Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
Volume 52, 1920
This text is also available in PDF
(277 KB) Opens in new window
– 17 –

Art. III—Descriptions of New Native Flowering-plants.

[Read before the Auckland Institute, 22nd December, 1919; received by Editor, 31st December, 1919; issued separately, 4th June, 1920.]

Pittosporum Matthewsii sp. nov.

Planta P. virgatae T. Kirk affinis; differt foliis confertis, maturis linearioblongis subacutis glabris a marginibus undulatis; capsulis longioribus subacute obovatis, ± 1.8 cm. longis, circa 1 cm. latis, valvis duabus nec canaliculatis nec latere depressis atris undique lacunosis.

A small compactly branched tree, 20–25 ft. high, with black bark.

Juvenile state: Branches and twigs slender, the latter closely covered with greyish-white pubescence; leaves rather closely placed, patent, narrow-linear, ± 2 cm. long, ± 2 mm. wide, subacute entire or slightly waved at the margins, glabrous or nearly so, little coriaceous, somewhat recurved at the edges when dried, midrib evident below, rather obscure above, the upper surface dark green and polished, paler below; very young leaves brownish-green and more or less closely clothed with white semipubescent hairs; petioles very short and slender.

Mature state: Twigs more or less closely scarred by the bases of the fallen leaves; leaves rather closely placed, linear-oblong or narrow obovate-oblong, ± 4 cm. long, 5–8 mm. wide, subacute, glabrous except the sub-floral which are closely covered with brownish-yellow tomentum, moderately coriaceous, entire, flat or more or less wavy at the margins (rarely obscurely sinuate-dentate near the tips), the lower surface paler with conspicuous dark-red midrib and veins, above more or less polished with midrib obscure and veins obsolete, edges slightly recurved when dried; petioles very short and slender.

Flowers terminal, solitary or in compact umbels of 6 or fewer, rather small, ± 7 mm. long; peduncles not longer than the flowers, densely clothed, as are also the sepals, with brownish-yellow tomentum; sepals linear-lanceolate, acute; petals dark red, narrow-cuneate, obtuse, sharply recurved over the tips of the sepals; pistil as long as the flower, pilosely pubescent below the style. Mature capsules subacutely obovate or sub-pyriform, ± 1.8 cm. long, about 1 cm. broad above the middle, obtuse or broadly subacute, shortly apiculate, glabrous, 2-valved, the valves nearly semicircular in cross-section and neither grooved nor ribbed, black-pitted all over.

Hab.—-Kennedy Bay, Coromandel Peninsula: H. B. Matthews !

The close placing of the leaves, their linear-oblong outline, and the distinctive size and shape of the mature capsule clearly distinguish this species from P. virgatum. I have seen nothing to indicate any variation in the form of the juvenile leaves, but as I have not seen the plants growing I cannot be certain that such variation does not occur.

Uncinia longifructus (Kük.) Petrie sp. nov.

U. laxe caespitosa v. ± diffusa; culmi 12–20 cm. longi filiformes teretes stricti glabri leviter canaliculati. Folia peranguste linearia plana v. ± complicata tenuia flaccida longe vaginantia vix canaliculata, carina subtus conspicua. Spiculae breves pauciflorae ± 1 cm. longae ± 5 mm. latae;

– 18 –

pars mascula brevissima; glumae anguste lanceolatae acutae tenues pallide virides, leviter 3-nerviae, a marginibus late scariosae, mox deciduae. Utriculi 5–6 mm. longi plano-convexi peranguste elliptici aenei politi, nervis duobus haud conspicuis distantibus a latere convexo percursi; rhacheola utriculum dimidio superans; nux oblonga triquetra apice leviter annulata.

Laxly tufted or spreading more or less freely by slender stolons. Culms 12–20 cm. long, filiform, terete, strict, smooth, slightly grooved, clothed for one-third their length by the sheathing leaf-bases, equalling or exceeding the leaves. Leaves very narrow linear, flat or slightly folded, thin and flaccid, smooth (the edges towards the tips only slightly scabrid), long-sheathing hardly grooved, midrib evident below. Spikelets short and few-flowered, ± 1 cm. long including the bristles, and about half as wide; female flowers 3–4 (rarely more); male part very short, of 2–3 flowers; stamens 3, long. Glumes narrow-lanceolate, acute, thin, pale green, rather faintly 3-nerved along the middle of the back, with broad scarious edges, the lateral nerves vanishing below the apex, soon falling away from the broad cupular expansions of the rhachis on which they are seated. Utricles 5–6 mm. long, very narrow elliptic, more or less plano-convex, greenish-brown, polished, with two rather faint distant nerves near the edges of the convex face, broadly stipitate below, very gradually narrowed above into a long acute beak; bristle 1½ times as long as the utricle. Nut oblong, triquetrous, slightly annulate at the base of the style.

Hab.—-Open beech forest, Routeburn Valley, Lake County, at 2,300 ft.; End Peak, Lake Hauroto, J. Crosby Smith! Clinton Valley, Lake Te Anau, in open bush.

Kükenthal has made this plant a variety of U. tenella R. Br. It is easily distinguished from the latter by the following characters: the thin flat flaccid long-sheathing leaves, the much longer culms, and the greatly longer and narrower plano-convex greenish-brown polished utricles. The length of the utricle of U. tenella is given as 1½ lines by Bentham and as 3 mm. by C. B. Clarke, and its shape is altogether different from that of the plant here described. Kükenthal gives the length of the utricles of U. tenella as 3½ mm., and those of his variety longifructus as 6 mm. He also states (incorrectly) that C. B. Clarke always found only two stamens in the male flowers of U. tenella.

Note on Uncinia tenella R. Br.

Specimens of an Uncinia collected by Dr. Cockayne and myself at an elevation of about 4,000 ft. on Kelly's Hill (Taramakau River), Westland, belong, so far as I can judge, to this species, the typical form of which has not so far been recorded from New Zealand. These closely match specimens of Brown's plant from (1) Southport (Tasmania), (2) Upper Yarra (Victoria), and (3) the Dandenong Ranges (Victoria), given me by the late Sir Ferdinand Mueller. In the Kelly's Hill plant the stamens were 3 in the few male flowers I could spare for dissection. In one of the Southport plants there were 2 stamens in three of the male flowers, and 3 in two other flowers. Bentham found only 2 stamens in the flowers he examined. Mr. C. B. Clarke says the stamens in the specimens seen were 2, at least most frequently—” saltem saepissime.” The utricles of the Kelly's Hill plant differ in no respect from those of typical U. tenella. Mr. Cheeseman (Manual, p. 800) considers the Kelly's Hill plant intermediate between U. tenella R. Br. and U. nervosa Boott. What U. nervosa may be no one knows definitely. Bentham remarks that

– 19 –

it was founded on a single specimen, and refers it to U. compacta R. Br. Mr. C. B. Clarke ranks it as a variety of the latter. The U. nervosa in Cheeseman's Manual seems to me in no way closely related to the Kelly's Hill plant. The figure of Boott's species in Flora Tasmanica is a poor one, and affords little help in identifying it.

Uncinia caespitosa Col. var. collina var. nov.

Rhizoma late stolonifera culmos plurifoliosos plerumque diffusos edens. Culmi foliaque quam in typo breviores. Folia culmis breviora vel eos aequantia, 10–20 cm. alta 4–6 mm. lata, plana suberecta coriacea, in apices incrassatos longe productos abeuntia. Spiculae 4–8 cm. longae ± 8 mm. latae, subclavatae, supra densiflorae, infra floribus laxioribus; glumae femineae utriculis nonnihil longiores; nux elliptico-oblonga.

Hab.—Mount Hikurangi (East Coast), at 4,800 ft.; Ruahine Mountains, at 3,500 ft.: B. C. Aston! Tararua Mountains (Mount Holdsworth), 3,200 ft.

This is a very distinct-looking form, and has considerable claim to specific rank. It forms large open somewhat sward-like patches, and never grows in distinct tufts, as the typical form usually does.

Carex secta Boott var. tenuiculmis var. nov.

Var. C. virgatae Sol. habitu subsimilis; a planta typica differt, culmis gracillimis haud raro filiformibus, foliis tenuibus perangustis flaccidis complanatis vel apicem versus concavis (costa media parum conspicua) 40–60 cm. longis culmos aequantibus vel excedentibus; inflorescentia 6–15 cm. longa simplici ± pendula spiculis plerumque remotis parvis pauci-floris sessilibus praedita vel a parte inferiore breviter ramosa (ramis paucis brevibus indivisis); rhachide pergracili vel filiformi; utridulis breviter stipitatis vel paene astipitatis.

Hab.—Damp localities in eastern and southern Otago: D. P. Damp localities in the Hammer and Castle Hill districts, North Canterbury: Arnold Wall! Damp localities in Chatham Islands: L. Cockayne! W. R. B. Oliver !

I am indebted to Professor Wall for drawing my attention to this interesting plant, which I had unwittingly placed in the same species-wrapper as C. virgata. From this it differs entirely in the structure of the utricles. A hand-and-eye examination will hardly disclose its true position. The Chatham Island specimens show only immature utricles, but I think their identity with the mainland plant cannot be doubted. They also show remarkably long leaves that greatly exceed the culms.

Poa novae-zelandiae Hackel var. Wallii var. nov.

A forma typica differt foliis coriaceis ± complanatis et a marginibus mvolutis incrassatisque muticis; panicula breviore folia haud vel vix excedente, a parte inferiore foliis ± abscondita; spiculis majoribus haud compressis; glumis florigeris latioribus trinerviis acutis haud incurvatis subcoriaceis; palea breviore ac latiore.

Hab.—Mount Miromiro (Amuri County): A. Wall ! Top of Mount Kyeburn (Maniototo County): H. J. Matthews! Mount Pisa (Vincent County).

The present plant appears to be confined to wet shingly stations, and ranges in altitude from about 3,500 ft. to 5,000 ft. or 6,000 ft. At the higher altitudes the plants are very dwarf.