[Read before the Auckland Institute, 2nd September, 1901.]
“All rivers flow to the sea,” and every stream helps to swell the volume of some river. I am sending forth the little creeklet of my observations to help to swell the great river of botanical knowledge, which is constantly bearing useful information and pleasure to thousands of true lovers of nature.
These notes are the outcome of a suggestion that the observations on botanical subjects by a resident in a particular district may be of some use to botany generally, in that they afford opportunities of comparing the flora of one district with that of others in the same country. This suggestion was made to me at one time by Mr. Cheeseman, and again by Mr. Petrie. I am glad to avail myself of this opportunity to tender to these gentlemen my hearty thanks for the great encouragement, ready assistance, and valuable information I have received from them from time to time during the period—a few years only—in which I have devoted my spare time to the fascinating study of plant-life.
The region to which my notes refer is that part of the Manukau County which is bounded on the north by the Manukau Harbour, on the east by the railway-line, on the south by the Waikato River, and on the west by the Tasman Sea. The Settlement of Mauku is fairly central, and was my headquarters. When first I arrived in the district, two years ago, I was afraid that as a field for botanical research it would prove very poor. But longer acquaintance with it
has shown it to be not, indeed, a rich district botanically, but certainly much better than I had at first anticipated.
My neighbour, Mr. Heywood Crispe, who has lived here all his life, and who served against the Maoris in the waitime, tells me that in his younger days all the land round here, where now fertile soil and prolific crops repay the settlers' toil, was covered by dense primitive forest. Indeed, that such was the case is even now evident from the stumps and roots of old monarchs of the glade remaining here and there. Small isolated patches of bush, many of them of second growth, and these rapidly disappearing before axe and fire, are all that are now left of the great forest which a few decades since covered a vast tract of country.
The most fertile part of this region, which was in consequence of that fertility the first to be settled, was acquired by confiscation from the natives for their share in the war. It consists mainly of a more or less undulatory tableland, stretching from Pukekohe nearly to Waiuku. The average height of this tableland is, I believe, about 300 ft. above sealevel, and rising from it are two points of higher elevation—viz., Pukekohe Hill, near the village of Pukekohe, and the Bald Hills, near Mauku. These hills rise to a height of about 700 ft. above sea-level. Towards the north the area above referred to sinks more or less gradually to the level of the Karaka Flat; on the south it is bounded by the lands sloping down to the Waikato River and the Ake-ake Swamp, the latter being little above sea-level; on the west lies the Waiuku arm of the Manukau Harbour, beyond which the country is more or less broken and rises towards the sandhills which lie parallel to the coast from the Manukau to the Waikato Heads. It is in this stretch of country that most of what remains of bush is to be found.
The Karaka Flat is an undulating stretch of country extending from near Drury almost to Waiuku, and lying between the area above referred to and the Manukau Harbour. It is intersected by the Mauku arm of the Manukau Harbour, the Waiau arm, and other smaller openings. This part of the district is somewhat dreary in appearance, the vegetation as a rule being low and stunted, except in a few spots more sheltered than the general run of the surrounding land. In fact, were it not for the frequent clumps of introduced shelter-trees surrounding the houses of settlers here and there the scene would be very monotonous.
One thing that has struck me as remarkable in this district is the absence of certain plants which, in most parts of the country, both north and south of Auckland City, are more or less common. Nowhere along any of the creek-banks—not even along the Waikato—have I seen Plagianthus
betulinus or Hoheria populnea, though I understand they occur about Tuakau, a district I have not yet been able to include in my notes. Weinmanma sylvicola, so plentiful in many districts, is here conspicuous by its absence. In vain have I explored the Karaka Flat, a most likely country, for Dracophyllum urvilleanum and D. squarrosum. Nor have I yet seen a single plant of Rhabdothamnus solandri in the district; and the same thing is noticeable of many other plants. On the other hand, several plants occur in this region, more or less plentifully, of which I have seen few or none in other places I have visited. Mehcytus micranthus var. longiusculus occurs very sparingly. Hydrocotyle dissecta, which according to the late Mr. Kirk is “a remarkably rare and local lowland species,” is here very plentiful in almost every piece of bush. Recently I discovered an unusually large form of this species, of which Mr. Cheeseman says, “I have never seen Hydrocotyle dissecta so large as the specimen you send.” The graceful little plant Gratiola nana is not uncommon in the swampy parts of the Karaka Flat. Here also Utricularia novæ-zelanæ, U. colensoi, and Drosera spathulata occur freely. So far I have looked in vain for D. pygmæum. Prasophyllum colensoi is very rare in the district; in fact, I have only found one plant of this beautiful and interesting orchid. The recently named Schœnus carsei occurs sparingly in two localities Bulbophyllum tuberculatum, another very interesting orchid, originally discovered in the Hawke's Bay District by Mr. Colenso in 1883, is plentiful on the upper branches of trees in the swampy bush bordering the Waikato River. I understand that this plant was not seen after its discovery by Colenso until rather more than a year ago, when it was rediscovered almost simultaneously by my friend Mr. R. H. Matthews at Kaitaia, in the Mongonui County, and by myself in this district. Mr. Petrie's Hydrocotyle hydrophila is not uncommon, and Myosotis spathulata and Pterostylis graminea occur sparingly.
of ferns and allied plants, Hemitelia smithin (two plants only), Lindsaya viridis, Nephiodium thelypteris, and Marattia fraxinea, the edible para of the natives, are of considerable interest. But certainly the most interesting plant in this class is Lycopodium scariosum, which occurs on a clayey bank at only a few feet above sea-level. I understand this species rarely occurs below an elevation of 1,000 ft. in the north of New Zealand.
In what remains of forest the trees of most frequent occurrence are Beilschmiedia tawa, B. tarairi, Dysoxylum spectabile, Pittosporum tenuifolium, P. eugenioides, Hedycaria dentata, Vitex littoralis, &c. of those less plentiful, but still frequently observed, may be mentioned Knightia excelsa,
Metrosideros robusta, Coprosma arborea, Panax arboreum, Olearia cunninghami, Olea lanceolata, &c. Many of the forest trees are festooned by such vines and climbing-plants as Metrosideros florida (whose gorgeous scarlet flowers lend colour to the bush from February to May), M. scandens, M. hypericifolia, Parsonsia albiflora and P. rosea, the supplejack vine (Rhipogonum scandens), the bush-lawyer (Rubus), and Passiflora tetrandra, which grows with great luxuriance in this district.
The undergrowth consists mainly in many places of Coprosma areolata intermixed with other Coprosmas, Melicope simplex, Melicytus micranthus, Myrtus bullata, Geniostoma hgustrifolia, and Pennantia corymbosa.
of plants growing as epiphytes those most frequently met with are various species of Astelia, among which grow Pittosporum cornifolium and the beautiful Senecio kirkii, with its large daisy-like flowers. Griselima lucida, with its large shining leaves, is a conspicuous feature on many of the forest trees. The trunks and branches of the trees are more or less clothed with a luxuriant growth of smaller orchids, ferns, lycopods, and mosses.
In many places in the more shady parts of the bush the ground is fairly carpeted with Hydrocotyle dissecta, Galium umbrosum, Dichondra repens, Corysanthes macrantha, C. triloba, Oplismenus undulatifolius, and other plants. Pterostylis banksii is plentiful, P. trulhfolia not uncommon, while P. graminea is rare. The lower parts of the trunks of trees and rocks are frequently clothed with a luxuriant growth of Peperomia endlicheri. Acianthus sinclairii is fairly plentiful, and in damp spots Corysanthes oblonga and Chiloglottis cornuta are frequently met with.
Among Leptospermum scrub, near the edge of the bush, Clematis indivisa, the only species of this genus I have found in the district, is not uncommon. Here also are to be found Gaultheria antipoda, Luzula campestris, Caladenia minor, Lycopodium volubile, L. densum, and only one solitary specimen of the usually plentiful Adiantum hispidulum, while A. æthiopicum and A. affine are not uncommon.
In nearly every piece of bush Lomaria discolor is plentifully distributed, and the graceful Pteris macilenta is a conspicuous feature. Large masses of the beautifully slender Hypolepis distans are of frequent occurrence.
The Bald Hills are well worth a visit. They consist of a group of several rounded hills within a couple of miles of Mauku. The summits of these hills are almost bare of vegetation, save a slight growth of native and introduced grasses, with here and there clumps of Pteris. Approaching the Bald Hills from the Mauku-Waiuku Road we first pass Titi Hill,
famous as the scene of an encounter between the Forest Rangers and the Maoris during the war, when the old church of St. Bride was utilised as a stockade.
Ascending the first hill, we follow a track through a piece of bush in which the more interesting plants are Melicope ternata and its variety mantellii, Gahnia lacera, Uncinia banksii, Pterostylis trullifolia, Bulbophyllum turberculatum, Botrychium ternatum, and Piper excelsum. Passing on through Leptospermum scrub, we enter the remains of an old pa, and so to the summit of the highest hill. From this point a splendid view is obtainable all around. Not far from the Trig. station on the summit is a small patch of Luzula campestris. Towards the west there are several small gullies which furrow that side of the hill. In one of these are two plants of Entelea arborescens, the only ones I have yet seen in the district. Mr. Cheeseman, however, informs me that it is found in the sandhills between Waiuku and Manukau, a part of the district I have not yet had time to explore.
In several places on this and the other hills are outcrops of sandstone, usually of a more or less rounded appearance, as though (as probably was the case) they had at some distant date formed bluffs on the bank of some river, or, perhaps, sea-shore. In a dry spot at the base of one of these bluffs I found a stunted form of Carex inversa, a plant not at all common in the district. Here and there, in crevices of the rocks or among the scrub which clothes a greater part of the north and west sides of this hill, are to be noted plants of Doodia media and Aspidium richardii, neither of which are at all well represented in this neighbourhood. In many of the larger gullies separating the Bald Hills there are still considerable patches of bush. In the upper part of one of these, where the soil is light and dry, I found the finest specimens of Asplenium hookerianum I have yet seen. In the lower part of another, through which flows a small stream, in the deep shade of the forest, are some fine specimens of Marattia fraxinea, now becoming so rare in our Island. On many damp clay banks, on the edge of or near to the creek, are many hundreds of seedling plants. In this same bush Coprosma spathulata occurs freely, and here I discovered one plant with crimson drupes, a rather unusual occurrence. Higher up and near the edge of the bush Carex vacillans is not uncommon, and among scrub just outside the bush are a few plants of Dodonæa, viscosa.
Ascending this hill from the bush we come to a large pa on its summit, passing, in the more open parts, Rumex flexuosus, Scirpus nodosus, and here and there Olearia solandri. The two last are usually maritime plants. This hill overlooks the Lower Waikato and the Ake-ake Swamp.
The southern face is an abrupt descent, from which sandstone rock crops out in several places. In some places this rock is covered with a growth of Metrosideros diffusa, one of the handsomest plants of the genus On the drier parts of the hills Carex breviculmis is of frequent occurrence.
The Mauku Creek and its banks are not without botanical interest. This creek rises beyond Puni, and, flowing for the greater part of its way through a fairly level valley, has in that part a very slight fall. In the deeper parts of the creek Myriophyllum robustum is plentiful. This handsome plant roots in the muddy bottom; its stems, long or short according to the depth of the water, slope diagonally with the current. In early summer the new growths are produced. These emerge from the water like miniature pine-trees, and produce flowers and fruit in the axils of the leaves. In a small coppice on the bank of the creek, in land subject to inundation, occur a few plants of Myosotis spathulata, the only specimens I have seen in this region. Lower down in a shady wood Adiantum diaphanum is not uncommon. Here also, among Cordyline australis, are to be found Melicytus micranthus, Paratrophis microphyllus, and various species of Coprosma. All along the banks and in the swampy land bordering the creek occur Phormium tenax, Sparganium simplex, Cladium teretifolium, Carex pseudocyperus, and other water-loving plants; and in one swampy feeder of the creek the graceful grass Hierochloe redolens is found.
In Mauku the creek is dammed up to work Mr. Notts's flax-mill. In the mill-dam among other plants Cladium articulatum is plentiful. About a mile lower down, the stream falls abruptly over rocks of basaltic formation into a ravine 45 ft. below the surrounding country. The most interesting plants on the wet rocks below the fall are Nertera cunninghamii (the only place where I have seen this species about here), Mentha cunninghamii, Pratia angulata, Corysanthes macrantha, Gnaphalium collinum, and Adiantum affine. Among the loose rocks which cover the greater part of the ravine grow Brachyglottis repanda, Melicytus ramiflorus, Metrosideros diffusa, Schefflera digitata, Myrsine salicina, &c.; and on the rocks and in their crevices Peperomia endlicheri, Polypodium billardieri, P. cunninghamii, Hymenophyllum javanicum, Trichomanes humile, and Asplenium bulbiferum are more or less plentiful. In the upper and drier parts of the ravine are to be found Asplenium hookerianum, A. bulbiferum var. tripinnatum, and Astelia cunninghamii.
About a couple of miles lower down we reach the highest point affected by the tide, which comes up the Mauku arm of the Manukau. On the muddy flats occur Scirpus lacustris, S. maritimus, Juncus maritimus, Cladium junceum, Carex
littorosa, Leptocarpus simplex, Selliera radicans, Apium filiforme, and Plagianthus divaricatus. On the clay banks of the creek, and extending a considerable distance inland, Olearia furfuracea is very plentiful. On the clay bank also a few plants of Veronica macrocarpa are to be found.
Lower down the creek, where the channel at high water is about a quarter of a mile wide, is a favourite picnic spot known as “The Bluff.” Here cliffs formed of clay rise 40 ft. or 50 ft. above the level of the water. A few interesting plants are to be noted here—viz., Ranunculus acaulis, Samolus repens, Veronica macrocarpa Here, too, I found two lycopods which I have not seen elsewhere in this district. One of these is Lycopodium cernuum, the other L. scariosum. The latter, as before noted, has not previously been reported in north New Zealand at an elevation of less than 1,000 ft.
Still lower down a branch creek strikes off at right angles. Here on a high sloping bank are several interesting plants, the most interesting being a small kauri-tree about 20 ft. high, bearing, when I first visited the spot, well-developed cones. This is certainly a most unexpected spot to find a kauri-tree, for at present, unless I am much mistaken, there is not another tree of this species within ten miles. Long, long ago, no doubt, kauris were plentiful here, as a considerable amount of gum has been dug in the immediate neighbourhood. Is it possible that this small tree is a descendant of its prehistoric ancestors which grew on the surrounding Karaka Flat? If not, how did the seed get to this out-of-the-way spot? At the foot of this interesting tree is a clump of Phebalium nudum, and under that again a large patch of Gleichenia cunninghamii, the only specimens I have yet seen in this district. Here, also, Coprosma lucida is not uncommon.
Leaving the water-side, we now strike across the Karaka Flat. Frequent fires have destroyed much of the vegetation. Low Leptospermum scrub covers vast areas, except where a few enterprising settlers are rapidly clearing and ploughing. Here and there, on the edges of small gullies and upon hillocks, the monotony of the scene is broken by the presence of Olearia furfuracea, O. solandri, Leucopogon fasciculatus, Cassinia retorta, and Cyathodes acerosa. Among the low scrub such plants as Schænus tendo, Lepidosperma concava, L. australis, Leucopogon fraseri, Epacris pauciflora, and Pomaderris phylicifolia are of common occurrence. Haloragis tetragyna, the typical plant, is not uncommon in more or less open spots, and its variety diffusa is everywhere abundant. Large areas, too, are covered with the long trailing stems and graceful fronds of Lycopodium volubile. In many places,
especially in the more open parts, Thelymitra, longifolia is especially plentiful, and here and there Prasophyllum pumilum is to be found.
In the frequently occurring swampy patches the most interesting plants are Drosera spathulata, D. binata, Utricularia colensoi, U. novæ - zelandiæ, Gratiola peruviana, G. nana, Thelymitra pulchella, Cladium capillaceum, Schænus tenax, and S. carsei.
In some parts of the Karaka Flat Epacris purpurascens grows freely, and I am informed by Mr. A. T. Urquhart, of Karaka, that this species occurs on his land associated with E. microphylla and E. pulchella. How these Australian species have become naturalised in this district, and as far as I am aware nowhere else in New Zealand, is, I believe, an unsolved problem. It has been suggested that they may be indigenous, but, seeing how remarkably local they are, this seems hardly probable.
At the mouths of some of the tidal creeks opening into the Manukau Harbour the mangrove, Avicennia officinalis, occurs, and here and there are a few trees of Metrosideros tomentosa. On the bank of a small stream flowing into the Waiau Creek I found, among Leptospermum scrub, Caladenia minor, Cotula minor, Hydrocotyle moschata (a dwarf form), and fine specimens of Botrychium ternatum.
Another favourite picnic spot is Waitangi, near Waiuku. A small creek is here dammed up to drive the wheel of the Waitangi flour-mill; it then enters the Waiuku arm of the Manukau. Among the more interesting plants growing here may be mentioned Sophora tetraptera, which is by no means common in this district, Dodonæa viscosa, Cyathodes acerosa, Veronica macrocarpa, Corokia buddleoides, Phebalium nudum and Cladium sinclairii growing along the cliffs. On a sandy flat I also noted Ranunculus acaulis and Suæda maritima, and in one spot, among Leptospermum scrub, I found one plant of Epilobium alsinoides, a rare plant in this neigh bourhood. Near here also occur a few small ngaio-trees (Myoporum lætum), a species by no means plentiful in this region.
A favourite excursion of mine is to the west coast. The distance is about eleven miles, and the route lies through the village of Waiuku. A noticeable feature along many parts of the road between Mauku and Waiuku is the great number of young totara-trees. This tree seems to thrive better in the open than almost any other native tree. Not far from the Waitangi School one can hardly fail to notice, in the flowering season, two plants of Metrosideros florida with yellow stamens growing on the edge of a small piece of bush. This form of the species is the late Mr. Kirk's “variety
aurata.” In his “Students’ Flora” Mr. Kirk mentions three localities only in which this form has been observed, and states that only one specimen has been seen at each of the places he names, none of which are in the Auckland District. I am of opinion that this form, while not common, is by no means as rare as has been supposed, for I know of two plants at Maungatapere, near Whangarei, and four plants in this district. Near Mauku, too, a form with orange-red stamens is not uncommon.
By making a short detour from the road we can visit a piece of bush on Mr. West's land, in which a few trees of Libocedrus doniana and Phyllocladus trichomanoides are to be seen. Neither of these species are at all common. In another part of this bush are a few plants of Marattia fraxinea.
Skirting the village of Waiuku, we come on to the Kariotah Road, which leads to the coast, and after about two miles on an easy grade the road begins to ascend. Just before reaching the first of the sandhills there is a small pond on the roadside, dry in summer. In this I found the somewhat rare grass Amphibromus. This has been figured and described by the late Mr. Kirk as a new species, but I understand there are doubts as to whether it is not the Australian species, A. neesiana. Judging from his figures, the specimens Mr. Kirk obtained in the Waikato lakes were very poor compared with those I got in this little wayside pond.
From this spot a few minutes' ride brings us to the first of the sandhills. On the right is a clear and apparently deep lagoon covering an area of 5 or 6 acres. This lakelet has been formed by the ever-advancing sand damming up a small creek, whose waters now percolate through about a quarter of a mile of sand and come out in a deep ravine, through which the creek flows down to the beach.
We now enter the Kariotahi Gap. These “gaps,” of which there are several between the Manukau and Waikato Heads, are the only means of access to the beach. Through each of these flows a small creek, which probably assists in some measure in keeping these passes open. When well in the gap the scenery, to my mind, is suggestive of a desert. The sand is generally of a dark hue, owing to the presence of considerable quantities of ironsand. The monotony of the scene is broken by a view of the ocean at the lower end of the gap, and by a few arenaceous plants, such as Coprosma acerosa, Scirpus frondosus, and Arundo conspicua, the latter being always a most conspicuous plant on sand-dunes and in inland swamps. In a swampy place at the edge of the gap I found Mentha cunninghamii, Epilobium billardierianum, Haloragis depressa, and Juncus cæspititius. The lower part of the
gap narrows to a mere track, which reaches the beach at the mouth of the creek above mentioned. Here a grassy flat affords a good place to allow our horses to have a rest and feed before proceeding along the beach, and good water and an abundant supply of watercress suggest the advisability of boiling the “billy” for lunch.
I regret that I have not been able to devote as much time as I could wish to this interesting part of the district; but, still, I have explored to some extent. On the drier parts of the cliffs, and not unfrequently on blown sand, Mesembryanthemum australe is plentiful. Where water drips I noted Sonchus asper var. littoralis in great abundance, and here and there Cotula dioica occurs. Such plants as Apium australe, Samolus repens, Selliera radicans, Lobelia anceps; and Triglochin triandrum are abundant. In wet sand, usually at the tops of the cliffs, are large matted patches of Gunera arenaria. In drier sandy spots Coprosma acerosa, Linum monogynum, Tillæ sieberiana, Muhlenbeckia complexa, Cassinia retorta, Zoysia pungens, and Senecio lautus are common, as also are Pimelea arenaria and P. lævigata. In rather damp places between the cliffs and the beach stunnted forms of Corynocarpus lævigata are of frequent occurrence, intermixed with Pseudopanax lessonii, Coprosma baueriana, and often as an undergrowth large patches of Pteris comans. In some places Tetragonia trigyna climbs 6 ft. or 7 ft. up the shrubs, and T. expansa is often met with. Parietaria debilis also occurs in shady places. In sandy spots Carex pumila, C. testacea, and Spinifex hirsutus are of frequent occurrence. In a few damp spots I noted Poa australis var. lævis, and on the low cliffs the beautiful renga lily (Arthropodium cirrhatum) is of frquent occurrence.
I have ridden along the splendidly smooth beach as far as the Manukau Heads, but as it was in the teeth of a howling nor'-wester, accompanied by heavy rain, I was unable to do much botanically. I noted a large group of pohutukawas with straight trunks, very unlike the usual gnarled and twisted forms so familiar all along the coast. I understand from Mr. Petrie that Myriophyllum pedunculatum and Discaria toumatou occur among sandhills near Waikato Head, but I have not yet been able to look up that part of the coast.
Another very interesting botanical excursion is to the Lower Waikato. This is about seven miles from Mauku. A considerable part of the way lies along what is known as “The Tram.” Before the railwaywas formed it was proposed to connect the Waikato district with Auckland by means of a tramway joining the Manukau to the Waikato River. Goods were to be sent from Onehunga up the Mauku branch
or arm of the Manukau, thence by tram to the river somewhere near Cameron Town. The road was formed for over three miles, and is still 2 chains wide, one side being intended for the tramway and the other for ordinary traffic. The formation of the railway, however, knocked this scheme on the head. Much of the tram between Mauku and Puni passes through low-lying swampy land from which a good deal of gum has been dug. On either side of the road is high Leptospermum scrub, among which grow Panax arboreum, Quintinia serrata, Garpoditus serratus, &c. In a swamp on the edge of the road I found one specimen of the beautiful orchid Prasophyllum colensoi, the only one I have seen so far in the whole district.
Turning down by the Puni School and up a long hill we reach Mr. Shipherd's house, from which a magnificent view of the Lower Waikato is to be obtained. The river is seen, studded with numerous small islands, winding about through the low-lying land which stretches for miles in places on either side. Much of this level land is covered with dense kahikatea forest. In the bush near Mr. Shipherd's is one plant of Pteris comans. This is the only plant of this species I have ever seen so far from the sea.
A ride of about two miles brings us to the bank of the river at the site of an old flax-mill. In this part of the river in some places there is a high bank close on the water's edge, while in others is a stretch of swampy land from a few yards to a mile or more in breadth, frequently covered with kahikatea bush, or, where it is open, with Typha angustifolia and other swamp plants. These swamps are, as a rule, negotiable in the summer, but are very awkward places to get into, and much more so to get out of again, owing to the great height of the raupo and sedges. In and on the margin of the water (for the river is affected by the tides) the more interesting plants are Potamogeton ochreatum, P. cheesemanii, Myriophyllum variafolium, M. elatinoides, Limosella aquatica, and a curious dwarfed form of Pratia angulata. Mr. Petrie's Hydrocotyle hydrophila is also fairly plentiful. In muddy spots Elatine americana and Callitriche muelleri are of frequent occurrence. In drier spots the typical form of Pratia angulata, Hydrocotyle nova-zelandiæ, and Ophioglossum vulgatum occur. Floating on wet swamps are Lemna minor and Azolla rubra. In most of the swamps such plants as Scirpus maritimus, Carex ternaria, and C. subdola are plentiful. In land more or less submerged Mazus pumilio and Viola lyallii occur; and here also I found a few plants of Nephrodium thelypteris. In a warm sheltered spot I noted a few plants of Asplenium umbrosum, a fern somewhat rare in this district.
Perhaps the most interesting plant in the Lower Waikato, or, in fact, in any part of the district, is the dainty little orchid Bulbophyllum tuberculatum. In December, 1900, I discovered large quantities of it in the upper branches of trees that had been felled. It was then in fruit, having flowered evidently in November. While I write—May, 1901—I have this species flowering on an apple - tree. Probably it flowers right through the warm season, and even into the winter. Unfortunately, the plants I discovered in 1900 have all been destroyed in the burning of the felled trees, but I think it is probable that the species is plentiful in the upper branches of trees all along the river-side.
In the swampy bush, which consists chiefly of Podocarpus dacrydioides, Coprosma rotundifolia is not uncommon, and other Coprosmas are plentiful. Here I found a kauri-tree, its roots being in water nearly all the year round. A few other trees of this species grow on a dry bank not far away. Along the river-bank is the only place in the district where I have seen Calystegia tuguriorum, and here also I found Bidens pilosa quite 6 ft high, and Potentilla anserima. Ranunculus macropus is common, but owing to its being so frequently submerged does not flower. Carex dipsacea is plentiful along the river-side, and here too I found one solitary plant of C. inversa.
While speaking of the genus Carex, I would like to refer to a somewhat peculiar form of C. lucida which is not uncommon in the Lower Waikato region and in Mauku. This form has compound ♂ spikelets, a rather unusual state, but not so uncommon as was at one time thought. This species frequently has the culms much elongated in fruit. I carefully measured the culms of a specimen recently, and found it had attained the unusual length of 7 ft. 4½ in.
And now I must draw my notes to an end. I have, on paper, revisited many of the scenes of interesting botanical discoveries, and trust that these notes may be of some use botanically.
In the subjoined list will be found the names of 405 flowering-plants and ferns observed in this district. The 405 species represent seventy-eight natural orders. The largest orders are Filices, with seventy-one species; Cyperaceæ, forty-four species; Orchideæ, twenty-two; Compositæ, twenty-one; Rubiaceæ, eighteen; and Gramineæ, seventeen. The largest genera are Coprosma and Carex, with fourteen species each; Hymenophyllum, with ten species; Epilobium and Polypodium, with eight species each; and Scirpus, Clodium, and Lomaria, with seven species each.