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Volume 49, 1916
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Art. IX.—Botanical Results of an Excursion to the Upper Makarora Valley and the Haast Pass, supported by a List of the Species observed.

[Read before the Otago Institute, 1st August, 1916; received by Editors, 30th December, 1916; issued separately, 9th July, 1917.]

During the Christmas and New Year holidays of 1915–16 a party of four, consisting of Messrs. G. Biggar, of Gore, O. V. Davies and C. Seelye, of Dunedin, and myself, visited the Upper Makarora Valley and Haast Pass with the object of examining the flora and vegetation of that area. The locality is of special interest from a phytogeographical point of view inasmuch as it was supposed to form the connecting-link between L. Cockayne's Western and Fiord South Island Botanical Districts. (See p. 65 of this volume, where the whole of Cockayne's proposed “districts” are defined.) An investigation of the flora was therefore of great importance from the standpoint of plant-distribution, since up to the present, so far as I know, no botanical work whatever has been undertaken in the above area.

The Haast Pass is situated about seventeen miles from the head of Lake Wanaka, and is reached by following the Makarora River up to the junction of the Fish River with the main stream. The Fish River is then followed until the pass is encountered. The saddle is only about 1,850 ft. above sea-level, and is clothed in forest. It is the watershed between the Fish River and the Haast.

In addition to examining this forest, we climbed the mountains above the east side of the pass, reaching a height of 6,000 ft., noting the plant-covering as we went. The upper line of the forest is about

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3,750ft. above sea-level, and the climbing through the forest is severe. We reached the pass on the 29th December, 1915, and camped beside the headwaters of the Haast for five days, making excursions in different directions. The weather during the last day or two was unfavourable for mountain-climbing, hence our investigation was not as thorough as I should have liked, but the following two conclusions were arrived at, and they appear of considerable moment:—

1. The flora resembles that of the Western Botanical District more closely than that of the Fiord Botanical District, as evidenced by the species as a whole, and especially by the presence of such crucial Western District plants as Ranunculus sericophyllus (not R. Baughani, nor the varieties of R. sericophyllus, if they be varieties rather than species, found in the Humboldt Mountains, &c.), Anisotome Haastii (not A. capillifolium), Ourisia macrocarpa var. calycina (not var. cordata), and Celmisia Armstrongii; while various common Fiord District plants are wanting—e.g., Ranunculus Buchanani, Ourisia prorepens, Veronica catarractae (the long-leaved var), Celmisia verbascifolia, C. holosericea, and C. Hectori. All the same, a Fiord District affinity is seen in the presence of Dracophyllum Menziesii, Veronica Hectori, a var. of Celmisia Petriei, and Olearia moschata, but the latter is common much farther to the north. Certain characteristic Western District plants also are absent, especially Dracophyllum Traversii and Olearia lacunosa.

From the above it can be seen that, so far as the flora goes, though more or less intermediate between the two botanical districts under consideration, it seems best to include the Haast Pass, &c., area in the Western Botanical District.

2. With regard to the vegetation, the subalpine forest consists of Nothofagus Menziesii, and not of Podocarpus Hallii and Libocedrus Bidwillii as in the Western Botanical District on the western side. Further, there is no subalpine Nothofagus cliffortioides forest, nor montane or lowland N. fusca forest. On the other hand, the rain-forest, which commences at the junction of the Rivers Wills and Haast, is of the Western District type, in which Nothofagus is absent. So, too, the subalpine fell-field appears to closely resemble Western District fell-field. Thus the vegetation seems to favour the area being included in the Western rather than in the Fiord District.

In the following list of species nothing is said regarding habitat, locality, or comparative rarity, since for any statements of moment a more thorough investigation of the area would have been necessary. A number of other species were noted, but as specimens of such were not secured it has seemed best to include only those species of which the determination is without question.

List of Indigenous Plants.


  • Hymenophyllum sanguinol entum (Forst. f.) Sw.

  • Hemitelia Smithii (Hook. f.) Hook.

  • Alsophila Colensoi Hook. f.

  • Polystichum vestitum (Forst. f.) Presl.

  • —Richardi Hook.

  • Asplenium bulbiferum Forst. f. (various forms)

  • flaccidum Forst. f. (various forms).

  • Blechnum Patersoni (R. Br.) Mett.

  • discolor Forst. f.

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  • Blechnum vulcanicum (Bl.) Kuhn.

  • lanceolatum (R. Br.) Sturm.

  • penna marina (Poir) Kuhn.

  • capense (L.) Schlecht.

  • fluviatile (R. Br.) Lowe.

  • Hypolepis tenuifolia (Forst. f.) Bernh.

  • Histiopteris incisa (Thunb.) J. Sm.

  • Pteridium esculentum (Forst. f.) Cockayne.

  • Paesia scaberula (A. Rich.) Kuhn.

  • Dryopteris glabella (A. Cunn.) C. Chr.

  • Polypodium Billardieri (Willd.) C. Chr.

  • Polypodium diversifolium Willd.

  • punctatum Thunb.

  • Cyclophorus serpens (Forst. f.) C. Chr.

  • Gleichenia Cunninghami Hew.

  • Leptopteris hymenophylloides (A. Rich.) Presl.

  • superba (Col.) Presl.


  • Lycopodium. Billardieri Spring.

  • fastigiatum R. Br.

  • scariosum Forst. f.

  • volubile Forst. f.



  • Podocarpus Hallii T. Kirk.

  • totara D. Don.

  • ferrugineus D. Don.

  • spicatus R. Br.

  • nivalis Hook.

  • dacrydioides A. Rich.

  • Dacrydium cupressinum Sol.

  • Phyllocladus alpinus Hook. f.


  • Potamogeton Cheesemanii A. Benn.

  • Phyllocladus alpinus Hook. f.


  • Microlaena avenacea (Raoul.) Hook. f.

  • Danthonia Cunninghamii Hook. f.

  • flavescens Hook. f.

  • Raoulii Steud.

  • Buchanani Hook. f. var.

  • crassiuscula T. Kirk.

  • semiannularis R. Br. var.

  • Arundo conspicua Forst. f.

  • Poa caespitosa Forst. f. var.

  • Colensoi Hook. f. var.

  • Festuca novae - zealandiae (Hack.) Cockayne.

  • Agropyron scabrum (R. Br.) Beauv. var.


  • Gahnia procera Forst.

  • Oreobolus pectinatus Hook. f.

  • Uncinia uncinata (L. f.) Kükenth.

  • Carex ternaria Forst. f.

  • Gaudichaudiana Kunth.


  • Juncus polyanthemus Buchen.

  • planifolius R. Br.

  • Luzula campestris DC. var.


  • Enargia parviflora Kunth.

  • Cordyline australis (Forst. f.) Hook. f.

  • Astelia linearis Hook. f.

  • nervosa Banks & Sol.

  • montana (Kirk) Cockayne.

  • Petriei Cockayne.

  • Phormium tenax Forst.

  • Cookianum Le Jolis.

  • Chrysobractron Hookeri Col.

  • Herpolirion novae-zelandiae Hook. f.


  • Thelymitra longifolia Forst.

  • Microtis unifolia (Forst. f.) Reichb.

  • Prasophyllum Colensoi Hook. f.

  • Caladenia bifolia Hook. f.

  • Lyallii Hook. f.

  • Chiloglottis cornuta Hook. f.

  • Corysanthes rotundifolia Hook. f.

  • triloba Hook. f.

  • macrantha Hook. f.

  • Adenochilus gracilis Hook. f.

  • Gastrodia Cunninghamii Hook. f.

  • Pterostylus Banksii R. Br.

  • australis Hook. f.


  • Nothofagus Menziesii (Hook. f.) Oerst.

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  • Urtica incisa Poir.


  • Eletranthe Colensoi (Hook. f.) Engl.

  • tetrapetalus (Hook. f.) Engl.

  • flavidus (Hook. f.) Engl.


  • Rumex flexuosus Sol.

  • Muehlenbeckia australis (Forst. f.) Meissn.

  • complexa (A. Cunn.) Meissn. var.

  • axillaris (Hook. f.) Walp.


  • Claytonia australasica Hook. f.


  • Hectorella caespitosa Hook. f.


  • Clematis indivisa Willd.

  • Ranunculus Lyallii Hook. f.

  • hirtus Banks & Sol.

  • rivularis Banks & Sol.

  • lappaceus Sm. var.

  • sericophyllus Hook. f.

  • Caltha novae-zelandiae Hook. f.


  • Drimys colorata Raoul.


  • Cardamine heterophylla (Forst. f.) O. E. Schulz var.


  • Drosera spathulata Labill.


  • Carpodetus serratus Forst.


  • Pittosporum tenuifolium Banks & Sol. var.

  • Colenso Hook. f.


  • Weinmannia racemosa L. f.


  • Rubus australis Forst var. glaber Hook. f.

  • subpauperatus Cockayne.

  • schmidelioides A. Cunn.

  • Geum parviflorum Smith.

  • leiospermum Petrie.

  • Potentilla anserina L. var. anserinoides (Raoul) Kirk.

  • Acaena novae-zelandiae T. Kirk.

  • Sanguisorbae var. pusilla Bitter.

  • — —var. pilosa T. Kirk.

  • microphylla Hook. f. var.

  • inermis Hook. f. var.


  • Geranium microphyllum Hook. f.

  • sessiliflorum Cav. var glabrum Knuth.

  • Oxalis magellanica Forst.

  • corniculata L. var.

  • Pennantia corymbosa Forst.


  • Callitriche verna L.


  • Coriaria ruscifolia L. va.

  • thymifolia Humb & Bonpl. var.

  • angustissima Hook. f.


  • Carmichaelia grandiflora Hook. f.


  • Aristotelia racemosa (A Cunn.) Hook. f.

  • Colensoi Hook. f.?

  • fruticosa Hook. f.

  • Elaeocarpus Hookerianus Raoul.


  • Plagianthus betulinus Forst.

  • Gaya Lyallii (Hook. f.) J. E. Baker.


  • Viola Cunninghami Hook. f.

  • Melicytus lanceolatus Hook. f.

  • ramiflorus Forst.

  • Hymenanthera dentata R. Br. var. alpina T Kirk.

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  • Pimelea prostrata Willd. var.

  • Drapetes Dieffenbachi Hook.


  • Leptospermum scoparium Forst. var.

  • ericoides A. Rich. var.

  • Metrosideros lucida (Forst. f.) A. Rich.

  • hypericifolia A. Cunn.

  • Myrtus pedunculata Hook. f.

  • obcordata Hook. f.


  • Epilobium pubens A. Rich.

  • pictum Petrie.

  • melanocaulon Hook.

  • microphyllum A. Rich.

  • Hectori Haussk.

  • Fuchsia excorticata L. f.


  • Halorrhagis micrantha (Thunb.) R. Br.

  • Gunnera monoica Raoul var. albocarpa T. Kirk.

  • dentata T. Kirk.


  • Nothopanax simplex (Forst. f.) Seem.

  • Edgerleyi (Hook. f.) Seem.

  • Colensoi (Hook. f.) Seem.

  • Schefflera digitata Forst.

  • Pseudopanax crassifolium (Sol.) C. Koch. var. unifoliatum T. Kirk.


  • Hydrocotyle novae-zelandiae DC.

  • asiatica L.

  • Schizeilema hydrocotyloides (Hook. f.) Domin.

  • Hookeri (Drude) Domin.

  • Anisotome Haastii (F. Muell.) Cockayne and Laing.

  • aromatica Hook. f.

  • Aciphylla Colensoi Hook. f.

  • Monroi Hook. f. (or one of Cheeseman's recent segregates from that species)

  • Lyallii Hook. f.

  • Angelicum montana (Forst. f.) Cockayne.


  • Griselinia littoralis Raoul.


  • Gaultheria antipoda Forst. f. var. erecta Chesm.

  • — — var. depressa Hook. f.

  • perplexa T. Kirk.

  • rupestris R. Br. var.


  • Pentachondra pumila (Forst. f.) R. Br.

  • Styphelia acerosa Sol. var.

  • Fraseri (A. Cunn.) F. Muell.

  • Colensoi (Hook. f.).

  • pumila (Hook. f.) Diels.

  • Archeria Traversii Hook. f.

  • Dracophyllum Menziesii Hook. f.

  • longifolium (Forst. f.) R. Br.


  • Rapanea Urvellei (A. DC.) Mez.

  • Suttonia divaricata Hook. f.


  • Gentiana corymbifera T. Kirk.

  • bellidifolia Hook. f.


  • Parsonsia heterophylla A. Cunn.


  • Calystegia tuguriorum (Forst. f.) R. Br.


  • Myosotis Forsteri Lehm.


  • Mentha Cunninghami Benth.


  • Veronica salicifolia Forst. f. var. communis Cockayne.

  • subalpina Cockayne.

  • Cockayniana Cheesem.?

  • Hectori Hook. f.

  • linifolia Hook. f.

  • Lyallii Hook. f.

  • lycopodioides Hook. f.?

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  • Veronica monticola Armst. var.

  • Thomsoni Cheesem.

  • buxifolia Benth. var.

  • Ourisia macrocarpa Hook. f. var. calycina (Col.) Cockayne.

  • Crosbyi Cockayne.

  • caespitosa Hook. f.

  • glandulosa Hook. f.

  • sessilifolia Hook. f.

  • Euphrasia Monroi Hook. f.?

  • zelandica Wettst.

  • Mazus radicans Cheesem.


  • Plantago Brownii Rapin?


  • Coprosma lucida Forst. f.

  • rotundifolia A. Cunn.

  • areolata Cheesem.

  • parviflora Hook. f.

  • Coprosma propinqua A Cunn.

  • brunnea (T. Kirk) Cockayne.

  • linariifolia Hook. f.

  • foetidissima Forst.

  • repens Hook. f.

  • serrulata Hook. f.

  • Nertera depressa Banks & Sol

  • dichondraefolia (A. Cunn.) Hook. f.

  • Galium umbrosum Sol.


  • Pratia angulata (Forst. f.) Hook. f.

  • Wahlenbergia albomarginata Hook.

  • gracilis (Forst. f.) A DC var.


  • Phyllachne Colensoi (Hook. f.) Berggr

  • Forstera Bidwillii Hook. f.


  • Lagenophora pumila (Forst.) Cheesem

  • petiolata Hook. f.

  • Brachycome Sinclairii Hook. f.

  • Olearia lineata (Kirk) Cockayne.

  • Olearia moschata Hook. f.

  • arborescens (Forst. f.) Cockayne and Laing.

  • ilicifolia Hook. f.

  • avicenniaefolia (Raoul) Hook. f.

  • virgata Hook. f. var.

  • Celmisia Sinclairii Hook. f. var.

  • longifolia Cass. var.

  • var alpina T. Kirk

  • sessiliflora Hook. f.

  • Armstrongii Petrie.

  • petiolata Hook. f.

  • coriacea Hook. f.

  • Walkeri T. Kirk.

  • bellidioides Hook. f.

  • angustifolia Cockayne var with shorter and wider leaves than type.

  • Haasii Hook. f.

  • discolor Hook. f.

  • Petriei Cheesem. var.

  • Lyallii Hook. f.

  • glandulosa Hook. f.

  • Gnaphalium trinerve Forst. f.

  • luteo-album L.

  • collinum Labill.

  • Traversii Hook. f.

  • paludosum Petiie.

  • keriense A. Cunn.

  • Raouha glabra Hook. f.

  • australis Hook. f. var.

  • grandiflora Hook.

  • Helichrysum filicaule Hook. f.

  • bellidioides Willd.

  • Leucogenes grandiceps (Hook. f.) Beauv.

  • Cassinia Vauvilliersii Hook. f.

  • Craspedia uniflora Forst. f. var.

  • Cotula dioica Hook. f. var.

  • squalida Hook. f.

  • Erechtites prenanthoides (A. Rich.) DC.

  • scaberula Hook. f.

  • Senecio bellidioides Hook. f. var.

  • Lyallii Hook. f.

  • scorzoneroides Hook. f.

  • lautus Forst. var. montanus Cheesem.

  • southlandicus Cockayne

  • elaeagnifolius Hook. f.

  • Taraxacum magellanicum Comm.