Art. V.—Some Additions to the Flora of theSubantarctic Islands of New Zealand.
[Read before the Auckland Institute, 16th December, 1914.]
1. Uncinia strictissima (Kukenthal) Petrie (ante, p. 55).
This species was collected in 1890 on the Auckland Islands by Mr. F. R. Chapman (now Mr. Justice Chapman), from whom I have several characteristic specimens. U. rubra Boott. has not as yet been found on our subantarctic islands, but their plant population is still too incompletely known for us to feel sure of its absence.
2. Uncinia compacta R. Br.
Mr. B. C. Aston collected some dwarf specimens of this on Campbell Island in January, 1909. They differ from the typical plant as it occurs at elevated stations in New Zealand only in having nearly sessile flowering-spikes, a condition that is practically present in a form of the species growing a little below the snow-line on the Sealey Range near Mount Cook, of which I collected a number of specimens.
3. Uncinia australis Pers. var. pedicellata (Kukenthal) Petrie comb. nov. (ante, p. 54).
Mr. Aston collected this on the Auckland Islands, and contributed several specimens to my collection.
4. Uncinia Hookeri Boott.
Kükenthal and Cheeseman refer this plant to U. riparia R. Br. This conclusion does not commend itself to me. Mr. Aston most kindly gave
me a fine series of specimens of the plant collected on the Auckland, Campbell, Disappointment, and Antipodes Islands, which appear to demonstrate the much closer affinity of U. Hookeri to U. compacta R. Br. than to the latter's U. riparia. I regard U. Hookeri as either a valid species or else a form of U. rupestris Raoul, as the late Mr. Kirk thought. What Raoul's plant really is, is still uncertain, and its rediscovery near Akaroa, where Raoul found it, will be necessary to settle the point. His figure is not characteristic of any form of Uncinia known to me. Botanical workers in Christchurch would do a most useful service in hunting up this species on Banks Peninsula, where it is likely still to grow.
5. Carex Darwinii Boott var. urolepis (Franch.) Kukenthal.
This species occurs on the Auckland Islands (F. R. Chapman !), and also on Antipodes Island (B. C. Aston !) Mr. Chapman gave me his only specimen in February, 1890, but it was immature and not very complete, and I could make nothing of it. Some months ago Dr. Cockayne, F.R.S., gave me some pieces of C. Darwinii var. urolepis from the Chatham Islands, and Mr. W. R. B. Oliver contributed one or two more from the same locality. With this material before me I was at once able to recognize the plants collected by Mr. Chapman and Mr. Aston. I have seen only the figure of C. Darwinii in J. D. Hooker's “Flora Antarctica,” but if that is typical of the species I would regard Franchet's species as a perfectly valid one, provided the New Zealand specimens are correctly referred there. The antiquity of this species must be immense, as it is common to South America, the Auckland and Antipodes Islands, and Chatham Islands. That species should remain stable for such vast stretches of time in environments in many respects so different may well puzzle evolutionists, and incline one to the belief that practically identical specific forms may have originated in more than one centre, a biological heresy no doubt, but one that can be supported by a large body of evidence from the New Zealand flora.
6. Carex appressa R. Br. var. sectoides Kükenthal.
This form also occurs on our subantarctic islands, having been collected by Mr. F. R. Chapman in 1890, who, however, was uncertain whether he collected it on the Snares or on the Auckland Islands, so that the exact habitat cannot be settled at present. I owe the recognition of this plant to the recent gift of specimens of it from the Chatham Islands, contributed by Dr. Cockayne, F.R.S., and Mr. W. R. B. Oliver. The occurrence together on the Chatham Islands of C. Darwinii var. urolepis and C. appressa var. sectoides lends some probability to their joint occurrence on the sub-antarctic islands.
It appears to be very doubtful if Kükenthal's reference of his var. sectoides to C. appressa R. Br. is warranted; the utricles differ from those of C. appressa more widely than do those of C. secta, and the points of resemblance are confined to habit of growth merely. When satisfactory material is available the position of var. sectoides will call for careful reconsideration.
7. Poa caespitosa Forst. f. var. planifolia.
This variety was found on Antipodes Island by the late H. J. Matthews, who brought back a live plant that grew well in his garden at Dunedin. The specimens seen came partly from this plant and partly from others grown from its “seed.” As noted elsewhere (ante, p. 58), it is most likely identical with the Antipodes Island grass that the late Mr. Kirk referred to Poa anceps Forst. f.