Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
Volume 47, 1914
This text is also available in PDF
(3 MB) Opens in new window

Art. I.—A Revised List of the Norfolk Island Flora, with some Notes on the Species.

[Read before the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury, 4th November, 1914.]


In January and February, 1912, I paid a visit of five weeks to Norfolk Island. During that time I collected and examined the indigenous plants, visiting all parts of the island in search of them. Several hours were also spent on the outlying Phillip Island, three or four miles to the south. I was unable to make a complete examination of this interesting rock, but I had time to reach its highest point. Since my return from the island I have had the opportunity of looking through the collection of the Norfolk Island plants in the herbarium of the Botanic Gardens, Sydney. I have also received many additional specimens from my father, Mr. W. Laing, resident on the island, and I have seen a collection of specimens made on the island by Mr. H. C. Quintall for Mr. W. R. B. Oliver. From this material I propose to draw up a revised list of the species, to add some notes on the lesser-known forms, and to make some remarks on the present condition of the vegetation and on the difficulties in ascertaining the original contents of the flora.

Before doing so, however, I should like to thank the following gentlemen for much assistance kindly rendered: Mr. Gerald Allen, of Norfolk Island, who gave me much aid in reaching various parts of the island; Mr. J. H. Maiden, Government Botanist of New South Wales, for the identification of some species and much other assistance; Mr. D. Petrie, of Auckland, for much help in the identification of the grasses; Mr. Cheeseman and Dr. Cockayne, F.R.S.; and, lastly, Mr. W. R. B. Oliver, whose investigation of the Kermadec and Lord Howe Island plants has served to make the florulas of these subtropical islands much better known.

I do not propose in this paper to discuss the relationships of the flora. Much work has been done, and is being done, in this direction by many writers. Norfolk Island has undoubtedly to be considered firstly in connection with the Kermadecs and Lord Howe Island, and then in relation to New Zealand and Australia. I have, therefore, shown as far as I could the external distribution of all species occurring on Norfolk Island. This will provide other investigators with the necessary data for determining the origin of the florula.

– 2 –

Present Condition of the Vegetation.

At present Norfolk Island is a mass of weeds from summit to base. Even the bush, or “stick” as it is called by the Norfolkers, is full of introduced plants; and in the open country they are far more common than the native species. There is probably not an acre of open land on the island—perhaps not a quarter of an acre—which does not contain the introduced Solanum auriculatum in quantity. Solanum sodomaeum and Cassia levigata are almost as common. There is at present not sufficient labour on the island to cope with these pests; however, one at least of them (S. sodomaeum) has, I think, reached its natural limits of increase, and is not now so plentiful as it was when I paid a short visit to the island in January, 1901. Other serious pests are Lantana camara, Datura stramonium, and Salvia pseudococcinea. Ricinus communis and Phytolacca octandra are also fairly abundant. Lemon-trees and occasional other species of Citrus are found nearly all through the bush, and there are large groves of guavas everywhere. Stock are allowed to run wherever there are no fences, and this helps to destroy the under-growth. However, at Hundred Acres there is a reserve of some 50 acres which has been enclosed for several years. In another four or five years it will be impenetrable to man without a bill-hook. It shows how quickly the bush would reclothe the island if stock were removed. Here the weeds are fewer than in other parts of the island, and, apart from occasional plants of Citrus, Cassia, and Solanum, the bush is chiefly of indigenous growth. This, however, cannot be taken as representing the primeval forest, for doubtless this area had been run through by stock for fifty years before its enclosure, and also had been searched for timber. Most, though not all, of its present covering is second growth. Indeed, in the convict days about four-fifths of the island was under cultivation. This, where not covered with weeds or used as orchard, is now pasture land, grassed with Cynodon dactylon, a grass that has probably been introduced. Paspalum dilatatum and Stenotaphrum americanum are also sometimes sown.

These grasses provide pasture for a number of cattle, horses, and a few sheep. In dry seasons the island is altogether overstocked, and the stock are allowed to roam freely over it in search of fodder. It is true that in addition to the reserve at Hundred Acres already mentioned there are several other bush-enclosures, but these are at times open to stock, and wherever the cattle go the smaller indigenous plants disappear, young bush trees are destroyed, and weeds become abundant. Indeed, few of the bush plants seem to be able to survive under these conditions except Lagunaria Patersoni, Araucaria excelsa, and one or two other trees and creepers. It is now, therefore, difficult for the botanist to distinguish between indigenous and introduced plants. The nature of these difficulties will be discussed more fully presently.

Our Knowledge of the Flora.

Fortunately for us, however, the plants of the island were fully collected in 1804–5 by Ferdinand Bauer, the flower-painter. His collections were described by a well-known botanist, Stephen Endlicher, of Vienna, in 1833. The descriptions in most cases are so good and detailed that for systematic purposes little needs to be added to them at the present day. Just a century later than Bauer's visit, in 1904, there was published the comprehensive and judicial paper on the flora of Norfolk Island, by Mr. J. H. Maiden, Director of the Botanic Gardens, Sydney. To Endlicher and Maiden's Floras, therefore, I am particularly indebted in this paper, and without them this could

– 3 –

not have been written. Maiden paid a short visit to the island in 1902, and in the century that had elapsed between his visit and Bauer's various collectors had been there; but of these only one need be mentioned here—Allan Cunningham, a former Director of the Sydney Gardens. The additions made by Cunningham to Endlicher's list were published after his death by R. Heward in Hooker's London Journal of Botany, i, p. 107. This, unfortunately, I have not been able to see. In addition, large numbers of plants have been sent to Sydney and Melbourne by residents on the island. Unfortunately, such collections have contained many introductions. The collector, though with every good intention, has been unable to distinguish between naturalized and indigenous species. These species have been accepted by Australian botanists, in some cases too readily. Maiden has been more critical, and has cut out some of them from his list; but it seems to me that there are still more, particularly among the ferns and grasses, which have to be rejected. In addition to introduced species, a few plants that have been listed have not been found on the island at all, but have been inserted through some error as to their habitat. These are plants belonging chiefly to Australia, Lord Howe Island, and in one or two cases to the New Hebrides.

Though the botanist who does his own collecting on the island has much better opportunities of distinguishing between naturalized and introduced species, yet owing to the conditions, it is frequently impossible even for him to form a definite opinion in a given case. The chief reasons for this are—(1) the omnipresence of weeds already mentioned, and (2) the fact that many of the introduced species are just those that might be expected to occur indigenously. This is especially true of Australian plants. Constant communication with Australia for more than a century has undoubtedly led to the introduction not only of a large number of Australian plants, but also of an unusual abundance of subtropical weeds. The mere finding of a plant on the island can, therefore, no longer be regarded as a proof that it is an indigene, and other tests have to be applied; yet even with these it is often impossible to arrive at any certainty as to whether a plant is native or foreign.

Indeed, the following consideration seems to show clearly that among recent additions to the flora of the island there have been included some importations. Maiden gives a list of forty-six phanerogams new to the island, but not one of these is endemic. Now, in Endlicher's list of about a hundred phanerogams about one-third are endemic. It is very improbable that Bauer should have discovered all the endemic species and yet have neglected forty-six indigenous but non-endemic species. This improbability is immensely increased when it is remembered that many of the newly added species are well-known plants elsewhere and are abundant on the island, whereas some of the endemic species recorded by Bauer are now very rare, and probably always have been rare on the island. One would certainly have expected to find in the forty-six species added by Maiden the same percentage of endemic species as in Endlicher's list. The total absence of local forms in the list is, to my mind, very strong evidence that at least a fair proportion of the added species are naturalized and not truly indigenous.

Presumptive evidence to the same effect may also be derived from this further consideration, though I do not wish to place too much weight upon it. It is generally recognized—e.g., by Hemsley, Cockayne, and others—that under similar conditions the number of species upon an island will

– 4 –

be roughly proportionate to its area. Now, the Kermadec Islands have a similar area and height to Norfolk Island, and do not differ very much from it in latitude, and consequently they may be expected to contain a similar number of species; yet for Norfolk Island Maiden gives a list of 163 phanerogams and fifty-three ferns (including Lycopods), a total of 216, whereas for the Kermadecs W. R. B. Oliver gives a total of only 115 species, of which thirty-nine are ferns. It would seem, therefore, that either the Norfolk Island list is in excess or the Kermadec list in defect, or that some special cause has been at work to increase the number of species in one case and diminish it in the other. I have little doubt myself that the first of these reasons is the true one. On Lord Howe Island there are also over two hundred species recorded; but the surface of that island is much more varied than that of Norfolk Island, and it has mountains of upwards of 3,000 ft. upon it. One would, therefore, expect to find fewer species upon Norfolk Island than upon it.

Tests for Distinguishing Indigenous Species.

One may feel comparatively sure that the list of Norfolk Island species has been stuffed with aliens; but when it comes to examining the title of any particular species to appear, difficulties are in most cases encountered. Two questions have to be asked and answered before a decision can be made: (1) Has the plant been found growing on the island? (2) if growing on the island, is it indigenous or introduced?

There are undoubtedly a few plants on the list which have not been found growing on the island. They have been introduced owing to the mixing of specimens in herbaria from different habitats, or to some other form of carelessness, or accident. In dealing with this question I have adopted the following rule: Plants recorded only by botanists who have not visited the island, and without a collector's name, are to be regarded with suspicion. Many of the species introduced into the list by the late Professor R. Tate come under this category. In deciding whether a plant has been found on the island I have also received considerable assistance from the examination of the fine collection in the herbarium at Sydney Gardens. This collection is by no means complete, some undoubted inhabitants not being present in it; but the absence of a suspected species from this collection adds a further suspicion to the record. I know, of course, from experience how dangerous it is to conclude from negative evidence that a plant has not been found in a given place, and evidence of this character alone should rarely be relied upon. Some of the species found by Bauer do not seem to have been found recently, but they are not, therefore, in any way suspect, as his herbarium is still in existence, and his records are most reliable. Mr. Maiden has endeavoured in his list to cut out doubtful records, but unfortunately does not always indicate those plants which he himself found growing on the island. However, the number of species involved in the doubtful records are few as compared with those which undoubtedly do occur on the island but are doubtfully indigenous.

I now give briefly those rules which I have followed in determining if a species occurring on the island is to be regarded as a native to it.

(1.) All plants recorded by Endlicher, with two or three exceptions, are to be regarded as indigenous. Bauer spent eight months on the island shortly after its settlement, and before the vegetation had been ruined. He was a careful observer, and adds notes in one or two cases where he considers a species doubtfully indigenous.

– 5 –

(2.) Plants now common throughout the island but not recorded by Endlicher are probably introduced. It is quite clear that Bauer made a thorough collection of the plants of the island. No endemic species, except perhaps Clematis cocculifolia, has been discovered since his time. The significance of this fact has not been sufficiently recognized by subsequent collectors. Bauer certainly overlooked a few species, the most conspicuous of which are Melicytus ramiflorus and Dodonaea viscosa; the former of these, however, is not abundant, and the latter grows in an area inaccessible in his time. It may be that in some cases indigenous species once rare on the island have, as a result of changed conditions, become abundant; but I have no specific evidence of this in any one case, and feel convinced that the absence of any plant now common from Endlicher's list is strong prima facie evidence of its introduction subsequent to Bauer's visit.

(3.) New Zealand and Australian plants only found subsequently to Bauer's visit are, even if not common on the island, to be considered doubtful, unless the conditions of their discovery clearly show them to be native. Early whalers frequently brought plants to the island from neighbouring lands. This, of course, is especially true of vegetables; thus, a kumara—“Sunday Island kumara”—largely cultivated on the island is said to have been brought from the Kermadecs; a certain variety of taro probably came from the New Hebrides. Since the earliest convict days continual exchanges of plants and seeds have been made between the island and Sydney.

(4.) Plants found only on the ruderal areas, on ground that has been cultivated or in the neighbourhood of settlement, must also be considered as probable recent importations.

(5.) When a species known as an introduction in New Zealand and Australia is found on Norfolk Island, it is probably also an introduction in the last-mentioned habitat.

(6.) It is clear from early accounts of the vegetation (M., pp. 774 and 775) that when discovered the island, except for the shore-line, was originally totally covered with forest—e.g., “without a single acre of clear land” (Lieutenant King); “For about 200 yards from the shore the ground is covered so thick with shrubs and plants as hardly to be penetrated inland” (Captain Cook). One would therefore expect the flora to consist exclusively or almost exclusively of coastal and forest plants. Hence plants of the prairie, pasture land, moor, or open country generally will be absent. Such plants, therefore, as Viola betonicaefolia, Malvastrum tricuspidatum, Pelargonium australe, Sida rhombifolia, may be regarded as doubtfully indigenous at least.

These are the chief tests I have used in determining whether a species is native or alien. The above rules are, of course, not intended to be hard and fast, they must rather be regarded as elastic; but the considerations given above will enable future observers to judge of my reasons for retaining a plant or excluding it from this list.

I think it very unlikely that further additions of importance will be made to the list of indigenous species. I had good opportunities of visiting every part of the island, and if I did not observe any species it can scarcely have been common. Still, there may be a few that I have failed to collect or to identify for various reasons: (a.) In several cases the specimens secured were too incomplete or immature for identification. (b.) Some nooks and corners of the island escaped search. A further examination of Phillip Island is undoubtedly required. At the foot of the cliffs and on the rock-

– 6 –

-faces there are species to be obtained not collected by me. It is very unlikely, however, that there will be any among them not recorded from Norfolk Island itself. (c.) It was a season of drought—ferns, grasses, and other plants were dried up. For this reason, some species may have been overlooked. (d.) Some plants previously recorded are probably now extinct. (e.) Some seasonal plants were perhaps not observed. I cannot think, however, that much remains to be added to the list. On the other hand, my list doubtless still contains some introduced species: the difficulty lies in knowing which to eliminate.

Plant Associations.

It will be clear from what has already been said that it is now impossible to give anything like an adequate account of the primeval condition of the vegetation, or of its original plant associations. I have hitherto been unable to get statistics of the rainfall and weather-conditions, though I believe they have been to some extent recorded. The rainfall is, I think, about 45 in. per year, but it is often very unevenly distributed. Summer and autumn droughts are not infrequent. When discovered by Captain Cook the island was in most places covered with an almost impenetrable forest—undoubtedly a mesophytic rain forest. The remnants of this are still to be found, but in a very altered condition. Here and there the forest may have consisted chiefly of a comparatively open formation of Araucaria excelsa, as still at Bamboras, where nothing else is now to be found. Here on the forest floor the roots from an interlacing network, spreading on or near the surface, and the ground is otherwise bare. Undoubtedly, however, the chief portion of the forest contained, as in New Zealand, a considerable number of species of trees, interlaced by huge lianes e.g., Capparis, Jasminum, Tylophora, &—which practically stopped all progress on foot. There is little sign of xerophyly in the vegetation, though such plants as Wickstroemia australis, Exocarpus phyllanthoides, Cordyline Baueri, and Phormium tenax may be regarded as exceptions to this rule; and, on the other hand, the large tender membranous leaves of the hygrophytic forest are also generally absent, though, again, in Piper excelsum var. psittacorum, Pisonia Brunoniana, and one or two other species the leaves approach this type. Taken as a whole, however, the forest would probably, in its adaptations to moisture, be not at all unlike the mesophytic rain forests of Auckland Province. As there is none of the untouched primitive forest on the island, this is, of course, to some extent only a surmise.

Probably the only portion of the vegetation that remains somewhat in its original condition is that of the coastal rocks and cliffs. The coastal species show little endemism, and are mostly widely distributed plants, whose seeds are perhaps carried by ocean birds and winds, though some species are probably of recent and artificial introduction. Wedelia biflora often forms a matted trailing mass on the sea-banks, to the exclusion of other vegetation. Ipomoea palmata and Samolus repens var. stricta also form patches on the seashore. Lobelia anceps and Mesembryanthemum aequilaterale hang from the coastal cliffs. Tetragonia expansa, T. trigyna, Asplenium difforme, and Canavallia obtusifolia also occur, though less abundantly. Oxalis corniculata var. reptans is common on the tops of the cliffs. More rarely, Capparis, dwarfed and scrambling, is found on or near the shore. Maiden got Ipomoea biloba and Calystegia Soldanella. Not far inland Scirpus nodosus and Mariscus haematodes appear. In more or less inaccessible places Coprosma Baueri is occasionally found. Probably

– 7 –

all these species formed portion of the original vegetation of the island, which still exists much as it did before the island was inhabited. This portion of the flora is quite what we might have expected to have found in such a situation, and, as most of the species occur widely, they throw no light on the origin of the remainder.

The best account of the general characters of the original vegetation is to be found in Backhouse's “Narrative of a Visit to the Australian Colonies” (London, 1843). Maiden quotes most of Backhouse's descriptions in his paper on the flora.

Phillip Island.

No account of the vegetation of Norfolk Island would be complete without some reference to the remarkable story of the vegetation of this outlying rock. According to Governor King (quoted by Maiden, p. 183), the island was in 1788 sparsely wooded, and, where not wooded, covered with a “thick entangled kind of reed.” Allan Cunningham, who visited the island later, and was, indeed, marooned there by the convicts for a time, found in the interior “some deep hollows,” “in parts densely wooded with small trees, and an underwood chiefly of the thorny caper bush (Busbeckia nobilis).” Of this once comparatively plentiful vegetation nothing is now left but a few scattered trees. In most parts the island consists of red, yellow, brown, volcanic tuff and disintegrated volcanic rocks of all hues. The vegetation is obviously becoming yearly more sparse, and the island is fast becoming a complete desert. Most of the trees had been leafless shortly before I saw them, but, as the result of some earlier rains, young shoots and leaves had broken out from the main branches. There was practically no soil; scarcely a seedling was to be seen anywhere, and the rain-water had formed deep trenches in the bare volcanic “clay.” Not a blade of grass was to be seen except in the clefts of the rocks near the beach. The explanation given of the disappearance of the vegetation is that originally pigs were put upon the island. These destroyed all the undergrowth, grubbed among the roots, and so helped to loosen the soil, which was then washed away by the rain. Subsequently rabbits were introduced, and multiplied until they had eaten every green leaf within reach, and gnawed the bark of most of the trees. They added to the havoc commenced by the pigs, and the destruction of the soil was practically completed by them. Rumour even states that food became so scarce that the rabbits commenced to prey upon each other. There are no rabbits on Norfolk Island itself. The rabbits, however, still exist on Phillip Island, and I saw one or two which had been shot there. They were in moderately good condition. It may be that this is the correct explanation of the desiccation and destruction of the vegetation on the island; at least, I could find no other. Of course, a number of years of drought would also furnish a fairly adequate explanation. At any rate, unless conditions alter a great deal the island will shortly be completely desert, except for a few plants growing in the clefts of the rocks and at the foot of the cliffs. I saw no big trees on the island. The largest were one or two dead Araucarias lying on the ground. The washing-away of the soil about their roots had apparently caused their fall.

Undoubtedly the presence of immense numbers of sea-birds also tends to the destruction of the vegetation.* Red-tailed tropic-birds, gannets wideawakes, and other birds were nesting on the island at the time of my visit.

[Footnote] * Vide Cockayne, “Subantarotic Islands of New Zealand,” p. 233.

– 8 –

Some of the few remaining trees were full of sea-birds, and their branches almost white with their dung. These birds no doubt assist considerably in the destruction of the vegetation, but they cannot account for its present rapid disappearance.

Phillip Island contained three endemic species: Hibiscus insularis Endl., Streblorrhiza speciosa, and Triticum Kingianum. Of these, I obtained the first and the third. The second is almost certainly extinct. Maiden adds a fourth species, but this (Solanum Bauerianum) occurs also on Lord Howe. To save space I have not drawn up a separate list of species for this island. They will be found included in the main list.

A description of the physiographic features of Norfolk Island by myself, and the microscopic characters of the rocks by R. Speight, M.A., M.Sc., will be found in the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute for 1913.

Origin of Flora.

As already stated, I do not intend to deal with the origin of the flora An investigation into it can only be taken in conjunction with a discussion of the distribution of the fauna. A rough statement, however, may be made of the results obtained as shown by this paper.

An analysis of the species of phanerogams on the island gives the following results: 41 per cent. are found outside Australasia, and may be regarded as representing a Malayo-Australasian element; 29 per cent. are endemic; 14 per cent. are Australasian; 7 per cent. are found only in Norfolk Island and Australia; of the remaining 9 per cent., approximately 5 per cent. are confined to Norfolk Island and New Zealand, and the remainder are found either in the Kermadecs, or Lord Howe, or in all three groups. Now, such a bare analysis is most misleading if used as a platform for rigid conclusions. Perhaps all that can be concluded from it is that the basis of the Norfolk Island flora is an element widely distributed in the eastern subtropical South Pacific. The remainder is Australasian.

A Short Bibliography.

This list includes only the chief books and articles referred to by me. For a more complete bibliography Maiden's work should be consulted.

1. “Prodromus Florae Norfolkicae.” Endlicher, Vienna, 1833.

2. “Hooker's London Journal of Botany,” vol. i, 1842. “Biographical Sketch of the late Allan Cunningham.” (This includes a list of plants discovered by Cunningham on the island, but not appearing in Endlicher.) (I have not seen this.—R. M. L.)

3. “Narrative of a Visit to the Australian Colonies.” By J. Backhouse, London, 1843. (An excellent description of the general facies of the vegetation in the early convict days is given.)

4. “Flora Australiensis.” Bentham, 1863. (This contains many records of Norfolk Island species.)

5. “On the Geographic Relations of the Floras of Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands.” By R. Tate. “Macleay Memorial Volume,” Sydney. (This gives a somewhat unreliable list of the species of both islands.)

6. “The Flora of Norfolk Island,” part i. By J. H. Maiden, Government Botanist of New South Wales. (Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, 1903.)

7. “Manual of the New Zealand Flora.” By T. F. Cheeseman, Wellington, 1906.

8. “Vegetation of the Kermadec Islands.” By W. R. B. Oliver, Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. 42, p. 118, 1910.

– 9 –

List of Species of Flowering-plants and Ferns Indigenous to Norfolk Island.

Some Abbreviations.

  • * Not found by me.

  • E. Endlicher's list of Norfolk Island species.

  • M. Maiden's list of Norfolk Island species.

  • T.N.Z.I. “Transactions of the New Zealand Institute.”

  • Cheesem. Cheeseman's “Manual of the New Zealand Flora.”

  • Benth. Bentham's “Flora Australiensis.”



The late Dr. Metcalf, whose knowledge of the ferns of Norfolk was unique, assured me that he was satisfied that the number of species to be found on the island was little over thirty. Maiden records fifty-two, but there is no first-hand evidence that some of these have been collected on the island by any botanist. On this ground, the ferns numbered as follows in Maiden's list are here omitted: 1, 8, 22, 42, 47, 49. Of these, (22) Pteris marginata Borz. is recorded by Müller as having been found by Mr. I. Robinson on the island; (8) Polypodium acrostichioides Forst. and (42) Aspidium tenerum Spreng. are recorded by Müller as having been collected by Carne; (47) Lindsaya linearis Sw. and (49) Dennstaedtia (Dicksonia) davallioides T. Moore are recorded in Benth. without any collector's name. The Norfolkers grow many foreign species in their “bush houses,” and it would be quite easy for some of these to get into lists drawn up by botanists who have not visited the island. (1) Hymenophyllum multifidum appears first in Tate's list; but no collector's name is attached to it.

1. Trichomanes Bauerianum Endl., E. 50. (= T. apiifolium Presl., M. 2.)

    Abundant on the sides of rocks in darker bush creeks.

    Lord Howe, New Caledonia, Australia, Malaya, Polynesia.

    2. Trichomanes humile Forst., E. 49, M. 3.

    In moist places in the darker forests.

    Kermadecs, New Zealand, Australia, and adjacent tropics.


    Cyathea medullaris Forst., appears E. 47, but is not in Bauer's herbarium, and has not been found in Norfolk Island by any subsequent botanist. (Vide M., p. 737, and under “Alsophila robusta,” below.)

    3. Alsophila excelsa R. Br., E. 48, M. 50.

    Not common on the island, and much confused with the following, which is perhaps more abundant.

    4. Alsophila robusta C. Moore var. norfolkiana Laing var. nov.

    Costis costulisque parce muricatis, fulve tomentosis et paucis squamis linearibus conspersis.

    The variety everywhere common on Norfolk Island. The typical form on Lord Howe; related also to A. australis of Australia.

    I had confused this with the previous species until Mr. Oliver pointed out to me that two species occurred on the island, and sent me a specimen

    [Footnote] † A collection of Norfolk Island plants has been presented by me to the Canterbury Museum.

    – 10 –

    of each. This differs from A. robusta of Lord Howe in the less muricated costae and costules, and in the presence of a larger amount of tomentum and in the absence of scales. At the same time, until I have seen more specimens of this and A. robusta I do not feel quite satisfied about the distinctions. Doubtless there has been some confusion between them in the past. This is possibly the plant referred to by Endlicher and Backhouse as Cyathea medullaris; subsequent observers have either included this with A. excelsa, or referred it to A. australis, which it somewhat resembles (Bentham, Tate). Without access to type collections it would be difficult to determine the exact synonymy of this and A. excelsa.

    The two species are undoubtedly quite distinct. In A. robusta var. norfolkiana the terminal pinnules are 10–12 mm. long, 3–4 mm. wide, concave on the upper margin and convex on the lower, entire or crenulate and obtuse. The sori are usually found from base to the top of the pinnule, and the fertile fronds are generally incurved at the margins. Sometimes, however, the sori do not extend beyond the middle of the pinnule, which is much less membranous than in A. excelsa.

    In the latter the ultimate pinnules are 8–10 mm. long, 3–4 mm. wide, less concave on the upper margin than in the previous species. Unfortunately, I have at present only one specimen. In it the sori do not extend along more than two-thirds of the frond, number usually 4–6 pairs, the margin is regularly serrate on both surfaces, and the tip is acute. The midrib of the secondary pinnules is much more markedly paleaceous than in the preceding species. Mr. Maiden tells me that A. excelsa and A. australis are thus distinguished:—

    Rhachis more or less, stramineous, and stalk of frond completely deciduous, leaving a smooth scar on stem A. excelsa.

    Rhachis not stramineous, base of stalk persistent, leaving a rough trunk A. australis.


    5. Dryopteris punctata (Thbg.) C. Chr. (= Phegopteris punctata Thbg., M. 11 and 44; Polypodium rugulosum Labill., E. 20.)

    Australia, New Zealand, and widely in tropical and subtropical regions.

    6. Dryopteris parasitica (L.) O. Ktze. (= Aspidium parasiticum Mett., M. 38.)

    Not uncommon by bush creeks and swamps.

    Kermadecs, Lord Howe, New Zealand, Australia, and widely in warmer regions.

    7. Dryopteris setigera (Bl.) O. Ktze. (= Aspidium setigera Bl., M. 43.)

    Recorded by Müller. The only specimen seen by me was collected by Mr. H. C. Quintall, and sent me by Mr. W. R. B. Oliver; perhaps introduced.

    Kermadecs, Australia, Polynesia, Malaya.

    Dryopteris decomposita (R. Br.) O. Ktze. (= (?) Nephrodium microsorum Endl., E. 24; N. calanthum, E. 25; and also Aspidium decompositum, M. 41.)

    The evidence for the existence of this fern on the island is quite unsatisfactory. A. Cunn, (quoted M. 736) considered Nephrodium microsorum and

    [Footnote] † A collection of Norfolk Island plants has been presented by me to the Canterbury Museum.

    – 11 –

    N. calanthum as identical with the following fern of this list—Polystichum aristatum. Maiden considers these as more probably synonymous with Aspidium decompositum Spreng.; but apparently did not himself find it on the island, nor did I. When so much is doubtful, and the fern has not been recently found, it should, I think, be excluded from the list.

    8. Polystichum aristatum (Sw.) Pr. (= Aspidium aristatum Sw. E. 23 M. 39.) (See also above.)

    Everywhere abundant in the drier bush.

    Kermadecs, Australia, New Zealand, and widely in the Southern Hemisphere.

    9. Polystichum adiantiforme (Forst.) J. Sm. (= Aspidium coriaceum Sw., E. 22; A. capense Willd., M. 40.)

    Australia, New Zealand, and widely throughout the Southern Hemisphere.

    10. Arthopteris tenella (Forst.) J. Sm. (= Polypodium tenellum Forst., E. 18, M. 5.)

    Climbing on trunks of trees.

    Lord Howe, Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia.

    11. Nephrolepis cordifolia (L.) Pr., M. 46.

    Pop Rock and rocky ledges.

    Kermadecs, Lord Howe, New Caledonia, Australia, New Zealand, and widely in the Southern Hemisphere.

    (Called on the island “Pop Rock fern.”)

    12. Davallia pyxidata Cav., M. 48.

    Mount Pitt.


    13. Athyrium umbrosum (Ait.) Pr., M. 36. (= Allantodia australis R. Br., E. 31; Asplenium assimile Endl., E. 30.)

    In the denser bush, Mount Pitt.

    Australia, New Zealand, and widely in warmer regions of the Eastern Hemisphere.

    Athyrium brevisorum Wall., M. 37, is also recorded by Maiden from Norfolk Island, but as this is a fern of northern India there is probably some mistake in the matter, and I hesitate to introduce it into the list.

    14. Diplazium japonicum (Thbg.) Bedd., M. 35.

    Mount Pitt; not common.

    Kermadecs, Australia, New Zealand, Polynesia, and tropical Asia.

    15. Asplenium nidus L., E. 26, M. 30.

    Everywhere common in the damper bush.

    Lord Howe, New Caledonia, Australia, Asia, Polynesia, Africa.

    15A. Asplenium Robinsonii F. v. M., M. 31.

    Norfolk Island; very rare.

    I retain this with much hesitation. It seems to me that this is probably only an occasionally occurring crested and incised sport or mutant from the previous. I did not myself see it growing wild. The only living specimens

    – 12 –

    I saw were in cultivation on the island; and in one case apparently on the same plant I saw normal fronds of A. nidus growing, together with the abnormal fronds of A. Robinsonii. However, it is not quite extinct. The late Mr. Robinson sent away all the plants he could find of it. Mrs. W. Laing has, however, recently (1914) found young specimens on different parts of the island. It is a much less luxuriant plant than A. nidus, and its fronds do not appear to reach 2 ft. in height. The fronds are always petiolate and usually crested and incised but occasionally entire. As in A. nidus, the sori are usually confined to the upper part of the frond, and, though sometimes not reaching to the midrib, they do not differ from A. nidus in this respect. Thus the reproductive distinctions relied upon by Baron von Müller scarcely seem to exist. The distinctions in form, size, incision, and lobing of the frond are undoubtedly sufficient to form a good species, did one not know that such variations occur not unfrequently as recognized sports in similar ferns. Thus the forms of A. nidus and A. Robinsonii are exactly paralleled by the mutations of the hart's tongue fern, Scolopendrium vulgare.

    The less luxuriant habit and the constant petiolation are perhaps characters of more importance than the varying incision and lobing of the leaves, and may justify the retention of this as a distinct species.

    16. Asplenium difforme R. Br., E. 28. (= A. obtusatum Forst. difforme, M. 32.)


    I cannot agree that this is only a form of A. obtusatum, in spite of the weight of opinion against me—e.g., Hooker and Baker, Maiden, Christiansen. The plant grows abundantly on the coastal rocks both of Norfolk Island and Phillip Island, and shows great variety in the division of its fronds; but at no time is it similar to the common form of A. obtusatum as met with in New Zealand. Indeed, it approaches closely at times to A lucidum var.Lyallii. Further, I cannot bear out the statement of Backhouse (3), to whom we are indebted for an excellent general description of the character of the flora before it was overrun by weeds. He, speaking of this fern, states that “at a short distance from the shore its leaves become more divided, and in the woods in the interior of the island they are separated into such narrow segments that the lines of fructification are thrown upon the margin.” The plant only grows on rocky shores, and does not occur inland, and the fronds on one rootstock are often polymorphous. Three types of pinnae may perhaps be distinguished, but intermediates are abundant.

    (a.) The pinnae are 5–8 cm. long, 12–15 mm. broad, lanceolate to oblong in outline, crenate-dentate at the top, pinnatifid towards the middle and pinnate at the base; thus much resembling A. lucidum var. Lyallii.

    (b.) The pinnae are 1–2 cm. long, 8–10 mm. broad, ovate to ovateelliptical with well-rounded apex, dentate in the upper half, and lobed towards the base. They are altogether smaller than in form (a).

    (c.) The pinnae are much more incised, and the pinnules approach those of typical A. flaccidum, being linear and acute or acuminate.

    I admit, of course, that intermediates are so common in this genus that it is difficult to separate the various species, but the character here insisted

    [Footnote] † “Journal of Botany,” xxii, p. 289.

    [Footnote] † Vide J. A. Thomson: Heredity; fig. 22, p. 99 (Mutations of Hart's Tongue Fern).

    – 13 –

    upon is that all these forms are found on one rootstock, and even sometimes on one frond. All forms are fertile, but sori are more general on the deeply incised forms.

    17. Asplenium dimorphum Kze. (= A. diversifolium A. Cunn., E. 29, M. 33.)

    Abundant in the bush. Commonly called on the island “the two-frond fern.”

    Apparently confined to Norfolk Island.

    18. Asplenium adiantioides (L.) C. Chr. (= A. falcatum Lam., E. 27, M. 34.)

    Common, chiefly on tree-trunks.

    Lord Howe, New Caledonia, Australia, New Zealand, and widely throughout the warm regions of the Old World.

    19. Blechnum lanceolatum (R. Br.) Sturm. var norfolkianum Hew., M. 25. (= Stegania lanceolata, E. 34.)


    Kermadecs, New Zealand, Australia, Polynesia.

    Blechnum discolor (Forst.) Keys., M. 24, is recorded by Maiden, but, as he now thinks, erroneously. I did not see it.

    Blechnum acuminatum Baker, M. 26. This is probably identical with or only a variety of B. lanceolatum. B. acuminatum Baker is, according to Christiansen, a synonym for B. acrodontum (Fee) C. Chr., a Mexican plant, but Cheeseman† regards (and no doubt correctly) Lomaria acuminata Baker (= B. acuminata Baker) as a synonym of L. norfolkiana Hew., which in turn is a synonym of No. 18 above. Maiden considers B. acuminatum as intermediate between B. attenuata and B. lanceolata.

    20. Doodia caudata R. Br., E. 32, M. 29.

    Abundantly by sides of creeks, in the bush.

    Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia.

    21. Doodia media R. Br. var. Kunthiana Sand., E. 33, M. 28.

    Australia, New Zealand, Polynesia.

    22. Doodia aspera R. Br., M. 28.

    Perhaps only a variety of the above.

    Lord Howe, Australia.

    Pellaea rotundifolia Hook., M. 17, is recorded in Benth. from Norfolk Island, under the genus Pteris, but almost certainly in error. I did not see it.

    23. Notholaena distans R. Br. (= Nothoclaena distans R. Br., M. 16.)

    Near “the English Oak,” hillsides near the Cascades, and other dry places.

    Lord Howe, Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Polynesia.

    24. Cheilanthes tenuifolia (Forst.) Swartz var. Sieberi, M. 15, E. 45 and 46.

    This has also been recorded from Norfolk Island, but after search I was unable to find it. I think most probably Notholaena distans has been

    [Footnote] † Manual of N.Z. Flora, p. 978.

    – 14 –

    mistaken for it. I examined dozens of plants of the latter species, but did not meet with a single specimen of Cheilanthes. Still, in deference to the opinions of others, I allow it to remain on the list.

    Lord Howe (not recently collected), New Caledonia, Australia, New Zealand.

    25. Hypolepis tenuifolia (Forst. f.) Bernh., M. 45.

    Kermadecs, Lord Howe, New Caledonia, Australia, New Zealand, Polynesia, Malaya, China.

    26. Adiantum affine Willd., E. 44, M. 12.

    On damp grassy banks; not common.

    Kermadecs, New Zealand.

    27. Adiantum diaphanum Blume, M. 14.

    On grassy banks, and in the opener bush; common.

    Kermadecs, New Caledonia, Australia, New Zealand, Polynesia, Malaya, south-east China.

    Cheesem. (p. 964) gives A. fulvum as a native of Norfolk Island. I did not see it, and do not know what is the evidence for its occurrence there.

    28. Adiantum hispidulum Sw., M. 13. (= A. pubescens Schk., E. 43.)

    Perhaps the most abundant species of the genus on the island.

    Lord Howe, Kermadecs, New Caledonia, Australia, New Zealand, and widely in the Southern Hemisphere.

    29. Pteris tremula R. Br., M. 18, E. 37. (= P. Kingiana Endl., E. 40; P. Baueriana Endl., E. 40, according to Maiden.)

    Mount Pitt.

    Kermadecs, Lord Howe, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji.

    30. Pteris comans Forst., E. 39 and 41, M. 23.

    Anson's Bay; in forest.

    Kermadecs, Lord Howe, Australia, New Zealand, Polynesia.

    Forms from New Zealand, Lord Howe, the Kermadecs, and Norfolk Island differ considerably in appearance, but can scarcely be separated by any good characters.

    31. Pteris biaurita L. var. quadriaurita Retz., M. 20. (= (?) P. Tratinickiana Endl., E. 42.)

    Kermadecs, tropical and subtropical regions.

    32. Histiopteris incisa (Thbg.) J. Sm. (= Pteris brunoniana Endl., E. 38; P. incisa Thbg., M. 21.)

    A large form; is common on Mount Pitt. “Oak-fern” of the islanders.

    Kermadecs, Lord Howe, New Caledonia, Australia, New Zealand, and widely in tropical and subtropical regions.

    [Footnote] † This is marked in my list as seen by me, but amongst scores of specimens of Adiantum in my herbarium there is not one of this species, and I am now somewhat doubtful of its existence on the island.

    [Footnote] † I have received additional specimens of Pteris from Norfolk Island, and am now (March, 1915) convinced that P. brunoniana Endl., is a good species. I shall probably return to this in a subsequent paper.

    – 15 –

    33. Pteridium esculentum (Forst. f.) Cockayne. (= Pteris esculenta Forst., E. 36, M. 19.)


    Kermadecs, Lord Howe, Australia, New Zealand, and southern Pacific.

    34. Vittaria elongata Sw., M. 4. (= V. rigida Kaulf., E. 35.)

    Common on tree-ferns.

    Australia, Polynesia, eastern Asia.

    35. Cyclophorus confluens (R. Br.) C. Chr., M. 7. (= Niphobolus serpens Endl., E. 21; Polypodium serpens Forst., M. 6.)

    Abundant on tree-trunks.

    Lord Howe, Australia, New Caledonia.

    I do not think that C. serpens (Forst.) C. Chr. exists on the island. In dry seasons in exposed position the fronds of C. confluens become narrower and rounder, and simulate non-fertile fronds of C. serpens. Both kinds of frond may be found on the one rhizome. I am quite satisfied there is only one species of the genus on the island. In this opinion the late Dr. Metcalf quite concurred.

    In C. confluens the veins anastomose; the under-surface of the frond is covered with a beautiful stellate pubescence. The non-fertile fronds are from 2 in. to 8 in. long, linear to linear-lanceolate, and often acuminate. Sori often confluent.

    36. Polypodium diversifolium Willd. (= P. Billardieri R. Br., E. 19; P. pustulatum Forst., M. 9.)

    Abundant in many situations.

    Lord Howe, Kermadecs, Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia.

    P. pustulatum Forst. does not occur on Norfolk Island, but P. diversifolium is everywhere abundant on rocks and trees, growing rather more luxuriantly than in New Zealand. Polypodium phymatodes Linn., M. 10, does not, I think, occur on the island.


    37. Marattia fraxinea Smith, M. 51. (= M. elegans Endl., E. 17.)

    Not uncommon in the beds of creeks.

    New Caledonia, Australia, New Zealand, and widely, if the species is interpreted in a broad sense.


    38. Ophioglossum vulgatum Linn.

    As this was not found by the earlier botanists, it may possibly—though not probably—have been introduced. I have retained the specific name vulgatum, not caring to venture upon the definition of varieties without fuller material and literature.

    Practically cosmopolitan.


    39. Tmesipteris tanensis Bernh., M. 2. (= T. Forsteri Endl., E. 16.)

    A common epiphyte on tree-ferns.

    Kermadecs, New Zealand, Lord Howe, New Caledonia, Australia, Polynesia

    – 16 –

    40. Psilotum triquetrum Swartz, M. 3.

    On tree-trunks in the darker forests.

    Kermadecs, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Lord Howe, Australia, tropics and subtropics.

    Lycopodium densum is recorded by Maiden, on the authority of Benth. (vii, 676), but there is no first-hand evidence of its collection on Norfolk Island.



    41. Araucaria excelsa R. Br., E. 76, M. 1.

    The well-known Norfolk Island pine; still abundant from the seashore to the top of Mount Pitt.





    42. Typha angustifolia Linn. var. Brownii Kron., M. 130.

    Longridge and in swampy watercourses in several parts of the island.

    This is, I think, doubtfully indigenous.

    Kermadecs, New Zealand, Australia. Almost cosmopolitan.


    43. Freycinetia Baueriana Endl., E. 63, M. 129.

    Common in the bush, trailing and climbing.



    It becomes still more difficult in this family to distinguish between introduced and indigenous species. M. (p. 725) quotes Governor Phillip as saying, in 1788, “that not a single blade of grass has been seen on this island,” and finds it “not easy to understand this statement.” It appears to me that we must accept the statement as meaning at least that there was no pasturage upon the island. During the last hundred years, however, grass-seed has been frequently sent from Sydney to Norfolk Island; and this makes it certain that many Australian grasses have been imported, and will now appear to be indigenous. Now, Bauer spent many months on the island during 1804–5, and collected very carefully, and any grasses not collected by him must be regarded as quite doubtfully indigenous. We shall certainly be much safer in excluding such species than in retaining them. In one or two cases their habitats may be such as to make their introduction improbable; but the majority are found chiefly in the pasture lands. I would therefore exclude the following: Panicum effusum R. Br., M. 145; Andropogon affinis R. Br., M. 152; Microlaena stipoides R. Br., M. 153; Sporobolus indicus R. Br., M. 155.

    None of these were collected until Maiden visited the island in 1902. All of them are grasses likely to be imported. Some of them may have been only temporary inhabitants of the island. I did not collect 145, 152, 153, 154, 158, of Maiden's list.

    [Footnote] † I have to thank Mr. D. Petrie, of Auckland, the well-known authority, for his kind assistance in the determination of the species.

    – 17 –

    A special note perhaps is required about Cynodon dactylon Linn., which Ifalso exclude. It is the common pasture grass of the island, yet I did not see it on Phillip Island, only three or four miles away. It is not recorded before Maiden's list, and is probably not indigenous. Maiden includes the grass both in his list of indigenous and introduced species.

    44. Andropogon refractus R. Br., M. 151, E. 55.

    Not uncommon.

    Australia, Malaya, Pacific islands.

    45. * Panicum norfolkianum Nees, E. 52, M. 144.

    Apparently an endemic species; not recently collected.

    46. Panicum crus-galli Linn., E. 61, M. 146.

    According to Cheeseman, who kindly identified this for me, an unusually long-awned form.

    Widely distributed in the tropics.

    47. Panicum sariguinale Linn. var. ciliatum Retz., M. 147.

    Norfolk Island, Phillip Island.

    I retain this, as I found it on the cliffs of Phillip Island, where it is quite unlikely to have been introduced.

    Kermadecs, Lord Howe, New Zealand, Australia, and warmer regions.

    48. Paspalum scrobiculatum Linn.

    Norfolk Island, Phillip Island (R. M. L.).

    Kermadecs, New Zealand, Australia, Tonga, and warmer countries.

    49. Oplismenus compositus Beauv., E. 54, M. 149

    Abundant in the forests.

    A common tropical and subtropical plant.

    50. Oplismenus undulatifolius (Kunth.) Beauv., M. 150. (= O. aemulus R. Br., E. 53.)

    Scarcely distinct from the previous, and common on the forest floor.

    Kermadecs. Lord Howe, New Zealand, Australia, Polynesia, and widely.

    51. Cenchrus calyculatus Cav.

    Edge of coastal cliffs, near Anson's Bay.

    Kermadecs, Australia, New Caledonia, and warmer regions.

    A new record for the island; from its situation scarcely likely to have been introduced.

    52. * Echinopogon ovatus Beauv., M. 154.

    This may have been introduced, but is a probable indigene. Recorded by Maiden only

    Lord Howe, Australia, New Zealand.

    53. Deyeuxia filiformis (Forster) Petrie. (= D. Forsteri Kunth., M. 156.)

    Damp ground.

    Though not recorded previous to Maiden's list, I retain this. As one of the Norfolk Island forms is very slender, and perhaps distinct enough to be regarded as a variety, it is therefore scarcely likely to have been introduced. The typical form also occurs.

    Kermadecs, Lord Howe, New Zealand, Australia.

    – 18 –

    54. * Dichelachne sciurea (R. Br.) Hook. f., M. 157. (= D. montana Endl., E. 56.)

    Kermadecs, New Zealand, Australia.

    55. * Dichelachne crinita (Forst. f.) Hook., M. 157.

    This has been found also in the Kermadecs and Lord Howe, and there fore is perhaps indigenous to Norfolk Island

    New Zealand, Australia.

    56. Agropyron Kingianum (Endl.) Petrie comb. nov. (= Triticum Kingianum, E. 58, M. 161.)

    As Mr. Petrie pointed out to me, this is a true Agropyron. I collected it on the cliffs of Phillip Island. This is perhaps the first time it has been collected since Bauer's visit in 1804–5. The grass seems to be completely restricted to Phillip Island.

    57. * Agropyron scabrum (R. Br.) Beauv., M. 160, E. 57.

    Lord Howe, New Zealand, Australia.


    58. Kyllinga monocephala Rottb., M. 135.

    Abundant in watercourses and wetter pastures.

    A common water-weed of warmer countries, and perhaps introduced.

    Lord Howe, New Caledonia, &c.

    59. Mariscus haematodes (Endl.) Laing comb. nov. (= Cyperus haenatodes Endl., E. 59, M. 132.)

    “Moo-oo grass” of the islanders. Formerly abundant on the banks of streams, &c. Now getting scarce, as it is largely used for basket-and hatmaking. Also on Plillip Island (Bauer, R. M. L.)

    Lord Howe, Australia.

    I have transferred this to the genus Mariscus, as the glumes are persistent, the rhachilla coming away finally above the two lowest.

    60. Cyperus congestus Vahl., M. 134.

    Common in watercourses.

    In the specimens examined by me there were only two stamens, instead of three as in description.

    Australia, South Africa.

    C. rotundus, according to Maiden, also occurs on the island, but it is probably an introduction.

    61. Eleocharis acuta R. Br., M. 136.

    Common in swampy ground.

    Kermadecs, New Zealand, Australia.

    62. Scirpus nodosus (R. Br.) Rottb., M. 137. (= Ficinia guttata E. 61.)

    Common, particularly on the coastal cliffs, Phillip Island (R. M. L.).

    Kermadecs, Lord Howe, New Zealand, Australia, and widely in south temperate zone.

    63. Scirpus lacustris Linn., M. 139.

    Creek Mission paddock and elsewhere.

    New Zealand, Australia, and in most warm and temperate countries.

    – 19 –

    64. Scirpus maritimus Linn. var. fluviatilis (Benth.) Torr., M. 141.

    From an open culvert near Government House (R. M. L.); mill-dam and other places (Maiden).

    New Zealand, Australia, and widely in the tropics.

    65. Scirpus cernuus Vahl. (= S. riparus Spreng., M. 140.)

    Watercourses, Emily Bay, and elsewhere.

    Nearly cosmopolitan.

    66. Scirpus inundatus Poir., M. 138.

    In watercourses near the township.

    New Zealand, Australia.

    67. Scirpus conspersus (Nees) Laing comb. nov. (= Isolepis conspersa Nees, E. 60.)

    Maiden, following Benth. (vii, p. 329), has identified Isolepsis conspersa Nees, E. 60, with the previous species. T. conspersa is described in Endlicher as having 3 stamens, 3 – 5 spikelets in a head, with the glumes purple dotted, and the nut obscurely reticulated (“subtiliter punctata”). Now, Scirpus inundatus Poir. has 1 stamen, 2 – 15 spikelets, glumes more or less stained with dark rea brown, and the nut pale and smooth. The two are obviously distinct species, and I believe that I have specimens of both from Norfolk Island corresponding exactly to the descriptions, except that in Isolepis conspersa the spikelets are almost terminal and generally solitary, there being no bract, or only a short one just overtopping the spikelet. I therefore propose to reinstate this species. It is perhaps endemic to Norfolk Island. Probably examples of both species were collected by Bauer, but not differentiated. S. conspersus is really much more closely allied to S. cernuus Vahl., of which the late Mr C. B. Clarke considered it a form.

    Watercourses, Norfolk Island; perhaps endemic.

    68. Carex Neesiana Endl., E. 62, M. 142.

    Not uncommon.


    69. Carex inversa R. Br., M. 143.

    Mount Pitt; perhaps introduced.

    New Zealand, Australia.


    70. Rhopalostylis Baueri (Hook. f.) Wendl. & Drude, M. 128. (= Areca sapida, E. 64.)

    Still abundant, though often felled for various purposes.

    Endemic. Dr. Beccari has recently made the Kermadec Island plant into a new species—R. Cheesemanii.

    Aroideae AND Musaceae.

    There are many varieties of taro on the island, known by local names. Most of these have certainly been introduced—e.g., Forty's taro, Sunday Island taro, &c. Maiden, however, regards Colocasia antiguorum Schott as indigenous. He quotes a passage written by Governor King in 1788.

    – 20 –

    Here King says, “On the 27th I discovered a great quantity of plantane trees.” The plants referred to by King as plantane-trees are regarded by Maiden as taro. The evidence adduced seems to me quite insufficient to establish the case. Though the taro may now be growing at the spot referred to, yet it also grows so commonly by the sides of streams all over the island that its presence on the stream referred to is certainly insufficient to identify it with the plantane-tree of King's records. Bauer evidently did not regard the taro as indigenous, as it is not included in Endlicher's list; and it would certainly be strange if it were to be regarded as indigenous in Norfolk Island but not in the surrounding lands and islands—e.g., New Zealand, Kermadecs. As the plant is also referred to by King as the banana, there is still less reason for supposing that the plantane can be the taro. On the other hand, Endlicher regards Musa as indigenous, but not Colocasia. Now, Musa, though plentiful on the island, is always under cultivation, and, so far as I know, shows no tendency to escape therefrom If King did actually find bananas growing on the island in 1788, it is probable that their presence was due to some chance human introduction by Polynesians or others in the years shortly before his arrival. This, indeed, is the more likely, as King is said to have been of the opinion that the island contained aboriginal inhabitants “from discovering the banana-tree in regular rows.”


    71. Commelina cyanea R. Br., M. 127.

    Apparently not found either by Endlicher or Maiden, though recorded by Cunningham. It is not uncommon in watercourses. I certainly would regard it as introduced were it not that it occurs on Phillip Island, which has never been inhabited. It has been seen there both by Cunningham and myself. In any case, I can only regard it as very doubtfully indigenous. It might quite readily have been taken to Phillip Island by the Norfolkers, or the convicts, who frequented it for birds' eggs, or the small seeds may have been carried by natural means from the mainland of Norfolk Island. Still, that it should occur and be able to maintain itself on the arid Phillip Island is undoubtedly in favour of its being indigenous.

    Lord Howe, New Caledonia, Australia, with closely allied forms in south eastern Asia.


    72. Rhipogonum dubium Endl., E. 69, M. 121.


    Called “yam-creeper ” on the island. Common in the bush.

    73. Ceitonoplesium cymosum A. Cunn., E. 68, M. 122.

    Common in damp bush; also cultivated in bush houses on the island, Lord Howe, Australia, South Pacific to Borneo.

    74. Cordyline Baueri Hook. f. (= C. obtecta Baker, M. 123; Cordyline australis, E. 67.)

    Common in the bush., Endemic, but closely allied to the New Zealand and Australian C. australis.

    75. Cordyline terminalis Kunth.

    The evidence regarding this species is highly conflicting. Maiden and myself only saw it in cultivation at Steel's Point, and the Norfolkers

    – 21 –

    distinctly say that the specimens there were brought from Pitcairn with them. On the other hand, Cunningham states that it was not scarce on the island in 1830—that is, long before the arrival of the Pitcairners. Maiden suggests “that it would appear to have been exter-minated, perhaps because the convicts turned it into a curse, as the Pitcairners did.” It seems to me unlikely-(1) that, if common, Bauer would have missed it during his eight months on the island; (2) that the convicts could have exterminated it completely; and (3) it is probable that had they done so there would have been some record of their excesses and of the result. It is perhaps simpler to imagine that in some way Allan Cunning ham was mistaken, and I would suggest that it should be removed from the list of indigenous species, unless it is found hereafter outside of cultivation on the island. It is, of course, a very likely plant to be a native of the island. It is usually regarded as an introduction in New Zealand, where the conflict of evidence is similar.

    76. Phormium tenax Forst., E. 65, M. 125.

    An undoubted native, growing on dry bare hillsides, and in such situations as P. Cookianum is usually found in on the New Zealand hills I could detect no difference between this species and some of the common New Zealand forms. It was nowhere, however, luxuriant, though Captain Cook speaks of it as being more luxuriant than in New Zealand. I did not see it in any swampy places or by the side of watercourses

    New Zealand, Chatham Islands. (In the Auckland Islands it is probably introduced.)

    77. Dianella intermedia Endl., E. 66, M. 126.

    Apparently not found since the time of Bauer until my visit. The plant is undoubtedly rare. Anson's Bay (Bauer), cliffs at Ball's Bay (R. M. L.)

    Rather taller and stronger than the New Zealand plant, but otherwise apparently not different. I also saw cultivated specimens brought from the Bay of Islands, New Zealand.

    New Zealand, Polynesia, but the genus is chiefly Australian.


    Crinum norfolkianum A. Cunn.

    This plant grows only in wet ground in the “Old Mill” garden and in a ditch at Government House, and shows no tendency to spread. It has lived on in the same position for the last eighty years, and is still there (1913). It was evidently introduced in convict times. Cunningham differentiated it from, the Australian C. pedunculatum Hew. I do not know the Australian species sufficiently well to say whether the differentiation is sound, but the differences are small, and may be due to cultivation. It is perhaps a form of the variable C. pedunculatum, of which Bentham says, “The wild specimens in herbaria are, however, so unsatisfactory, and the cultivated ones in gardens so frequently uncertain as to their origin, that the distinction of species can only be established by studying them in their native country.”

    C. pedunculatum is also reported from Lord Howe and New Caledonia; but Mr. W. R. B. Oliver informs me that in the former island it is only to be found near the settlement, and may be introduced.

    [Footnote] † Fl.Austr. vii, p. 455.

    – 22 –


    I had little opportunity of examining the plants of this family.

    78. * Oberonia Titania Lindl., M. 113. (= O. palmicola F. v. M., M. 114; Titania miniata, E. 71.)

    Anson's Bay (Maiden).

    Australia, Java.

    79. Dendrobium macropus Benth. & Hook., M. 116. (= Thelychiton macropus, E. 74.)

    Steel's Point and elsewhere.


    80. * Dendrobium brachypus Reichb., M. 115. (= Thelychiton brachypus Endl., E. 32.)


    81. * Bulbophyllum argyropus Reichb., M. 117. (= Thelychiton argyropus E. 72.)


    82. Phreatia limenophylax (Endl.) Kranzl., M. 118. (= Plexaure limenoplylax, E. 70.)

    Non Benth., Fl. Austral., vi, 290; neque Bailey, Queensl. Flora, 154. Epiphytic; not uncommon. Endemic

    83. * Microtis unifolia (Forst. f.) R. Br. (= M. porrifolia R. Br., M. 119.)

    Bullock's Hut (Maiden).

    Kermadecs, Lord Howe, New Zealand, Australia.



    84. Macropiper excelsum (Forst. f.) Miq. var. psittacorum (Endl.) Laing comb. nov. (= Piper psittacorum Endl., E. 80; P. excelsum Forst., M. 93; Macropiper excelsum var. major Cheeseman.)

    In the denser bush.

    Kermadecs, Lord Howe, New Zealand, and South Polynesia.

    Endlicher gave this plant specific rank; Cheeseman reduced it to a variety of M. excelsum. Endlicher's specific name should be retained for the varietal form. Maiden suggests that the typical form occurs on the island. I did not see it, and do not think it can occur.

    85. Peperomia reflexa A. Dietr. var. aemula (Endl.) C. D.C., M. 94. (= Piper aenulum Endl., E. 77.)

    Common in darker bush, on rocks and trees.

    Lord Howe, Australia, New Zealand, and in most warm countries.

    [Footnote] † See “Das Pflanzenreich,” iv, 50, ii, B. 23, p. 21, for a description of this species, and comments on the erroneous identification of it with an Australian form of Bentha and Bailey.

    – 23 –

    86. * Peperomia Urvilliana A. Rich., 1832, M. 95. (= Piper simplex Endl., 1833, E. 79; Piper Endlicheri Miq., 1843.)

    Kermadecs, Lord Howe, New Zealand, Polynesia.

    Cheeseman has retained in his Flora the specific name Endlicheri. the dates given show that Urvilliana has priority. I doubt whether this is the same as the New Zealand plant, or distinct from the following.

    87. * Peperomia Baueriana Miq., M. 96. (= Piper adscendens Endl., E. 78.)


    This plant does not seem to have been collected since the time of Cunningham, unless one or two infertile fragments that I have belong to this species. They, however, have the leaves alternate, not opposite.

    The Australian Peperomia leptostachya Hook. & Arn. is recorded by Tate from the island, but without collector's name.


    88. Celtis paniculata. Planch., M. 108. (= Solenostigma paniculatum Endl., E. 85.)

    Norfolk Island and Phillip Island. The fruit is used on the island in place of holly at Christmas.

    Australia, Malay Archipelago.

    This tree shows on Norfolk Island a fairly distinct juvenile form. In a plant 10 ft. high the branchlets were arranged regularly and distichously along the main branch. Each was 15–20 cm. long, borne in the axis of a permanent leaf, and had 7 or 8 alternate distichous leaves. These leaves were darker in colour, and rather larger and thicker, than in the mature form.

    On a full-grown tree (25 ft. high) the branchlets were no longer distichously arranged, though the leaves remained so. The lamina in the mature form are 7–9 cm. long, and in the young form 9–11 cm. long; in width, young form. 4–5 cm., mature 2 ½–4 cm. The branchlets are deciduous, falling away from the stem.

    In Ungeria floribunda the leaves of the young plant are also considerably larger than those of the mature form. I did not, however, see on the island any of those markedly distinct juvenile forms so common in New Zealand forests (vide also under Pennantia Endlicheri).

    89. Pseudomorus Brunoniana Bureau var. pendulina (Endl.) Maiden M. 109. (= Morus pendulina Endl., E. 84.)

    Common in the forest.

    Australia, New Caledonia.

    90. Procris montana (Endl.) Steud., M. 110. (= Elatostemma montanum Endl., E. 83.)

    Scarce; Now-now Valley and back of Mount Pitt, in forest. Fiji.

    91. Boehmeria australis Endl., E. 82, M. 111.

    Bush at Now-now Valley, Joneniggabunit, Broken Bridge. Endemic, but closely allied to a species on Lord Howe and Kermadecs

    [Footnote] † I. e., John the nigger burnt it.

    – 24 –

    92. Parietaria debilis Forst. f., M. 112. (= Urtica debilis Endl., E. 81.)

    H. C. Quintall! (Specimen sent to Mr. W. R. B. Oliver.) Kermadecs, Lord Howe, New Zealand, Australia, and widely elsewhere. Malaisia tortuosa Blanco, M. 107, is excluded on the same grounds as for Peperomia leptostachya. It has probably been introduced in confusion with the Lord Howe plant.


    93. Korthalsella articulatum (Burn. f.) Van Tiegh. (= Viscum distichum Endl., E. 118; V. articulatum Burn. f., M. 99.)

    Abundant not only on Baloghia and other natives, but on many introduced fruit-trees. It kills lemons, oranges, and peaches, and is quite a pest on the island.

    Lord Howe, Australia, India, Polynesia.


    94. Exocarpus phyllanthoides Endl., E. 91, M. 100.

    Common in the forest.

    One of the most durable woods on the island, but the larger trees have now all beencut down.



    95. Pennantia Endlicheri Reiss. (= P. corymbosa Forst., E. 140, M. 25.)

    Top of Mount Pitt; not common.


    There has long been known from Norfolk Island a species of Pennantia which has usually been considered to be identical with the New Zealand Pennantia corymbosa. It appears first of all in Endlicher, p. 80, No. 140 (1833), and there Endlicher identifies it with Forster's P. corymbosa from New Zealand. In 1842 Reissek made a separate species of it, under the name P. Endlicheri, and is followed by the “Index Kewensis.” Maiden, however, regards it as synonymous with P. corymbosa, and states (M. 25), “I am of opinion that the Norfolk Island species is identical with the New Zealand one.” This opinion seems to me scarcely justifiable, and for reasons about to be given I think that the specific name “Endlicheri” must be revived for the Norfolk Island plant, and the species must be regarded as distinct.

    On examining the Norfolk Island form it is apparent at a glance that the leaves are larger and more membranous than in the New Zealand species. Indeed, similar differences exist between the two as between P. excelsum and P. excelsum var. psittacorum of the Kermadecs and Norfolk Island. Such differences as these are perhaps scarcely sufficient to give specific rank to P. Endlicheri. Further small differences also exist in the foliage In the Norfolk Island plant the branchlets and petioles are glabrous, or provided only with a few sparse hairs on twigs and midrib. In the New Zealand plants these parts are pubescent. In Norfolk Island specimens the lower leaves are larger than those surrounding the tips of the branches or the inflorescence, having the blade 18–25 cm. long and 10–15 cm. broad.

    [Footnote] † “Linnaea,” xvi, p. 341, t. 13.

    – 25 –

    The margins are entire, repand, or irregularly notched, with shallow indentations; the upper surface is highly polished (in the New Zealand plant it is dull); the under-surface is not polished, and of a lighter green in colour. The upper leaves are about 10–15 cm. long and 6–8 cm. broad. The leaves are thus very much larger than those of the New Zealand species, which in the South Island, at any rate, do not average more than about half of these dimensions. The flowers on both varieties seem to be very similar. Endlicher (loc. cit.) states that the Norfolk Island plant is hermaphrodite, with very rare male flowers among the others, but this is not so, for though the female flowers do contain stamens, these are non-fertile. On other specimens male flowers may be found without any trace of an ovary. The plant is really dioecious, as in New Zealand; indeed, the flowers of both species agree well in all respects.

    A difference, however, of a still more important type than those already mentioned has yet to be recorded. As is well known, the New Zealand plant goes through a juvenile stage which is very different from the mature form. There is no trace of any such juvenile stage in the Norfolk Island plant. This is an important and most interesting fact, and should be compared with the similar facts known regarding the Chatham Island Plagianthus betulinus and Pseudopanax chathamicum In the case of Plaianthus betulinus, Cheeseman (p. 77) does not consider the absence of the juvenile form a sufficient difference for the demarcation of a species; but it seems to me that it should be considered of at least varietal importance, and here I have regarded it, together with the other points mentioned, as justification for differentiating a species.


    96. Muehlenbeckia australis (A. Rich.) Meissn., M. 92. (= Polygonum australe A. Rich., E. 86.)

    Common in the forest, and apparently identical with the New Zealand form. Phillip Island (A. Cunn.).

    New Zealand.

    Rumex Brownii Campd., M. 91, also occurs on the island, but obviously as an introduced weed.


    97. Achyranthes arborescens R. Br., M. 89, E, 89.

    Mount Pitt.


    98. Achyranthes aspera L, M. 90. (= A. canescens R. Br., E. 90.)

    Cliffs, chiefly costal.

    Lord Howe, New Caledonia, Australia, and generally in warm countries. The plant varies a good deal in the colour and hispidity of the leaf and stem.

    Alternanthera sessilis R. Br. also occurs on the island (W Laing!), but is probably an introduced weed.

    [Footnote] † Vide Cockayne, “An Inquiry into the Seedling Forms of New Zealand Phanero gams,” T.N.Z.I., vol. 23, p. 277; and vol. 32, p. 89.

    – 26 –


    99. Pisonia Brunoniana Endl., E. 88, M. 88.

    On the western side of the island; common

    Kermadecs, Lord Howe, New Zealand, Australia, and south-eastern Pacific.


    100. Mesembryanthemum aequilaterale Haw., M. 41.

    Lord Howe, New Zealand, Australia, and widely in America.

    Like Maiden, I did not find M. australe Sol., E. 129, and think it probable that it has been recorded in place of M. aequilaterale Haw., which is also on Phillip Island (R. M. L.).

    101. Tetragonia expansa Murr. var. cornuta (Gartn.) Endl., E. 130A.

    This is the New Zealand form, and is common on the coastal cliffs.

    Kermadecs, Lord Howe, Australia, New Zealand, and perhaps elsewhere.

    102. Tetragonia trigyna Banks & Sol. (= Tetragonia expansa Murr. var. stronglyocarpa Endl., M. 42, E. 130B.

    Common on the sea-banks.

    Kermadecs, New Zealand, and probably also Australia and Lord Howe.


    103. * Clematis glycinoides D.C., M. 1.

    This appears in the Sydney Herbarium as collected by Mr. I. Robinson, of Norfolk Island.

    Lord Howe, Australia, New Caledonia (?), Polynesia.

    104. Clematis cocculifolia A. Cunn.

    Mrs. W. Laing; Mount Pitt!

    I give the original description, as it is not easily accessible, and the species has only hitherto been recorded by A. Cunningham: “C cocculifolia, floribus paniculatis dioicis, 4-sepalis, foliis indivisis longe petiolatis orbiculato-ovalibus obtusis membranaceis, 5-nerviis integerimis glabris, basi saepe cordatis, sepalis oblongis margine lanatis, antheris ovatis obtuse apiculatis. Crescit in locis apricis, praesertim in marginis sylvarum caeduarum insulae Norfolk, ubi Augusto Septembrique floret.”

    The plant is obviously now very rare, and apparently endemic. Maiden, following Cunningham, is in error in regarding it as a native of New Zealand. It is very close to the preceding species.

    Ranunculus parviflorus Linn., M. [2, recorded by Maiden, is probably an introduction, as in New Zealand, and only adventive. I did not get it. Ranunculus repens has also been introduced.


    Nasturtium palustre D.C. (Syst., ii, 91). (= N. sylvestre A. Rich., M. 3.)

    This is reported from Norfolk Island on the authority of Cunningham: “Wet ravines and running streams.” Not found by me, and apparently not by Maiden. It has probably been introduced temporarily, and then has disappeared. N. officinale is abundantly naturalized. Senebiera didyma is also abundant.

    – 27 –

    Cakile maritima Scop. Reported only by Maiden.

    Almost certainly introduced and adventive. New Zealand examples show how easily even a maritime plant may be introduced, and appear in unexpected situations. Probably most of the supposed “Scandinavian element” in southern floras is due to such introductions.


    105. Capparis nobilis (Endl.) F. v. M., M. 5. (= Busbeckia nobilis, Endl., E. 121.)

    A common bush liane, scrambling to the tops of the trees. Known on the island, on account of its recurved spines, as “Devil's guts.”

    Apparently endemic, but very close to the Australian C. arborea F. V. M. (Frag., i., 163).

    It may possibly be the same as the Queensland C. ornans F. v. M., but I have no material with which to decide the question. The following points should be noted with regard to the Norfolk Island plant: It belongs to the section of the genus that has the two outer sepals united in the bud; the non-flowering branches are provided with two reflexed stipulary spines about 6 mm. long. According to Maiden, the fruit is almost globular, but this is scarcely so. It is globular only in the early stages, and when mature the fruit is usually of the size, shape, and colour of the common edible passion fruit (Passiflora edulis). Occasionally only is it nearly globular.


    106. Pittosporum bracteolatum Endl., E. 138, M. 9.

    Common in the bush.


    I have also a fragment of an undetermined Pittosporum collected on the island by Mr. H. C. Quintall, and forwarded me by Mr. W. R. B. Oliver. It may well be introduced.


    107. Canavalia obtusifolia P. D.C., M, 30. (= C. Baueriana Endl., E. 150.)

    Coastal banks; common.

    Kermadecs, Lord Howe, Australia, and tropics.

    108. Milletia australis (Endl.) Benth., M. 28. (= Pterocarpus australis Endl., E. 152.)

    Now confined to a strip of country running across the middle of the island. As it rarely fruits, it is doubtless doomed to extermination. I saw only one legume.

    Phillip Island (A. Cunn.), Australia.

    109. * Vigna retusa Walp., M. 31. (= Callicythus volubilis Endl., E. 149.)

    Lord Howe, New Caledonia, Australia, and widely in the tropics.

    110. Caesalpinia Bonducella Fleming, M. 32.

    A few specimens only exist in an open paddock near the centre of the island. Apparently found only by Cunningham and myself. It is quite

    – 28 –

    possibly introduced. It is known on the island as “tatary maw, ” an obvious corruption of the Maori “tataramoa” (Rubus australis), in allusion to its thorny nature. Probably will soon be exterminated.

    Lord Howe, Australia, and widely in the tropics.

    111. * Glycine tabacina Benth., M. 29.

    Recorded only by Maiden, and perhaps introduced.

    Australia, New Caledonia, and South Sea Islands.

    112. * Streblorrhiza speciosa Endl., M. 33, E. 151.

    Now only known from a solitary drawing. The plant once grew on Phillip Island, and is almost certainly extinct.



    Maiden records Pelargonium australe and Geranium dissectum, M. 20 bis, but I think they have been introduced. They are found chiefly in gardens and waste places, though I obtained G. dissectum on the top of Mount Pitt; but there are numerous other naturalized weeds there. Erodium cicutarium also occurs.


    113. Oxalis corniculata L. var. reptans (Soland.) Laing.

    Captain Cook mentions in his discovery of the island that he found “cabbage-palm, wood-sorrel, sow-thistles, and samphire abounding in some places on the shore.” In Endlicher's list there appears under No. 128, Oxalis reptans Soland. ex Forst. Prodr., but the name is a nomen nudum though Endlicher remarks, “Mera fortassis Oxalidis corniculatae varietas.” Bauer apparently did not collect an Oxalis in Norfolk Island. No Oxalis appears in Maiden's list of indigenous species, though O. corniculata appears in his list of introductions. I, however, found a little Oxalis common on rocky places near the seashore on Phillip Island as well as on Norfolk Island. It is apparently a form of P. corniculata. It can scarcely be other than the O. reptans of Forst. Prodr. I give a short diagnosis.

    Oxalis corniculata L. var. reptans (Soland.) Laing. Planta pilosa caule decumbenti vel reptanti, crasso fruticosoque, fractibus linearo-oblongis, acuminatis.

    The whole plant is stouter, and rather larger in all its parts than the common New Zealand forms. It is usually densely pilose, except in the lower portions of the stems, but some specimens are met with in which there are no hairs on the upper surfaces of the leaves. The stem is suffiruticose at the base. The capsules are about 12 mm. long, and 2–3 mm. broad at the base, narrowing at the top to an acuminate point. It is evidently a coastal plant, growing in the sand or in clefts of rocks.

    New Caledonia, Kermadecs, Lord Howe, and almost cosmopolitan.

    One species at least of the South African Oxalids occurs as a garden escape.

    [Footnote] † Since writing the above I have noticed that it appears in Cheeseman's “Flora of Rarotonga,” with the Native name of tataramoa, thus confirming my conjecture.

    [Footnote] † This is the distribution of the species; the variety may be endemic, though perhaps near var. crassifolia.

    – 29 –


    Maiden records Linum marginale A. D. C., but, as in New Zealand, it is almost certainly introduced. It springe up sporadically in different places, and then apparently dies out. Thus it can only be adventive. Linum gallicum also occurs.


    114. Evodia littoralis Endl., E. 146, M. 21.

    Not uncommon up to the top of Mount Pitt.


    115. Acronychia Endlicheri Schott., M. 22. (= Vepris simplicifolia Endl., E. 148.)



    116. Zanthoxylum Blackburnia Benth., M. 23. (= Blackburnia pinnata Forst., E. 147.)

    Common, and on Phillip Island.

    Lord Howe, New Caledonia, Vavau.


    117. Dysoxylum Patersonianum (Endl.) Benth. & Hook, f., M. 24. (= Hartsighea Patersoniana Endl., E. 139.)

    A common tree on the island; also on Phillip Island.



    118. * Euphorbia obliqua Endl., E. 144, M. 101.

    Not recently collected, and probably now extinct.


    119. Euphorbia glauca Forst., E. 145, M. 102.

    I believe I saw this south of Steel's Point, but am not certain.

    New Zealand.

    Euphorbia norfolkiana Boissier, M. 103. Possibly a New-Hebridean plant, cultivated on Norfolk Island. The evidence for its occurrence on the island in an indigenous state is by no means satisfactory. Not collected by Maiden or myself.

    120. Euphorbia Sparmanni Boissier, M. 104.

    Emily Bay.

    Lord Howe, Australia, Pitcairn Island, Tonga.

    (It closely resembles the more widely distributed E. atoto.)

    121. Baloghia lucida Endl., E. 143, M. 105.

    A common tree; also on Phillip Island.

    Lord Howe, Australia, New Caledonia, Polynesia.

    [Footnote] † Zanthoxylum (1737) has priority over Xanthoxylum (1791) used by Maiden.

    – 30 –

    122. Excoecaria Agallocha L., E. 142, M. 106.

    Near the beach in wind-shorn bush and clumps from Bamboras to Ball's Bay. According to Pax (“Das Pflanzenreich,” iv, 47, p. 167), two varieties occur on Norfolk Island—var. α. genuina, and var. δ. ovalis.

    New Caledonia, Australia to tropical Asia.

    Phyllanthus sp. (= P. Veillardii ?) grows abundantly in the paddocks, and does not seem to have been recorded. It is probably an introduced species from New Caledonia.

    123. Homalanthus populifolius Graham.

    A few trees in a deep rocky ravine on Mount Pitt (H. C. Quintall !). Forwarded me by Mr. W. R. B. Oliver. New for the island, though see M., p. 748.

    Lord Howe, Australia.


    124. Elaeodendron curtipendulum Endl., E. 141, M. 26.

    One of the commonest trees on the island—“maple.”

    Lord Howe (?).


    125. Dodonaea viscosa L., M. 27.

    Anson's Bay, and towards the north-west, near the coast only, Duncombe's Bay, Bullock's Hut.

    New Zealand, Australia, some of the South Sea Islands, and widely in warm countries.

    (Close to D. lanceolata of Lord Howe Island.)

    This plant is not recorded by Endlicher, and yet is fairly common over a limited area, and undoubtedly indigenous. I would explain the omission from Bauer's collection by saying that in his time Anson's Bay must have been inaccessible by land, and it is almost inaccessible by sea. If there were many such omissions from Bauer's list it would be impossible to regard absence from it of a species now common on the island as evidence against a plant being indigenous. Melicytus ramiflorus is another striking omission.


    (Maiden records Malvastrum tricuspidatum Grey, M. 12. Modiola multifida, Moench. is also common in pastures and waste lands. Both are undoubtedly introduced. The former is known on the island as “Little Jack,” and is very abundant. “Big Jack” is Sida rhombifolia.)

    126. Abutilon Julianeae Endl., E. 35, M. 13.

    Rocky clefts, back of Mount Pitt. Evidently very rare, and in danger of extermination. Dr. Metcalf informed me that it occurred in Ball's Bay. I did not see it there.


    [Footnote] † My father (Mr. W. Laing), in sending me a specimen of Homalanthus, informs me that it is fairly common. (March, 1915.)

    – 31 –

    127. Hibiscus diversifolius Jacq., E. 133, M. 14.

    Mission paddocks only, where it shows no sign of spreading. This might have been definitely regarded as indigenous, except for Bauer's, note quoted by Endlicher, “ipso Bauero adnotante vix spontaneus.” Its presence in cultivated ground only adds to the improbability of its being indigenous. Still, its distribution suggests the likelihood of its occurrence in Norfolk Island. It is most unlikely that we shall arrive at any certainty in the matter. In New Zealand it has disappeared quickly, and it may be following the same process in Norfolk Island.

    Lord Howe, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Australia, Pacific islands, &c.

    128. Hibiscus tiliaceus L., E. 131, M. 15.

    Near the tops of the cliffs on entering Anson's Bay from the south.

    Lord Howe, New Caledonia, Australia, and widely distributed through the Asiatic tropics as far as India, and also in the Pacific islands.

    129. Hibiscus insularis Endl., E. 132, M. 16.

    Endemic on Phillip Island.

    A few plants still remain on the island, but those that I saw were in a most unhealthy condition, being covered with coccids, aphides, smuts, and other blights and pests. They were obviously maintaining an unequal struggle with an unfavourable environment.

    H. pedunculatits L. of South Africa grows in the bush, and is doubtless a garden escape.

    130. Lagunaria Patersonii (Ait.) Don, E. 134, M. 17.

    Next to Araucaria excelsa the most abundant tree on the island; also on Phillip Island (R. M. L.).

    On the coast it is wind-shorn, and reduced to a shrub closely appressed to the sea-banks, though elsewhere throughout the island it is a tall spreading tree.

    Lord Howe, Australia.


    131. Ungeria floribunda Schott. & Endl., E. 137, M. 18.

    Not uncommon in the denser forest, particularly on the north-west side of the island. The leaves of the young trees are much larger than those of the mature plant.



    The only place where I saw this was between the cobble-stones on the approach to the pier. It has probably been introduced from Australia.


    132. Viola Betonicaefolia Sm., M. 8.

    This seems to have been hitherto collected only by Backhouse. It is not uncommon in open pastures on the island. Quite possibly introduced.


    – 32 –

    133. * Hymenanthera latifolia Endl., E. 127, M. 6.

    [ unclear: ] I did not get this, and it is not clear whether it was collected by Maiden. It is not in the herbarium of the Sydney Botanic Gardens. It has recently been separated by Hemsley from the New Zealand species (“Kew Bulletin,” 1908, p. 95), which now is H. novae-zealandiae. It is probably scarce on the island, or perhaps extinct.

    Lord Howe (?).

    134. Melicytus ramiflorus Forst., M. 7.

    Not uncommon in the bush, and apparently not to be distinguished from the well-known New Zealand plant.

    Kermadecs, New Zealand, Tonga, Fiji.


    135. * Passiflora Baueriana (Endl.) Mast., M. 36. (= Disemma Baueriana Endl., E. 123.)

    This has not been found on the island recently, and is either very rare or extinct. It is mentioned by Backhouse, but see next species.


    136. Passiflora glabra Wendl., M. 37. (= Disemma adiantifolia Endl., E. 122.)

    Common in the forest.

    It is quite possible that there has been only one species of Passiflora on Norfolk Island. Endlicher mentions two, but admits that only one is present in Bauer's herbarium. He states that the two species differ thus: Disemma adiantifolia, petioles glandular, bases of leaves truncate, rays barely equalling the corona; D. Baueriana, petioles glandular at the apex, base ovate, rays slightly exceeding the length of the corona. I did not examine the petioles for glands in fresh specimens, and can say nothing on this point; but I find the leaves variable, and the bases on the same plant either truncate or ovate. The rays in the specimens examined by me sometimes exceed, at other times barely equal, the corona.

    Apparently the only direct authority for the occurrence of two species on the island is that of Backhouse, who was not a botanist. Maiden identifies his specimens as Passiflora glabra Wendl. (= D. adiantifolia). I find it difficult with the material and literature at my disposal to decide definitely which of the species is now represented on the island, but have followed Maiden.


    137. Wickstroemia australis Endl., E. 92, M. 98.

    A common shrub.

    Endemic, but close to the widely distributed W. indica of the Pacific, Australia, and the Malay Archipelago.

    Pimelea linifolia Banks & Sol., E. 92.

    Is excluded by Maiden, and no doubt rightly so. I did not get it.

    – 33 –


    Lythrum hyssopifolium L., M. 35.

    A palaearctic plant, and almost certainly introduced. Occurs at Emily Bay and Bloody Bridge.


    Maiden records Rhodomyrtus psidioides, M. 34, an Australian rosemyrtle. He regards it as only doubtfully indigenous. I did not get it, and think that it has been possibly an escape from cultivation. The complete, or almost complete, absence of the Myrtaceae from the island is noteworthy.


    138. Meryta latifolia (Endl.) Seem., M. 45. (= Botryodendron latifolium Endl., E. 119.)

    Apparently becoming less common on the island.


    139. Meryta angustifolia (Endl.) Seem., M. 46. (= Botryodendron angustifolium Endl., E. 120.)

    Common in moister forest.



    140. Apium prostratum (Thouara.) Labill., M. 43.

    A common coastal plant. The form on the island is var. a of Cheeseman.

    Kermadecs, Lord Howe, New Zealand, and widely in the Southern Hemisphere.

    Apium leptophyllum F. v. M. is a common weed, generally found in gardens, and is probably naturalized—M. 44.

    141. Daucus brachiatus Sieb.

    Collected by H. C. Quintall, and forwarded me by Mr. W. R. B. Oliver.

    I add this tentatively to the list of natives. It seems quite possible that it may be indigenous, and that it may have been overlooked by previous collectors.

    New Zealand, Chatham Islands, Australia (?), western America.


    142. Rapanea crassifolia (R. Br.) Mez., M. 63. (= Myrsine crassifolia Endl., E. 95.)

    One of the common trees on the island.

    Australia, and close to the Kermadec Rapanea kermadecensis Cheesem. I know nothing of Suttonia (?) tenuifolia Mez. (“Pflanzenreich,” heft 9, iv, p. 335).


    I cannot accept Plumbago zeylanica Linn., E. 87, M. 11, as indigenous. I only saw it in garden hedges. Dr. Metcalf and other old residents told me it was certainly imported, and never found except on land that had been occupied by gardens. It was introduced in the convict days, and may possibly have escaped from cultivation to some extent at one time, but there is no sign of it now outside certain hedges. Cunningham found it on Phillip

    – 34 –

    Island, where it had been taken, no doubt, by human agency, by intent or accident. Other garden escapes are to be found there. I was assured, for example, that certain plants I saw at the foot of the cliffs at one place on Phillip Island were tomatoes. There seemed no reason to doubt the statement, but I was unable to obtain specimens.


    143. * Sideroxylon costatum (Endl.) F. v. M., M. 64. (= Achras costata Endl., E. 96.)

    Phillip Island (A. Cunn.), Norfolk Island (Maiden).


    The New Zealand plant, according to Hemsley, is distinct.


    144. Samolus repens (Forst.) Pers. var. strictus Cockayne, E. 94, M. 62.

    Common on coastal rocks, near high-water mark.

    Kermadecs, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Australia


    145. Olea apetala Vahl., E. 112, M. 66.

    A common tree; also on Phillip Island.

    New Zealand.

    The species is identical in both localities.

    146. Jasminum simplicifolium Forst., M. 65. (= J. gracile Endl., E. 111.)

    The commonest liane on the island. It grows prostrate on the coastal cliffs, but elsewhere produces a sturdy trunk 15 cm. through, and climbs to the top of the highest trees.

    New Caledonia, Lord Howe, New Hebrides, Australia, Fiji, and Tonga.


    147. Melodinus Baueri Endl., E. 113, M. 67.

    A common forest-liane.


    148. Alyxia gynopogon Roem. & Schuldt., E. 114, M. 68.

    A common shrub in the darker forest.



    Erythraea australis R. Br., M. 70, is a common weed in the fields and pastures. It is definitely, and no doubt correctly, stated by the islanders to have been introduced with grass-seed.


    149. Tylophora biglandulosa (Endl.) A. Gray; M. 69. (= Hybanthera biglandulosa Endl., E. 115.)

    A not uncommon liane; Mount Pitt.

    Endemic, but very similar to T. enervia of Lord Howe Island.

    – 35 –


    150. Ipomoea bona-nox L., M. 72. (= I. ambigua Endl., E. 108; I. carinata, E. 107.)

    A beautifully scented nocturnal flowering creeper, now quite rare. It will probably be soon extinct on the island if it is not cultivated.

    William's Water and back of Mount Pitt.

    Lord Howe, and widely spread in the tropics, but perhaps indigenous only in tropical America.

    151. Ipomoea congesta R. Br., M. 74. (= I. cataractae Endl., E. 106, M. 73.)

    I am quite satisfied that there are not two distinct species, I. cataractae and I. congesta, on the island. Mr. Maiden writes to me thus on the subject: “The two species seem to be very similar (we have only one, I. congesta, in the herbarium), but they are placed in D.C.'s Prodromus in two different sections—i.e., I. cataractae is placed in section Cephalanthae, which has almost capitate clustered flowers (floribus aggregato-capitatis): I. congesta is placed in a section ‘integrifolia,’ which has not capitate flowers (floribus non-capitatis). I. cataractae seems to be more hirsute, though the hairs are silky, and the leaves are mostly obscurely 3-lobed; I. congesta is a softly tomentose climber with entire leaves, though the leaves are cordate in both. The proportion, size of calyx and corolla, is different. Endlicher describes the corolla in I. cataractae as twice as long as the calyx, while the corolla in I. congesta is three or four times as long as the calyx. Backhouse describes I. cataractae as having large purple flowers shot with red; I. congesta has brilliant carmine flowers.”

    Now, there is a species of Ipomoea occurring in the Cascades which is undoubtedly the plant called by Endlicher I. cataractae. It occurs not uncommonly between the Cascades and Steel's Point, and in the section of the island lying immediately behind this portion of the coast-line. I examined many specimens of it in a fresh state on the island, and satisfied myself that in spite of certain variations it represented only one species. The leaves are softly villous, almost tomentose on both sides, though some-times on the upper surface the hairs are sparse. They are usually entire, though perhaps occasionally obscurely 3-lobed. The corolla is two or three times as long as the calyx. The flowers vary in colour from white to carmine, and are frequently shot with red. There are usually one to three flowers attached to short pedicels, which are borne on a longer peduncle. The flowers are certainly not capitate. In all these points I see nothing to separate the plant from I. congesta. Further, I. congesta is recorded from the island without collector's name by Maiden. It only remains to find which specific name—cataractae or congesta—has priority, and this belongs to I. congesta, published in 1810 I. cataractae was not published till 1833.

    Australia, Polynesia.

    152. Ipomoea pes-caprae Roth., M. 75.

    Recorded only by Maiden. I got a young plant with leaves characteristic of this species, but it was too immature for certain identification.

    New Caledonia, Kermadecs, Lord Howe, Australia, tropics.

    153. Ipomoea palmata Forst., M. 76. (= I. pendula R. Br., E. 105.)

    Most abundant everywhere, particularly on the outskirts of the bush; sometimes with white flowers.

    Kermadecs, Lord Howe, New Zealand, Australia, and tropics.

    – 36 –

    154. * Calystegia Soldanella (L.) R. Br., E. 105 (for 104). (= Convolvulus Soldanella Linn., M. 78.)

    Kermadecs, Lord Howe, New Zealand, Australia, and cosmopolitan.

    155. Calystegia marginata R. Br. (= C. affinis Endl., E. 108; Convolvulus affinis, M. 77; C. marginatus Spreng., Benth. Fl., iv, p. 430, M. 79.)

    A bush-climber; apparently rare. I saw only two specimens—one brought me from Mount Pitt by Mr. Gus Allen, and the other obtained by Mr. W. Laing. The large bracts and 1-celled ovary place it in Calystegia rather than in Convolvulus.

    Lord Howe, New Zealand, Australia.

    156. Dichondra repens Forst.

    Ball's Bay, on a dry steep bank; easily overlooked, and hence not hitherto recorded. No doubt indigenous.

    New Zealand, Australia, and widely in tropical and subtropical regions.


    Cynoglossum australe R. Br., M. 71.

    Apparently found only by Cunningham “near the settlement,” unless some scarcely identifiable specimens of mine belong to this species. It has probably been introduced from Australia, and is only adventive.


    Verbena officinale L., M. 86.

    Occurs in waste places as in New Zealand, and is doubtless introduced.

    157. * Vitex trifola L.

    Apparently collected only by Cunningham.

    New Caledonia, Polynesia, and tropics of Old World.

    158. Myoporum obscurum Endl., E. 110, M. 85.

    Called on the island “popcorn-tree”; common; also on Phillip Island. Endemic, but closely related to the New Zealand M. laetum.


    Tecoma australis R. Br., M. 84, is cultivated on the island, but there is not sufficient evidence to show that it is also indigenous.


    159. * Solanum Bauerianum Endl., E. 109, M. 80.

    Apparently this has not been collected on Norfolk Island since Bauer's time.

    Lord Howe.

    160. Solanum nigrum L., M. 81.

    Abundant. A cosmopolitan weed. It may have been introduced. Lord Howe, Kermadecs, &c.

    – 37 –

    161. * Solanum aviculare Forst., M. 52. (= S. laciniatum Ait.)

    A. Cunningham noted this plant “near the settlement.” It was quite likely a temporary garden escape, though, of course, it is also a probable indigene. It does not occur now unless in gardens. At the same time, it is a species that in New Zealand at least speedily disappears before cultivation (e.g., on Banks Peninsula). It is also reported from Lord Howe Island. I have for these reasons left it on the list.

    Kermadecs, Lord Howe, New Zealand, Australia.


    Veronica calycina R. Br., M. 83, is probably introduced. I obtained it at Pop Rock. It is noteworthy that no New Zealand species of Veronica occur on Norfolk Island.


    162. Coprosma Baueri Endl., M. 47. (= C. lucida Forst., E. 117.)

    I obtained this on rocky cliffs, both on Norfolk Island and on Phillip Island, but it is very rare. It was not obtained by Maiden. It also occurs on the Moo-oo Stone, a rock off the north coast.

    Endlicher describes Coprosma lucida as occurring on Norfolk Island in the Prodromus, but has no reference to C. Baueri, which he described later. Now, C. lucida has not since been found on the island, and in spite of a special search for it I did not get it. His description of C. lucida, however, agrees well not with the New Zealand C. lucida but with C. Baueri. I have little doubt that Endlicher confused C. Baueri, which he obtained on Norfolk Island, with C. lucida (Forst. Prodr. and Rich. Fl. Nov. Zeel.). He himself, indeed, points out several discrepancies between his plant and the descriptions of others—e.g., the C. lucida of Endlicher has the leaves ovate and retuse. Now, my specimens of C. Baueri from Norfolk Island are markedly retuse, and the leaves are ovate to oblong. Again, Endlicher describes the “Flores feminei … pedicellis basi, medio et apice bibracteolatis, bracteolarum pari supremo flores sessiles 3–6, raro plures cupulatim recipiente.” This exactly fits my Norfolk Island specimens of C. Baueri. I have no doubt, therefore, that Endlicher first confused his Norfolk Island specimens with C. lucida Forst., and then afterwards redescribed them as C. Baueri. Unfortunately, I have not access to his original description of C. Baueri. C. lucida Forst. must therefore be removed from the list of Norfolk Island species. Since writing the above, I noticed that Hemsley (“Annals of Botany,” x, p. 239) and Cheeseman (p. 247) have both pointed out the identity of C. lucida Endl. with C. Baueri.

    (?) Kermadecs, Lord Howe, New Zealand, Chatham Islands.

    The form is somewhat different in each of these groups. The New Zealand species should probably be regarded as a distinct variety of. C. Baueri.

    163. Coprosma pilosa Endl., E. 116, M. 49.

    A small fastigiate tree, not uncommon on the lower slopes of Mount Pitt. When the plant grows in the open the leaves are much smaller and harder than when it occurs in the bush.


    – 38 –


    164. Wahlenbergia gracilis A. B.C., M. 60.

    Top of Mount Pitt.

    Kermadecs, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Australia, &c.

    Perhaps indigenous, but also a probable introduction.

    165. Lobelia anceps Thunb., M. 61. (= L. alata Labill. var. stolonifera, E. 97.)

    The maritime form only; abundant on the rocks.

    Lord Howe, Kermadecs, New Zealand, Australia, and widely.


    166. Bryonopsis affinis (Endl.) Cogn., M. 38. (= Bryonia affinis Endl., E. 125.)

    Common on Mount Pitt and at Steel's Point.

    Polynesia, and very close to the Australian Bryonia laciniosa Linn.

    167. * Sicyos angulatus L., E. 124, M. 39. (= S. australis Endl., E. 124.)

    Lord Howe, Kermadecs, New Zealand, Australia, and very widely.

    168. Melothria Baueriana (Endl.) F. v. M., M. 40. (= Zehneria Baueriana Endl., E. 126.)

    Mission Paddocks, Mount Pitt.



    (Taraxacum dens-leonis Desf. was introduced by Dr. Metcalf, and Vernonia cinerea Less., M. 50, by Mr. T. Buffet in grass-seed from Australia. Cotula australis Hook. f., M. 55, and Picris hieracioides L., M. 59, also occur, probably as introduced weeds. The last-mentioned grows sometimes in the bush, and is possibly, though not probably, indigenous.)

    169. Gnaphalium japonicum Thunb., M. 51. (= G. lanatum Forst., E. 99, and G. involucratum Forst., E. 100.)


    Kermadecs, Lord Howe, New Zealand, Australia, and elsewhere—a widely distributed weed.

    170. Gnaphalium luteo-album L., E. 98, M. 52.


    Cosmopolitan in temperate and tropical regions.

    171. Wedelia biflora D.C., M. 53. (= W. Fosteriana Endl., E. 102.)

    Common on the sea-banks, forming a matted mass of trailing stems; often covering many square feet of the shore. Phillip Island (R. M. L.).

    Lord Howe, Australia, New Caledonia, and widely in the tropics of the Old World.

    172. Erechtites arguta (Rich.) D.C., M. 56. (= Senecio argutus Rich., E. 101.)

    A common weed.

    New Zealand, Australia.

    – 39 –

    173. Senecio lautus Forst., M. 57.

    I got a form of this on the beach near the Cascades.

    Kermadecs, New Zealand, Australia.

    174. Sonchus oleraceus L., M. 58.

    Sow-thistle. Was recorded by Captain Cook, but was not listed until Maiden collected it. Phillip Island also (R. M. L.).

    Everywhere except in the frigid zone.

    175. Bidens pilosa L., M. 54.

    Quite probably only naturalized, as it was not collected by Bauer or Cunningham.

    Lord Howe, New Caledonia, Kermadecs, New Zealand, Australia, and widely in warm and temperate regions.