. nov. Plate XXXVIII., fig. 7.

Plants diœcious, perennial, growing in dense dark-green tufts ¾ in. high, branched, fastigiate. Leaves erecto-patent, becoming nearly erect towards the apex, imbricating round the stem; lower half of the upper leaves ovate-lanceolate,

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upper half subulate; middle ones subulate. Margins entire, concave. Nerve continuous. Upper areola dense; lower small, oblong; flexuous when dry. Perichætial leaves erect, lower half sheathing, upper half subulate; acrocarpous. Fruitstalk red, ⅝ in. long. Capsule slightly obovate. Operculum oblique, conico-subulate, longer than the capsule. Peristome single. Teeth 16, lanceolate, free to the base, entire, perforated or occasionally slightly bifid. Calyptra cucullate, scarcely covering the operculum.

Hab. Marshy ground near Mount Pembroke; November 1893. Collected by Donald Petrie, and named after him.

8. W. brotherusii, sp. nov.; Plate XXXVIII., fig.8.

Plants monœcious, perennial, growing in yellowish-green tufts 1 in. high, branched subdichotomously, fastigiate. Leaves imbricating round the stem, erecto-patent or nearly erect, lower half shortly oblong-lanceolate, adpressed, upper subulate. Margins entire. Nerve stout, continued to the apex. Upper areola small; lower linear-oblong; erect when dry. Periohætial leaves erect, inner one largest, base convolute, sheathing 2–2 ½ times longer than the subulate apex; acrocarpous. Fruitstalk yellow, slender, ¼ in. long. Capsule inclined, obliquely attached to the apex of the fruitstalk, ovate Operculum stout, subulate, nearly half the length of the capsule. Peristome single. Teeth 16, free to the base, slender, entire. Annulus persistent. Calyptra cucullate.

Hab. Rocks, West Coast. Named after Dr. V. F. Brotherus, of Helsingfors.

9. W. chrysea, T. W. N. Beckett; K. Müller. Plate XXXVIII., fig. 9.

Plants monœcious, perennial, growing in dense tufts, yellowish-green, ½ in.–1 ½ in. high. Stems branched, fastigiate. Leaves imbricating, secund; lower half convolute, sheathing; upper half contracted into a slender and curved point. Margins entire. Nerve occupying all the upper half of the leaves. Upper areola small, dense; lower linear-oblong; upper half of leaves when dry spirally twisted. Perichætial leaves erect, larger than the upper ones, convolute, sheathing the fruitstalk, contracted to a slender point; acrocarpous. Fruitstalk pale, ⅝ in. long. Capsule ovate-oblong. Operculum conic, acute, stout, one-third the length of the capsule. Peristome single, slender. Teeth 16, free to the base, membranous at the apex. Calyptra cucullate.

Hab. Damp rocks; very common on Mount Torlesse: R. B. Otarama: W. Bell and R. B. Kaikoura: R. B. Oamaru : R. B.

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Explanation Of Plate XXXVIII. (In Part).

Fig. 1. Weissia acutifolia, sp. nov.

1.

Capsule.

2.

Perichætial leaves.

3.

First leaf outside perichætial.

4.

Upper leaves.

5.

Middle-stem leaf.

Fig. 2. Weissia torlessensis, sp. nov.

1.

Capsule.

2.

Perichætial leaves.

3.

First leaf outside perichætial.

4.

Upper, leaf.

5.

Middle-stem leaves.

Fig. 3. Weissia waymouthii, sp. nov.

1.

Capsule.

2.

Peristome.

3.

Perichætial leaves.

4.

First leaf outside perichætial.

5.

Upper leaf.

6.

Middle-stem leaf.

7.

Lower leaf.

Fig. 4. Weissia flavipes, Hook, f. and W.

1.

Capsule.

2.

Peristome.

3.

Perichætial leaves.

4.

First leaf outside perichætial.

5.

Upper leaf.

6.

Middle-stem leaves.

Fig. 5. Weissia crispula, Ludwig.

1.

Capsule.

2.

Peristome.

3.

Perichætial leaves.

4.

First leaf outside perichætial.

5.

Upper leaf.

6.

Middle-stem leaf.

7.

Lower leaf.

Fig. 6. Weissia webbii, sp. nov.

1.

Capsule.

2.

Perichætial leaves.

3.

First leaf outside perichætial.

4.

Upper leaf.

5.

Middle leaf.

Fig. 7. Weissia petriei, sp. nov.

1.

Capsule

2.

Peristome.

3.

Perichætial leaf.

4.

First leaf outside perichætial.

5.

Upper leaf.

6.

Middle-stem leaf.

Fig. 8. Weissia brotherusii, sp. nov.

1.

Capsule.

2.

Peristome.

3.

Perichætial leaves.

4.

First leaf outside perichætial.

5.

Upper leaf.

6.

Middle-stem leaf.

Fig. 9. Weissia chrysea.

1.

Capsule.

2.

Peristome.

3.

Perichætial leaf.

4.

First leaf outside perichætial.

5.

Upper leaf.

6.

Middle-stem leaf.