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Volume 47, 1914
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Art. III.—New Species of Flowering-plants.

[Read before the Auckland Institute, 16th December, 1914.]

1. Ligusticum capillifolium Cheesem. n. sp.

Species ad L. Haastii Hook. f. valde accedens, sed differt primo intuito foliorum segmentis multo angustioribus.

Herba perennis, erecta, undique glaberrima, 15–22 cm. alta; radicibus fasciculatis carnosis. Folia omnia radicalia, numerosa, 10–15 cm. longa, 2.5–5.0 cm. lata, lineari-oblonga, membranacea, 2–4-pinnatisecta; segmentis ultimis anguste linearibus vel filiformibus, 4–7 mm. longis, 1 mm. latis, apicibus longe piliferis. Umbellae paucae, 1–4, compositae, 8–15-radiatae; bracteis bracteolisque lineari-subulatis. Flores albi. Fructus ovoideo-oblongus, 4–5 mm. longus; valleculae 1–2-vittatae, commissura 2–4-vittatae.

Hab.—South Island: Mountains of south-west Otago, alt. 3,000–5,500 ft.; mountains above Chalky Inlet, A. Reischek! Mount Tyndall, D. Petrie! Mount Bonpland, H. J. Matthews! slopes of Mount Balloon, McKinley's Pass, F. G. Gibbs! near Lake Harris, J. Speden!

Bright green, leafy, rather stout, 6–9 in. high. Roots long, stout, stringy. Leaves numerous at the base of the stem, 4–6 in. long, 1–2 in. broad; petioles short, grooved, broadly sheathing at the base; blade linear-oblong in outline, membranous, 2–4-pinnately divided, primary divisions or pinnae 8–12, the lower remote, the upper often overlapping, ⅓–1 in. long, deeply and finely again divided; ultimate segments about ¼ in. long, very narrow, often under ¼0 in broad, terminating in a long flexuous hair-point. Cauline leaves absent; the flowering-stems not much exceeding the leaves. Umbels few, 1–4, compound, in an open-branched panicle; a broad sheathing-bract tipped with a short finely divided lamina at the base of each division; primary rays 8–15; involucral bracts linear-subulate, shorter than the rays. Flowers white. Fruit ovoid-oblong, ⅕ in. long. Carpels usually one 5-winged and the other 4-winged; vittae 1–2 in the interspaces and 2–4 on the commissural face.

I have been acquainted with this for many years, but have delayed describing it until I could satisfy myself as to its distinctness from L. Haastii, to which it is very close indeed. It is, however, a smaller plant, with a flowering-stem not much exceeding the leaves; the petioles are much shorter, and the leaves much more finely cut, the ultimate segments being barely half the width of those of L. Haastii, and furnished with a long flexuous hair-point at the tip. Mr. Gibbs remarks that “pressed specimens badly represent the growing plant, which closely resembles in appearance a miniature Todea superba. The final leaflets are all turned at right angles to the plane of the leaf, giving it a beautiful mossy appearance.” The first person to collect the plant appears to have been the late Mr. A. Reischek; but it has since been observed in so many stations that we may fairly conclude that it is not uncommon on the higher mountains of south-west Otago.

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2. Pterostylis Matthewsii Cheesem. n. sp.

P. foliatae affinis, sed differt foliis rosulatis et multo numerosioribus, floribus majoribus conspicue deflexis.

Planta terrestris, robusta, glabra vel parce puberula, 8–12 cm. alta. Folia radicalia 6–8, ad basin caulis rosulata, petiolata, 2–4 cm longa, 1–1.5 cm. lata, oblonga vel oblongo-ovata, acuta vel subacuta, ad basin truncata vel subcordata; venis conspicue reticulatis. Folia caulina (bracteae) 2, vaginata, acuta, 2–2.5 cm. longa. Flos solitarius, pro planta majusculus, conspicue deflexus, 2.5 cm. longus. Galea valde curvata, sepalo postico acuto, lateralibus usque ad dimidium fere connatis, oblique lanceolatis, breviter acuminatis. Petala falcata, lanceolata, acuminata, sepalo postico fere aequilonga. Labellum breviter unguiculatum; lamina anguste ligulata, obtusiuscula, basi appendice brevi apice lacerato-incisa donata. Columna gracilis; auriculis apice breviter acuminatis.

Hab.—North Island: Mangonui County, crest of ridge leading to Pukemiro Hill, near Kaitaia, H. B. Matthews!

Stout, glabrous or sparingly puberulous, 3–5 in. high. Lower leaves 6–8, rosulate at the base of the stem, petiolate, ¾–1¾ in. long, oblong or oblong-ovate, acute or subacute, truncate or almost subcordate at the base, thin and membranous; venation conspicuous, consisting of 2 or 3 parallel longitudinal veins on each side of the midrib connected by numerous transverse veinlets. Cauline leaves or bracts usually 2, erect and sheathing the greater part of the stem above the leaves, ¾–1¼ in. long, lanceolate or oblonglanceolate, acute. Flowers solitary, large for the size of the plant, ¾–1¼ in. long, ½ in. broad, strongly curved outwards and downwards from the base, so that the tip becomes almost horizontal and points to the stem below the ovary. Upper sepal acute or acuminate; petals almost equal in length, falcate, lanceolate, acuminate. Lateral sepals (lower lip) connate to the middle, the free portions gradually narrowed into short filiform points embracing the galea. Lip narrow-ligulate, flat, obtuse; basal appendage short, penicillate at the tip. Column slender; auricles with an acuminate tooth at the tip.

No doubt nearly related to P. foliata, but easily separated by the more numerous rosulate radical leaves, which are obviously petiolate and truncate or even subcordate at the base, and by the strongly deflexed flowers. The flowers of P. foliata are always erect at the base, and although the upper part curves forward it never becomes deflexed to anything like the extent of P. Matthewsii. I have much pleasure in dedicating the plant to its zealous discoverer, who, with his father, the late Mr. R. H. Matthews, has done excellent work in investigating the orchid flora of the extreme northernmost portions of the Dominion.

3. Pterostylis trullifolia Hook. f. var. gracilis Cheesem. n. var. (Illustrations N.Z. Flora, t. 194B, left-hand figure.)

Taller and more slender than the type, sometimes 9 in. high. Radical leaves usually wanting in flowering specimens, and seldom more than 1 or 2 in barren plants. Cauline leaves narrower. Flowers smaller, ½–⅔ in. long; lobes of the lower lip shorter in proportion.

Hab.—North Island: Vicinity of Auckland, Waitakarei, and Hunua Ranges, T. F. G.; Thames, J. Adams! Kaitaia, R. H. Matthews!

I have been acquainted with this for many years. It probably has the same range as the type, with which it sometimes grows intermixed.

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4. Microlaena Carsei Cheesem. n. sp.

Ab M. avenacea differt rhizomate tenui stolonifero vel culmos saepe e basi prostrata aut ascendenti edenti, internodiis 1–2 infimis saepe elongatis infra foliorum fasciculos sitis, panicula minus divisa rigidiore magis constricta, pedicellis brevioribus spicularum aristis brevioribus.

Hab.—North ‘Island: Mangonui County, damp shaded places in the forest near Kaiaka, H. Carse!

Rhizome slender, stoloniferous. Culms slender, prostrate or ascending at the base, erect above, 6–18 in. high, smooth and glabrous, 1–3-noded, often rooting from the lower nodes and emitting fascicles of both barren and flowering shoots. Leaves short or long, 6–12 in. long, ⅛–¼ in. broad, gradually tapering to a fine point, thin, flat, glabrous, striate, faintly scaberulous on the principal veins and margins; sheaths long, smooth, compressed, strongly grooved; ligules short, thin, furnished with a few long hairs at the sides. Panicle 5–9 in. long, rarely more, compound, but much more sparingly branched than in M. avenacea and much narrower and more rigid, pale green; branches erect, appressed to the main rhachis, slender, angled, scaberulous. Spikelets narrow, compressed, ⅔–¾ in. long with the awns. Two lowest glumes small, many times shorter than the 3rd and 4th, not separated from them by a conspicuous interspace, the lowest ⅓ the length of the 2nd, which is irregularly notched at the top; 3rd and 4th long, narrow, empty, unequal, the 4th rather more than twice the length of the 3rd, 5–7-nerved, scabrid, hairy at the base, long-awned at the tip. Flowering-glume much shorter than the 4th, acuminate but not awned, faintly 5–7-nerved. Palea linear, 1-nerved. Stamens 2.

Doubtless closely allied to M. avenacea, but smaller in all its parts, and with a very different habit of growth, forming open spreading patches quite unlike the dense tufts of that species. Leaves much shorter and narrower, panicle also shorter and narrower, and much less divided. The spikelets are also smaller, with shorter pedicels and much shorter awns. Dr. Stapf, of the Royal Herbarium, Kew, who has done me the favour of examining a series of specimens, considers that it is sufficiently distinct to be treated as a new species, and has kindly supplied me with the Latin diagnosis placed at the head of the description, in which he has summarized the chief points of difference between the two species. I have pleasure in associating the name of Mr. H. Carse with the plant, which he is the first to notice. For many years he has devoted much time and labour to the examination of the flora of the extreme north of New Zealand, adding many species to the list of those known to occur in the district, and making many valuable observations thereon.