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Volume 50, 1918
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Art. XIII.—Notes of a Botanical Visit to Hollyford Valley and Martin's Bay, with a List of Indigenous Plants.

[Read before the Otago Institute, 12th June, 1917; received by Editors, 22nd December, 1917: issued separately, 24th May, 1918.]

During the Christmas holidays of 1916–17 we, in company with some others, paid a visit to Martin's Bay, via the Hollyford Valley. We spent in all about ten days in the locality, examining the vegetation. Owing to lack of time and the difficult nature of the country, we were unable to climb any of the mountains, and consequently our notes relate only to the forest vegetation of Hollyford Valley and that of Martin's Bay itself. No list of the plants of these areas seems to have yet been published, so we append particulars of those seen by us, with some notes as to the ecological conditions and the forest vegetation.

Topography and Climate.

The Hollyford Valley from the point at which we entered it to the sea at Martin's Bay is about forty miles long. For over twenty miles of this distance it runs almost due north, and is bounded on the west by the Darran Range, which consists of very high and precipitous mountains, varying from 7,000 ft. to 9,000 ft. The principal peaks are Mount Christina (8,675 ft.) and Mount Tutoko (9,042 ft.). On the east side the mountains range from 4,000 ft. to 6,000 ft. in height. The valley is a narrow one, varying from less than a quarter of a mile to about two miles in width. The lower part trends more to the west, and consists of Lake McKerrow, twelve miles long, and a strip of three miles of level land to the sea. The mountains become much lower as the sea is approached. There is little doubt that this valley is subject to a very large rainfall, as is most of the western side of the South Island. The river is increased during its course by many snow-fed streams, which in the spring must be raging torrents. The Pyke River, which drains Lake Alabaster, is the largest of these streams, and is sufficiently deep to require horses to swim even when quite low, as it was at the time of our visit. We do not think this valley is subject to much frost in winter, and can vouch for the fact of great heat in summer. Our party did not experience a single shower during its visit, and from observations taken with the thermometer the shade temperature for several days exceeded 80° F. Where the track meets the valley below Howden Saddle the height above sea-level is between 500 ft. and 600 ft. The fall of the Hollyford River will therefore average about 15 ft. to the mile, although it is much greater in the upper part, as the last fifteen miles (including Lake McKerrow) is tidal.

Ecological Conditions.

The narrow valley, hemmed in by high mountains, and the high rainfall make the atmosphere warm and humid, and it consequently affords ideal conditions for plant-life. The soil mostly consists of detritus from the mountains, mixed with decaying vegetable matter, and is therefore rich and suitable for rank and rapid growth. The hanging mosses on all the tree-trunks and branches attest the high degree of atmospheric moisture.

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The hillsides are very steep, and give ample facilities for the growth of both sun- and shade-loving plants. The bush-line ascends to about 2,800 ft. or 3,000 ft. The trees throughout the valley are very high and have fairly close tops, but the high rainfall helps the formation of a stronger undergrowth than is usual in beech forests.

The Forest Association.

Round about Lake Howden the forest is almost entirely a Nothofagus one, but an immediate change is noticeable as soon as the descent to the Hollyford is commenced. The principal beech-trees are Nothofagus Menziesii and N. Solanderi, although N. fusca is found in patches and N. Blairii is also present. Gradually the forest changes as the valley is descended, until the taxads Dacrydium cupressinum, Podocarpus spicatus, and P. ferrugineus form a large part of the vegetation. P. Hallii and P. dacrydioides are also found, but do not appear to be anywhere very plentiful in the valley. The undergrowth consists of a second tier of smaller trees, the association being principally Pittosporum Colensoi, Nothopanax Edgerleyi, Carpodetus serratus, Metrosideros lucida (not abundant), Weinmannia racemosa (comparatively rare), and Griselinia littoralis, with a fair sprinkling of the fern-trees Hemitelia Smithii and Dicksonia fibrosa, and a considerable growth of Coprosma scrub and ferns. The islands in the river are usually covered with Coriaria ruscifolia, Cordyline australis, and Arundo conspicua, while Pratia angulata and Helichrysum bellidioides cover the open spaces.


Perhaps the most interesting of our “finds” are Metrosideros florida Smith, and M. scandens Sol. Freycinetia Banksii A. Cunn. was common at both Martin's Bay and Lake Alabaster. Wahlenbergia congesta N. E. Brown was noted at Martin's Bay, which adds to the few known habitats of the species. The locality where found and relative abundance of the species are mentioned in the list. The total number of species noted was 226, belonging to 129 genera and 56 families.

List Of Indigenous Plants.



  • Trichomanes reniforme Forst. f. Forest; not uncommon.

  • ——— venosum R. Br. Forest; rare.

  • Hymenophyllum sanguinolentum (Forst. f.) Sw. Tree-trunks.

  • ——— dilatatum (Forst. f.) Sw. Not very common.

  • ——— ferrugineum Colla. Fairly common.

  • ——— tunbridgense (L.) Sm. On tree-trunks.

  • ——— demissum (Forst. f.) Sw. Not uncommon.

  • ——— flabellatum Labill. Not plentiful.


  • Cyathea medullaris (Forst. f.) Sw. Martin's Bay; somewhat rare.

  • Hemitelia Smithii (Hook. f.) Hook Throughout

  • Alsophila Colensoi Hook. f. Not uncommon.

  • Dicksonia fibrosa Col. Not plentiful.

  • Leptolepia novae-zelandiae (Col.) Kuhn. Head of Hollyford Valley.

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  • Polystichum hispidum (Sw.) J. Sm. Throughout.

  • ——— vestitum (Forst. f.) Presl. Throughout.

  • Lindsaya viridis Col. Rare.

  • Asplenium adiantoides (L.) C. Chr. Near Mid Hut.

  • ——— bulbiferum Forst. f. Common throughout.

  • ——— flaccidum Forst. f. Common on trees.

  • Blechnum Patersoni (R. Br.) Mett. Fairly plentiful.

  • ——— discolor (Forst. f.) Keys. Dry open spaces.

  • ——— vulcanicum (Bl.) Kuhn. Epiphytic on rocky cliffs.

  • ——— lanceolatum (R. Br.) Sturm. Steep banks.

  • ——— penna marina (Poir.) Kuhn. Plentiful throughout.

  • ——— capense (L.) Schlecht. Abundant.

  • ——— fluviatile (R. Br.) Lowe. Not uncommon.

  • Hypolepis tenuifolia (Forst. f.) Bernh. Open spaces.

  • Adiantum affine Willd. Hidden falls, rocks.

  • Histiopteris incisa (Thbg.) J. Sm. Not abundant.

  • Pteridium esculentum (Forst. f.) Cockayne. Open places only.

  • Polypodium Billardieri (Willd.) C. Chr. Epiphytic on tree-trunks.

  • ——— gramitidis R. Br. Epiphytic on tree-trunks.

  • ——— diversifolium Willd. Climbing on tree-trunks.

  • Dryopteris pennigera Forst. f. Not uncommon.

  • Cyclophorus serpens (Forst f.) C Chr. Climbing on trees.


  • Gleichenia dicarpa R. Br. Swampy places.


  • Leptopteris hymenophylloides (A. Rich.) Presl. Fairly common.

  • ——— superba (Col.) Presl. Fairly abundant.


  • Botrychium ternatum Sw. Martin's Bay only.


  • Lycopodium scariosum Forst. f. Not uncommon.

  • ——— volubile Forst. f. Fairly common.

  • ——— Billardieri Spring. Rare.

  • Tmesipteris tannensis Bernh. Not common; tree-trunks only.



  • Podocarpus Hallii T. Kirk. Not plentiful

  • ——— nivalis Hook. f. Only at high levels.

  • ——— ferrugineus Don. Common.

  • ——— spicatus R. Br. Plentiful

  • ——— dacrydioides A. Rich. Throughout.

  • Dacrydium cupressinum Sol. Fairly abundant throughout.

  • ———intermedium T. Kirk. Only near Martin's Bay.

  • ——— Colensoi Hook. Martin's Bay only.

  • Phyllocladus alpinus Hook. f. Not uncommon.

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  • Potamogeton Cheesmanii A. Benn. In ponds, & c.


  • Triglochin striata Ruiz. & Pav. var. filifolia (Sieb.) Buchen. Wet places, Martin's Bay.


  • Microlaena avenacea (Raoul) Hook. f. Common throughout.

  • Danthonia semiannularis R. Br. var. setifolia Hook. f. Rare; Hidden Falls.

  • ——— pilosa R. Br. Head of Lake McKerrow.

  • ——— Cunninghamii Hook. f. Not abundant.

  • Arundo conspicua Forst. f. Abundant on islands, & c.

  • Poa Colensoi Hook. f. Cliff-faces.

  • Fetuca littoralis Labill. Sand-dunes.


  • Freycinetia Banksii A. Cunn. Abundant on creek-banks and at Martin's Bay and Lake Alabaster.


  • Scirpus inundatus (R. Br.) Poir. Swampy places, Martin's Bay.

  • —— nodosus (R. Br.) Rottb. Brackish water.

  • —— frondosus Banks & Sol. Sand-dunes.

  • Carpha alpina R. Br. Dry heath, Martin's Bay.

  • Gahnia procera Forst. Damp places.

  • —— xanthocarpa Hook. f. (?). Martin's Bay only.

  • Uncinia uncinata (L. f.) Küken. Common in forest.

  • Carex ternaria Forst. f. Damp places.

  • —— lucida Boott. On bush tracks, damp ground.

  • —— pumila Thbg. Damp sand.

  • Leptocarpus simplex A. Rich. Salt marshes.


  • Juncus polyanthemos Buchen. Damp places.


  • Rhipogonum scandens Forst. Not abundant.

  • Enargea parviflora (Banks & Sol.) Hook. Fairly common.

  • Cordyline australis (Forst. f.) Hook. In Hollyford Valley.

  • —— indivisa Steud. Rare; near Howden Saddle.

  • Astelia nervosa Banks & Sol. Very abundant.

  • —— montana (T. Kirk) Cockayne. Dry places.

  • Dianella intermedia Endl. Lake McKerrow.

  • Phormium tenax Forst. River-bank.

  • —— Cookianum Le Jolis. Creek-banks, cliffs, & c.; common.


  • Libertia pulchella Spreng. Near Howden Saddle only.

  • —— ixioides Spreng. Dry places in forest.

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  • Dendrobium Cunninghamii Lindl. Tolerably common.

  • Earina mucronata Lindl. Epiphytic on tree-trunks.

  • —— autumnalis (Forst. f.) Hook. Epiphytic; not common.

  • Pterostylis Banksii R. Br. In damp forest.

  • Thelymitra longifolia Forst. Martin's Bay.

  • Corysanthes macrantha Hook. f. Damp banks, & c.

  • —— oblonga Hook. f. Forest-floor.

  • Gastrodia Cunninghamii Hook. f. Beech forest.

  • Bulbophyllum pygmaeum Lindl. Rocks, Martin's Bay.


  • Ascarina lucida Hook. f. Fairly plentiful; Martin's Bay.


  • Hedycarya arborea Forst. Hollyford Valley and Martin's Bay; common.


  • Nothofagus fusca (Hook. f.) Oerst. Common.

  • —— Menziesii (Hook. f.) Oerst. Common.

  • —— Solanderi (Hook. f.) Oerst. Common.

  • —— cliffortioides (Hook. f.) Oerst. At higher altitudes.

  • —— Blairii (T. Kirk) Diels. Not common.


  • Urtica incisa Poir. Common in forest.

  • —— ferox Forst. Forest tracks; plentiful.


  • Loranthus micranthus Hook. f. Martin's Bay

  • Elytranthe Colensoi (Hook. f.) Engl. Common on beech-trees.

  • —— tetrapetalus (Forst. f.) Engl. Common on Fagus; also found on Griselinia

  • —— flavida (Hook. f.) Engl. Comparatively rare.


  • Rumex neglectus Kirk. Martin's Bay.

  • —— flexuosus Sol. Martin's Bay.

  • Muehlenbeckia australis (A. Cunn.) Meissn. Not abundant.

  • —— complexa (A. Cunn.) Meissn. Fairly common.

  • —— axillaris Walp. Rare.


  • Stellaria parviflora Banks & Sol. Open tracks, & c.

  • Colobanthus aciculais Hook. f. Rocks and dry places.


  • Clematis indivisa Willd. Rare.

  • Ranunculus hirtus Banks & Sol. Not uncommon.

  • —— rivularis Banks & Sol. Martin's Bay.

  • —— lappaceus Sm. Open spaces, Martin's Bay.

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  • Drimys colorata Raoul. Not common.


  • Cardamine heterophylla (Forst. f.) O. E. Schultz var. Forest tracks.


  • Carpodetus serratus Forst. Fairly plentiful.


  • Pittosporum Colensoi Hook. f. var. Scattered throughout.


  • Weinmannia racemosa L. f. Comparatively rare.


  • Rubus australis Forst. f. Throughout.

  • —— cissoides A. Cunn. Not plentiful.

  • —— subpauperatus Cockayne. Not uncommon.

  • Potentilla anserina (L.) var. anserinoides (Raoul) T. Kirk. Damp places.

  • Acaena novae-zelandiae Kirk. Throughout.

  • —— Sanguisorbae Vahl. Common.

  • —— microphylla Hook. f. On tracks, & c.


  • Geranium microphyllum Hook. f. Near Martin's Bay.

  • —— sessiliflorum Cav. var. Sand-hills.

  • Oxalis magellanica Forst. Near Lake McKerrow.


  • Pennantia corymbosa Forst. Not plentiful.


  • Euphorbia glauca Forst. f. Sand-dunes only.


  • Coriaria ruscifolia L. var. Abundant and of great size.

  • —— thymifolia Humb. & Bonp. var. Fairly plentiful.

  • —— angustissima Hook. f. Not common.


  • Sophora tetraptera J. Mull. var. Lake McKerrow and Martin's Bay.

  • Carmichaelia flagelliformis Col. (?). Martin's Bay.


  • Aristotelia racemosa (A. Cunn.) Hook. f. Not abundant.

  • —— Colensoi Hook. f. Rare.

  • —— fruticosa Hook. f. Common.

  • Elaeocarpus Hookerianus Raoul. Comparatively rare.

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  • Hoheria populnea A. Cunn. var. Pyke River.

  • Gaya Lyallii Baker. River-valleys.


  • Viola Cunninghamii Hook. f. Not uncommon.

  • —— filicaulis Hook. f. Head of Hollyford Valley; rare.

  • —— —— var. hydrocotyloides (J. B. Armstg.) T. Kirk. Damp tracks.

  • Melicytus ramiflorus Forst. Common throughout.


  • Pimelea Lyallii Hook. f. Sand-hills, Martin's Bay.


  • Leptospermum scoparium Forst. Martin's Bay; not plentiful.

  • Metrosideros lucida Forst. f. Growing throughout, but local.

  • —— hypericifolia A. Cunn. Lower Hollyford.

  • —— florida Sm. Martin's Bay.

  • —— scandens Sol. Forest, Martin's Bay.

  • Myrtus pedunculata Hook. f. Common.


  • Epilobium rotundifolium A. Rich. Bush tracks.

  • —— linnaeoides Hook. f. Open spaces.

  • —— melanocaulon Hook. f. Creek-beds.

  • —— nummularifolium A. Cunn. var. minimum T. Kirk. Forest.

  • Fuchsia excorticata L. f. Not uncommon.

  • —— Colensoi Hook. f. Rare.


  • Halorrhagis erecta (Murr.) Schindler. Sand-hills.

  • Gunnera albocarpa (T. Kirk) Cockayne. Damp places.


  • Nothopanax simplex (Forst.) Seem. Throughout.

  • —— Edgerleyi (Hook. f.) Seem. Throughout.

  • —— Colensoi (Hook. f.) Not plentiful.

  • —— linearis (Hook. f.) Harms. Near Howden Pass.

  • Pseudopanax crassifolium (Sol.) C. Koch var. unifoliatum T. Kirk. Not common.

  • Schefflera digitata Forst. Damp situations; fairly common.


  • Hydrocotyle novae-zealandiae DC. Damp places.

  • Apium prostratum Labill. Near sand-hills.

  • —— filiforme (A. Rich.) Hook. Not uncommon.

  • Anisotome intermedia Hook. f. Rocks and creek-banks, Martin's Bay.


  • Griselinia littoralis Raoul. Not uncommon.

  • —— lucida Forst. Martin's Bay; not uncommon.


  • Gaultheria antipoda Forst. f. var. erecta Cheesem. Near Martin's Bay.

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  • Styphelia acerosa Sol. Martin's Bay and Howden Saddle.

  • —— Fraseri (A. Cunn.) F. Muell. Martin's Bay.

  • Archeria Traversii Hook. f. Rare.

  • Dracophyllum longifolium (Forst. f.) R. Br. Not plentiful.


  • Suttonia divaricata (A. Cunn.) Hook. f. Throughout.

  • Rapanea Urvillei (A. DC.) Mez. Rare.


  • Calystegia tuguriorum (Forst. f.) R. Br. Rear of sand-hills.

  • —— sepium R. Br. (?). Near sand-hills.

  • —— Soldanella R. Br. On sand, Martin's Bay.


  • Myosotis Lyallii Hook. f. (?). Bush tracks.


  • Mentha Cunninghamii Benth. Bush tracks.


  • Veronica salicifolia Forst. Common; creek-banks.

  • —— subalpina Cockayne. Creek-banks.

  • —— leiophylla Cheesem. (?). Hidden Falls; not common.

  • —— Lyallii Hook. f. Not uncommon.

  • —— catarractae Forst. Hidden Falls.

  • —— buxifolia Benth. Rare.

  • Ourisia caespitosa Hook. f. Near Howden Saddle.


  • Coprosma lucida. Forst. Common throughout.

  • —— parviflora Hook. f. Fairly plentiful.

  • —— acerosa A. Cunn. var. arenaria T. Kirk. Dunes.

  • —— foetidissima Forst. Common in forest.

  • —— rotundifolia A. Cunn. In forest.

  • —— areolata Cheesem. In forest.

  • Nertera dichondraefolia (A. Cunn.) Hook. Common.

  • —— depressa Banks & Sol. Comparatively rare.


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

  • —— —— variety with small leaf. In forest.

  • Wahlenbergia albomarginata Hook. Open spaces.

  • —— congesta (Cheesem.) N. E. Brown. Sand-hills, Martin's Bay.

  • Lobelia anceps L. Wet places, Martin's Bay.


  • Lagenophora pumila (Forst. f.) Cheesem. Not uncommon; Martin's Bay.

  • —— petiolata Hook. f. Plentiful.

  • Olearia arborescens (Forst. f.) Cockayne and Laing. Creek-banks.

  • —— ilicifolia Hook. f. Plentiful.

  • —— avicenniaefolia Hook. f. Common in places.

  • Celmisia longifolia Cass. var. Not plentiful.

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  • Brachycome Sinclairii Hook. f. On tracks, & c.

  • Raoulia glabra Hook. f. Dry places.

  • —— australis Hook. f. Shingle-beds.

  • Gnaphalium luteo-album L. Not uncommon.

  • —— Lyallii Hook. f. Rocks, Martin's Bay.

  • Helichrysum bellidioides (Forst. f.) Willd. Not plentiful.

  • Craspedia uniflora Forst. f. var. robusta Hook. f. Common; Martin's Bay.

  • Cotula dioica Hook. f. Open places; common.

  • Senecio elaeagnifolius Hook. f. Not plentiful.