Art. XXXII.—Note on the Cook Strait Habitat of Veronica macroura, Hook. f.
[Read before the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, 14th November, 1906.]
According to T. Kirk (Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. xxviii, p. 531) and T. F. Cheeseman (“Manual of the New Zealand Flora,” p. 501), Veronica macroura has not been observed on the shores of Cook Strait of late years, notwithstanding that this was one of the habitats where Colenso discovered a Veronica which, with the one common in the East Cape district, was made into the “systematic species” bearing the above name. This note is mercly to point out the fact that a few plants of this species, however, do still occur on the shores of Cook Strait, growing on the face of solid rock facing the ocean between Island Bay and Happy Valley. I am quite well acquainted with Veronica macroura as it grows on the shores of the East Cape district, and the Cook Strait plant is, in my opinion, a form of the same species. Mr. H. J. Matthews, who with me visited the Island Bay habitat in January, 1906, agrees with my determination, but at the same time considers that the form in question should be distinguished by, at any rate, a varietal name. With this opinion I am quite in accord. I have deposited specimens in the herbarium of the Canterbury Museum, and placed a living plant in the botanical experimental garden of Canterbury College, where it is still keeping its semi-prostrate habit, thus showing clearly that this latter feature is not merely a non-hereditary adaptation to the wind-swept, dry, rocky station.