Art. XI.—A New Variety of Pteris macilenta.
[Read before the Auckland Institute, 20th December, 1918; received by Editor, 30th December, 1918; issued separately, 14th May, 1919.]
Pteris macilenta A. Rich. var. saxatilis Carse var. nov.
Planta decumbens vel suberecta; quam typo in partibus omnibus minor tenuiorque Stipes 8–24 cm. longus, tenuis, canaliculatus, flavus, suffuscus vel purpureus, glaber, infra squamosus. Frondes 10–36 cm. longae, 8–15 cm. latae, ovatae vel lanceolatae, valde membranaceae, haud lucidae ut in typo, 3–4-pinnatae. Rhachis fere filiformis. Pinnae primariae distantes, inferiores 8–18 cm. longae, adscendentes; pinna terminalis 25 mm. longa; segmenta ultima alte et acute dentata, apex saepe laciniatus. Sori in segmentorum sinubus brevissimi.
This variety of Pteris macilenta has for years appeared to me worthy of a distinctive name. It differs from the type in many important characters, and, while occasionally forms connecting it with the type on the one hand and with var. pendula on the other are seen, the usual form of this variety could not be mistaken. It is most plentiful in rather dry situations in forests, usually where detached rocks crop up.
The following are some of its main characters: The plant is decumbent or suberect, with a very short usually erect rhizome. Stipes 8–24 cm. long, slender, grooved, pale yellow, reddish-brown, or almost purple (as are the rhachises), darker at the base, quite, smooth except for a few scales below. Fronds 10–36 cm. long, 8–15 cm. wide, ovate or lanceolate, very. membranous, pale dull green, glabrous, 3-rarely 4-pinnate below; rachis almost filiform; primary pinnae distant, usually 6 pairs, lower opposite, 8–15 cm. long, obliquely placed on the stipes; terminal pinnae 25 mm. long. Secondary pinnae stalked, on the lower branches again pinnate, on the upper pinnatifid, terminal ones adnate and decurrent. Pinnules 12–20 mm. long. Ultimate segments deeply and sharply toothed, the apex often laciniate. Veins free, or very slightly anastomosing along the costa. Sori in notches between the segments, very short.
Hab.—Among detached rocks in hilly forests, Mongonui County, Bay of Islands, Whangarei, Manukau County; H. C. Coromandel Peninsula: H. B. Matthews! Thames; D. Petrie!