A Natural Hybrid between Loranthus micranthus and Tupeia antarctica
[Read before the Otago Branch, October 8, 1946; received by Editor, October 10, 1947; issued separately, February, 1949.]
Loranthus micranthus, hermaphrodite. Tupeia antarctica, dioecious. This occurred on the edge of the bush surrounding Ferntree House, 237 Taieri Road, Kaikorai, on Coprosma chathamica. I pointed this out to the late Dr. Lotsy, and he agreed it looked different from the usual mistletoes in the bush. However, being small, one could not be sure. After three years it flowered, and for the first three following years produced female flowers only. The following year was the same, with the addition that one branch produced males only. No difference could be seen in the females from those of Tupeia, but the males showed the stamens basifixed on the petals as in Loranthus.
The berries were as large as Loranthus and same shape, the colour purple with darker purple spots, and some almost yellow. This proves Loranthus as the parent. The seed proved viable, and the progeny has so far differentiated into separate male and female plants, the females producing viable seed. The travelling rhizome-like feeding stem of Loranthus has so far been eliminated. The berries of the progeny are smaller than the F i, and more globular.
In a note, under Tupeia, Cheeseman (Manual of N.Z. Flora, 1925, p. 394) says, “Van Tieghem draws attention to the fact that this species is not simply dioecious, as described by Hooker, but consists of three sorts of individuals—hermaphrodites, males, and females. This peculiarity was first pointed out by A. Richard, from Foster's manuscripts (Flore Nouv-Zel., 269). I have never come across the hermaphrodites. This cross might yet produce them. Plate 13, Figs. 1 and 2 show typical leaves of Loranthus micranthus, natural size; Fig. 3, leaves of Tupeia antarctica, half natural size; Fig. 4, F 1 showing two types of leaves, the narrow bearing to Tupeia, the broader to Loranthus; Figs. 5, 6 and 7, rare leaves that appeared on the F 1, now dead, the only ones found of that shape and size, the rest remaining fairly uniform and very much smaller.