Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
Volume 50, 1918
This text is also available in PDF
(130 KB) Opens in new window
– 158 –

Art. XV.—Notes on a Botanical Visit to Coll or Bench Island (Stewart Island).

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

On the 10th April, 1917, in company with Mr. G. Biggar, of Croydon, I had the opportunity, by courtesy of Mr. Henry Hansen, of Half-moon Bay, of spending a few hours on the above island—one of those off the north-east coast of Stewart Island, distant about six miles from the mainland, at Half-moon Bay. The whole surface of the island is clad with a close forest and scrub association, which in parts is difficult to get through, and consequently my list can hardly be considered exhaustive, but it gives a good idea of the plant-covering. The general characteristics of the coastal scrub of all these outlying islands are very similar. This island, however, contains a forest association something like Pukeokaoka,* differing considerably from both Herekopere and Bunkers, which are its nearest neighbours. The top of the island is somewhat broken by a series of undulations, and the chief features of the vegetation are the close coastal scrub, the great quantities of Stilbocarpa Lyallii, and the large groves of Dicksonia squarrosa. The ferns of the forest-floor are of immense size, the fronds of Asplenium bulbiferum and A. falcatum attaining a height of 1.5 metres. Petrels and other burrowing-birds do not seem very plentiful except towards the southern end of the island, but penguins (Megadyptes antipodium) were common at the time of our visit, and appeared to be moulting. The influence of these birds on the vegetation must be considerable, both on account of their traffic and by the enrichment of the ground by their droppings.

I do not intend further describing the plant-associations in detail, but append a list of species noted. From this it will be seen that these number fifty-four, belonging to thirty-seven genera and twenty-four families. For the first time, I think, Senecio Stewartiae is definitely reported from this island. It is plentiful at the south end, but was not seen elsewhere.

List of Plants Noted.



  • Hymenophyllum sanguinolentum (Forst. f.) Sw.

  • —— dilatatum (Forst. f.) Sw.

  • —— demissum (Forst. f.) Sw.

  • —— tunbridgense (L.) Sm.


  • Dicksonia squarrosa (Forst. f.) Sw.


  • Polystichum vestitum (Forst.) Presl.

  • —— hispidum (Sw.) Sm.

[Footnote] * See D. L. Poppelwell, Notes on the Plant-covering of Pukeokaoka, Stewart Island, Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. 48, p. 244, 1916.

[Footnote] † See D. L. Poppelwell, Notes of a Botanical Visit to Herekopere Island, Stewart Island, Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. 47, p. 142, 1915.

[Footnote] ‡ See article in this volume, p. 154

– 159 –
  • Asplenium obtusatum Forst. f.

  • —— scleroprium Homb. & Jacq.

  • —— lucidum Forst. f.

  • —— bulbiferum Forst. f.

  • —— flaccidum Forst. f.

  • —— falcatum Lam.

  • Blechnum durum (Moore) C. Chr.

  • —— penna marina (Poir.) Kuhn.

  • Histiopteris incisa (Thbg.) J. Sm.

  • Pteridum esculentum (Forst. f.) Cockayne.

  • Polypodium Billardieri (Willd.) C. Chr.

  • —— grammitidis R. Br.

  • —— diversifolium Willd.


  • Tmesipteris tannensis Bernh.



  • Podocarpus ferrugineus Don


  • Hierochloe redolens (Forst. f) R. Br.

  • Poa Astoni Petrie.


  • Scirpus aucklandicus (Hook. f.) Boeck.

  • —— nodosus (R. Br.) Rottb.

  • Carex trifida Cav.

  • —— lucida Boott.


  • Rhipogonum scandens Forst.


  • Earina mucronata Lindl


  • Muehlenbeckia australis (Forst. f.) Meissn.


  • Tetragonia trigyna Banks & Sol.


  • Crassula moschata Forst. f.


  • Pittosporum Colensoi Hook. f. var.


  • Weinmannia racemosa L. f.


  • Rubus australis Forst. f.


  • Melicytus lanceolatus Hook. f.


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


  • Stilbocarpa Lyallii J. B. Armstrong.

  • Nothopanax Edgerleyi (Hook. f.) Seem

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


  • Hydrocotyle novae-zealandiae DC.

  • Apium prostratum Labill


  • Griselinia littoralis Raoul.


  • Rapanea Urvellei (A. DC.) Mez.


  • Veronica elliptica Forst f.


  • Coprosma rotundifolia A. Cunn.

  • —— areolata Cheesem

  • —— foetidissima Forst

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


  • Olearia angustifolia Hook. f.

  • Erechtites scaberula Hook. f.

  • Senecio Stewartiae J. B. Armstrong.

  • —— rotundifolius Hook f.