[Read before the Wellington Philosophical Society, 17th November, 1920; received by Editor, 9th December, 1920; issued separately, 8th August, 1921.]
The following notes are extracted from a number I made during a short stay in London in 1919. I was able to spend a few weeks in the British Museum and Kew herbaria examining, among other things, some of the type specimens collected by the Forsters and R. Brown, and those described by Bentham.
Polystichum Richardi (Hook.) Diels.
Aspidium coriaceum var. acutidentatum A. Rich., Voy. “Astrolabe,” Bot., 71, 1832. A. Richardi Hook., Sp. Fil., 4, 23, 1862. A. oculatum Hook., Sp. Fil., 4, 24, 1862.
Specimens of A. oculatum in the British Museum marked “Prope Tigadu, Tologa, Opuragi, Totaranui—Sir J. Banks and Dr. Solander (1769)” are the ordinary coastal forms of A. Richardi.
The earliest name applied to this species was a varietal one—acutidentatum of Richard—and it would conduce to stability of nomenclature if, following the zoological practice, such names were adhered to, but in deference to the rules for botanical nomenclature I use Richardi.
Davallia scoparia (Mett.) Hook.
Adiantum clavatum Forst. (not Linn.), Prodr., No. 459, 1786. Lindsaya scoparia Mett., Fil. N. Caled., 64. Davallia (Stenoloma) scoparia, (Mett.) Hook. & Bak., Syn. Fil., 101, 1868. D. Forsteri Carr. in Seem., Fl. Viti., 339, 1869 (no desc.); Baker, Syn. Fil., ed. 2, 470, 1874.
The specimen (No. 1550) collected by Vieillard in New Caledonia and quoted by Hooker and Baker (Syn. Fil., 101) is in the British Museum. On the same sheet are two specimens of a different species, labelled “Kanata, New Caledonia.” Another sheet with three specimens is marked “New Zealand, Dusky Bay, Messrs. Forster,” and, in a different handwriting, “Adiantum clavatum Forst.” These are identical with the species collected by Vieillard. It is probable that Carruthers (Fl. Viti., 339) gave them a new name on account of their difference from the Kanata specimens. In any case, Davallia scoparia is a tropical species, and, as suggested by Cheeseman, Forster's specimens were in all probability collected in some locality in Polynesia, and I would therefore recommend that the name D. Forsteri be omitted from the list of New Zealand plants.
Zannichellia palustris L.
Zannichellia palustris L., Sp. Pl., 969, 1753. Z. Preissii Kirk (not Muell.), Trans. N.Z. Inst., 10, App. xl, 1878. Lepilaena Preissii Kirk (not Muell.), Trans. N.Z. Inst., 28, 499, 1896.
Specimens labelled “Lepilaena Preissii” and collected by T. Kirk at Rangiriri are in the British Museum. They are included with Z. palustris, being so determined by Ostenfeld. They appear to agree perfectly with specimens of Z. palustris collected by Cheeseman from the Waikato River.
Muehlenbeckia complexa (A. Cunn.) Meissn.
Polygonum complexum A. Cunn., Ann. Nat. Hist., 1, 455, 1838. Muehlenbeckia axillaris Bentham (not Walp.), Fl. Austr., 5, 275, 1870 (Lord Howe Island locality only); Oliver, Trans. N.Z. Inst., 49, 135, 1917.
In the Kew Herbarium are specimens from Lord Howe Island marked “M. axillaris.” In all the leaves are identical with specimens from East Cape, New Zealand—that is, small orbicular leaves, 10–12 mm. long. Further, the flowers are in short racemes or spikes. I would therefore include the Lord Howe plant under M. complexa.
Phrygilanthus tenuiflorus (Hook. f.) Engl.
The only specimen known, that in the Kew Herbarium, is a small twig with five leaves and several flowers; leaves about 30 mm. long. A note on the sheet states, “Very near L. celastroides.” On comparing these I found the leaves to be very different, but the flowers and inflorescence similar. It is not like any other New Zealand species.