Art. XLV.—New Species of Flowering-plants.
[Read before the Auckland Institute, 15th December, 1920; received by Editor, 31st December, 1920; issued separately, 12th August, 1921.]
1. Agrostis pallescens Cheesm. n. sp.
Affinis A. subulatae Hook. f. (A. Muelleri Benth.) sed tenuior, culmis 3-nodis, nodo superiore supra culmi medium disposito, spiculis stramineis.
[The section below cannot be correctly rendered as it contains complex formatting. See the image of the page for a more accurate rendering.]
Annual, densely tufted and often forming a close sward, pale straw-coloured. Culms 3–6 in. high, slender, smooth, erect, 3-noded, the uppermost node high up the culm. Leaves numerous at the base of the culms and shorter than them, very narrow, almost filiform, smooth or very minutely scabrid, erect or somewhat spreading; sheaths long, deeply grooved; ligules thin, scarious. Panicle narrow, but not so much so as in A. subulata, lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate, ½–1 in. long, straw-coloured; branches in fascicles of 2–4, unequal in length, somewhat spreading, finely scabrid. Spikelets 1/12–1/10 in. long. Two outer glumes slightly unequal, oblonglanceolate, subacute, membranous, scabrid on the keel; margins thin; third or flowering glume about ⅓ shorter, thin and membranous, hyaline, truncate, faintly 5-nerved; awn wanting. Palea not developed. Grain oblong.—A. Muelleri var. paludosa Hack. in Cheesem. Man. N.Z. Fl. (1906), 864.
Hob.—South Island: Swamps near the Broken River; T. Kirk! Swamps in the Tasman Valley, not uncommon; T. F. C. 1,500–2,500 ft.
Near to A. subulata, but amply distinct in its 3-noded culms, the upper node of which is sometimes situated quite ⅔ of the way up the culm, in the straw-coloured spikelets, and in the broader and more open panicles. In A. subulata the culms are seldom more than 1-hoded, the node being placed near the base of the culm, the panicles are narrow and spike-like, and usually purplish in colour. In addition to the above, A. subulata is always limited to the steep rocky slopes of high mountains, and never occurs in swamps,
2. Atropis chathamica Cheesem. n. sp.
Affinis A. Walkeri Cheesem. a qua differt culmis multo robustioribus et laxe caespitosis, paniculis longioribus, spiculis 4–6 floribus.
Tall, stout, loosely tufted, perfectly smooth and glabrous, 9–18 in. high. Culms erect or decumbent at the base, 4-noded, the upper node placed above the middle; innovation shoots intravaginal. Leaves numerous, those at the base short and scale-like, membranous, without any lamina; cauline leaves sheathing the whole culm and the greater part of the panicle, perfectly smooth and glabrous, pale whitish-green, folded, grooved, tip cartilaginous, subobtuse; sheaths very large and broad, longer than the blades, split to
the base, compressed, deeply striate; ligules broad, transversely oblong, membranous. Panicle narrow-linear, 2–6 in. long, rigid, erect, glabrous; branches few, unequal, solitary or 2-nate, more rarely 3-nate, erect, often almost appressed to the rhachis. Spikelets ⅓–¼ in. long, narrow lanceolate, 4–6-flowered. Two outer glumes unequal, the longer one about ⅓ the length of the spikelet, lanceolate, 3-nerved; the shorter one broader, 1-nerved. Flowering-glume oblong-ovate, subacute, faintly 3-nerved, glabrous, or a tuft of fine silky hairs on the callus. Palea nearly as long as the glume, margins ciliate.
Hab.—Chatham Islands: Exact locality not stated; F. A. D. Cox!
This appears to be a distinct species, easily recognized by the stout loosely-tufted habit, long narrow panicle, and narrow many-flowered spikelets.
3. Plantago Masonae Cheesm. n. sp.
Affinis P. triandrae Berggren, sed differt foliis crassis et carnosis, spathulatis lanceolatisve, integerrimis vel dentatis vel pinnatifidis, lobis callosis, floribus minoribus, pedunculis brevissimis.
Rootstock short, stout, putting down numerous thick and fleshy rootlets. Leaves many, all radical, spreading, the outer closely appressed to the surface of the ground, thus forming rosettes ½–2 ½ in. diam., very thick and fleshy, greenish blotched with purple, ½–1 ½ in. long, rarely more, ovate- or oblong-spathulate to lanceolate-spathulate, suddenly narrowed into a broad flat petiole of variable length, towards the apex gradually narrowed into a blunt fleshy or almost callous point; margins, with the exception of the triangular tip, regularly and almost pinnatifidly divided into numerous shallow blunt fleshy or callous lobes; upper surface furnished with short whitish jointed hairs that are usually arranged in transverse bands; under-surface glabrous or nearly so; base of the leaf usually furnished with longer brownish tortuous hairs, but sometimes almost glabrous. Flowers minute, solitary in the axils of the leaves; peduncles wanting or nearly so, apparently not elongating in fruit. Bract ovate, minute. Calyx-segments 4, ovate, obtuse. Corolla-tube three times the length of the calyx in the flowering period; limb 4-lobed, lobes oblong, obtuse. Stamens invariably 4 in all the numerous flowers examined. Capsule globose; seeds numerous, 10–20.
Hab.—North Island: Sea-cliffs at Manaia, Taranaki, often in localities well washed with sea-spray; Mrs. F. Mason!.
This is evidently a close ally of P. triandra Berggren, but differs in the more robust habit, very fleshy and proportionately much broader leaves with obtuse callous tips, more minute sessile flowers the peduncles of which apparently do not lengthen in fruit, in the stamens being always 4, and in the smaller capsules. I have pleasure in associating the plant with the name of its discoverer, to whom I am much indebted for information respecting the vegetation of south-western Taranaki.
4. Colobanthus strictus Cheesm. n. sp.
Dense pulvinatus glaberrimus, foliis arcte imbricatis, strictis, erectis, rigidis, lineari-subulatis, supra canaliculatis, apicibus piliferis: sepalis 5, basi late ovatis, incrassatis, supra longe attenuatis.
A perfectly glabrous densely-tufted rigid plant, forming hemispherical cushions 1–3 in. diam. Leaves numerous, densely imbricated all round the
branches, straight or slightly curved, strict, erect, broad and membranous and sheathing the branch at the base, above rigid and coriaceous and gradually narrowed into a straight acicular apex, channelled above, convex beneath, ⅓–⅔ in. long. Peduncles terminating the branchlets, stout, shorter than the leaves, stiffly erect. Sepals 5, broadly ovate at the base, suddenly narrowed into long acicular points half as long again as the capsule.—C. Muelleri var. strictus Cheesem., Man. N.Z. Fl. (1906), 68.
Hob.—South Island: Upper Clarence Valley, near Lake Tennyson; T.F.C. Shingly flats in the Tasman and Hooker Valleys; T.F.C. Dunstan Mountains; Petrie! Altitudinal range, 2,500–3,500 ft.
In the first edition of the Manual I treated this as a variety of C. Muelleri; but since then I have had opportunities of studying it in the Mount Cook district, where it is not uncommon, and have now no hesitation in constituting it a distinct species. It is mainly distinguished by the short, strict, erect leaves, and broad calyx-lobes which are suddenly narrowed into long acicular points much exceeding the capsules.
5. Colobanthus Hookeri Cheesm. new comb.
A small densely tufted moss-like plant, forming small rounded patches 1–1½ in. across, smooth and glabrous in all its parts. Leaves closely imbricate, ⅙–¼ in. long, strict and rigid, subulate, tapering from the base to a short acicular apex, channelled above, convex below, sometimes with a groove between the midrib and the margin. Flowers terminal, solitary; peduncles short, the flowers slightly exceeding the uppermost leaves. Sepals 5, ovate-subulate, thickened at the base, acute or very shortly mucronate, equalling or very slightly exceeding the capsule. Stamens always 5.—C. subulatus Hook, f., Fl. Antarct., i (1844), 13, but not Sagina subulata D'Urv., Fl. Ins. Mal. (1826), 617, or Fl. Antarct., ii (1847), 247, t. 93. C. subulatus Hook. f., Handb. N.Z. Fl. (1864), 25. C. Benthamianus Cheesem., Man. N.Z. Fl. (1906), 68, but not of Fenzl.
Hab.—Auckland and Campbell Island: Hooker, Kirk! Aston!
This is the plant long known to New Zealand botanists as Colobanthus subulatus. But in the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand (ii, p. 402) I have pointed out that the plate of C. subulatus given in the Flora Antarctica (ii, t. 93) under the name of Sagina subulata represents a plant with a much more lax habit than the Auckland and Campbell Islands species; and that the sepals are only 4 in number, instead of 5. I think that it is quite clear that the New Zealand plant differs in several important characters from the Fuegan and Falkland Island species, and, as the name subulata must remain with the South American plant, I have applied the name Colobanthus Hookeri (in memory of its original discoverer) to the species found within the New Zealand area.
I have not seen any South Island specimens that I can refer to the species, although three localities are quoted by Hooker. Possibly they represent small states of C. acicularis.