Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
Volume 56, 1926
This text is also available in PDF
(828 KB) Opens in new window
– 72 –


As a sufficiency of developmental stages has not been obtained, the account given below is incomplete, and in consequence somewhat disconnected.

Developing plants first become noticeable as minute globular nodules on the upper surface of the rhizoids. Sections at this stage show the whole to consist of loosely-woven hyphae. When the plant has attained to a size of 3–4 mm., differentiation of the different tissues commences. The plant at this stage is globular, save where it is attached at the base, where it is slightly flattened. A definite exoperidium is marked off through the remainder of the internal tissues becoming more compacted. In the latter a more compact zone of hyphae appears near the base: from it strands of compacted hyphae arise, differentiation proceeding in an upward and outward direction until several primary trabeculae are formed. These are partly surrounded by irregular and poorly-defined lacunae, due, no doubt, to rupture of the hyphae in the vicinity. Next, branches are gíven off from the trabeculae, and in turn these branch so that the loosely-woven network of the gleba is formed. Within the margin of these branches small lacunae arise, and around the inner surfaces of these appear the subhymenial cells, which soon give rise to basidia. No specimens have been obtained showing the first formation of these lacunae, so that it is not known whether the formation of the regular hymenium is preceded by production of occasional basidia from irregular scattered papillae, as in Gallacea (1924). Growth of the trabeculae and smaller branches continues in this manner until a well-developed gleba is produced, this tissue appearing in plants of a diameter of 6–7 mm.

Later lacunae form within the peripheral zone (here termed the “endoperidium”) lying beneath the exoperidium. Gelatinization of the trabeculae, central portions of the tramal plates, and endoperidium commences shortly after glebal differentiation, until at maturity all the glebal tissue, save spores, hymenium, and subhymenium, is gelatinized.

Development of Lobes.—These do not appear until glebal differentiation is well begun. They arise as small outgrowths from the dorsal portion of the endoperidium, and enlarge until they appear as distinct clavate or capitate bodies. They arise from the portion of the endoperidium immediately underlying the exoperidium, and are thus in all probability not derived from potentially sporogenous tissue. While still small they may again produce secondary and even tertiary lobes. Lobes may arise from any part of existing lobes, but generally arise from the vicinity of their attachment with the peridium. In large specimens the lobes become hollow, but no further stage of development than this has been observed. The plants are indehiscent, spores being released by gradual decay of the plant.

As no plants possessing these peculiar lobed structures have been described, the writer believes the genus to be undescribed, and proposes to name it Phallobata, on account of its phalloid-like spores and basidia, and the lobed character of the peridium.

Picture icon

Fig. 1.—Selected plants, natural size: showing variations in size and shape of plants, and especially of the lobes so characteristic of the genus.
Fig. 2.—Section of plant, × 2. showing structure of lobes and gleba.

Picture icon

Section of plant, × 6: en. endoperidium; ex, exoperidium; l, sterile lobed portion; bas, sterile base; tr, travecula.