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Volume 82, 1954-55
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Thelephoraceae of New Zealand
Part IV. The Genus Vararia

[Read before the Auckland Institute and Museum. September 14, 1953; received by the Editor, June 29.1954.]

Abstract

Vararia is separated from Corticium by the present of dichophyses, which form the greater part of the fructification Seven species arc described, each being accompanied by notes on distribution, hosts and comparative features. Six are illustrated with original line drawings of sections. Of the species present in the Dominion. Vinvcsticns (Schw.) Karst. and I. porlentosa (Berk. & Curt.) G. H. Cunn. have been recorded from North and South America and Europe. V. ochro [ unclear: ] lcua (Bourd. & Galz.) G. H. Cunn. from Western Europe and V. [ unclear: ] lospora (Waket.) G. H. Cunn. from Australia. Three are endemic and hitherto undescribed.

Introduction

Vararia is separated from Corticium by the presence of dichophyses which form the bulk of the context and hymenial tissues. Dichophyses of most species are small dendriform structures arising from a simple stem. Each is composed of a cluster of branches, in turn once or several times branched, often dichotomously, branchlets terminating in acuminate, long or short straight or curved ends. In V. rhodospora dichophyses are compound, each being composed of a main stem which, arising- from the base, traverses the context to the surface of the hymenium From the stem arise at intervals lateral branches which carry branchlets often dichotomously forked near their apices. In V. portentosa they are likewise compound, but differ in that the lateral branches remain unbranched and extend horizontally for some distance binding context tissues into a leathery membrane. Dichophyses of six species described are hyaline, and stain deeply when sections are treated with a solution of aniline blue in lactic acid. In the seventh, V. investiens, they are coloured yellow-brown.

Basidia vary in shape in different species. In V. protrusa and V. fusispora they are subclavate as in most species of Corticium; V investiens and V. ochroleuca bear ventricose-cylindrical basidia, with expanded bases and long narrow apices; and in V. rhodospora, V. cllipsospora and V. portentosa they are cylindrical, some being slightly constricted in the middle. Most project above the hymenial surface a third or half their length and commence to collapse ere spores attain their mature size. Consequently they may be seen only in actively fruiting specimens.

Spores fall into three groups, according to shape. Fusiform, clavate-fusiform or lacrimiform in V. i [ unclear: ] nvcstiens, V. fusispora and V. protrusa, they are elliptical in V. ellipsospora and globose or subglobose in V. portentusa and V. rhodospora. In V. ochroleuca they may be subglobose or broadly obovate, both shapes being present in the same specimen. Smooth in six species, spores are covered with

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minute rounded warts in V. rhodospora. The spore wall is hyaline though spore prints of V. rhodospora appear pallid pink, colour being derived from the orange contents.

Gloeocystidia are present in six species, but absent from V. portentosa. Projecting for the greater part of their length in V. protrusa, where they form the bulk of the hymenium, in V. fusispora they form a dense palisade in the hymenium but do not project; and also occur in the context where they are frequently distorted. V. ellipsospora bears numerous gloeocystidia both in the hymenium and massed in the base of the context to form a dense palisade. They are fusiform, scanty and confined to the hymenial region in V. ochroleuca, and scanty and scattered through the hymenial layer and context of V. rhodospora.

5. Vararia Karsten,

Bidrag till kannedom af Finlands Natur och Folk, 62, 96, 1903.

Xerocarpus Vararia Karat., Bidr. kann. Finl. Nat. Folk, 48, 417, 1889.

Langlosula Ell. & Ev., Jour. Myc, 5, 68, 1889. nomen confusum. [ unclear: ] leoslromclla Hochn. & Litsch., K. Akad. wiss., Wien, Sitz. 116, 773, 1907.

Dichostereum Pilat, Ann. Myc, 24, 223, 1926.

Hymenophore resupinate, annual or perennial, membranous, effused; hyphal system monomitie, generative hyphae hyaline, septate, branched, with clamp connections. Context composed of a basal layer of parallel hyphae, and an intermediate layer of upright mainly woven hyphae. Hymenial layer composed of basidia and paraphyses accompanied by dichophyses and in most species gloeocystidia. Basidia cylindrical, cylindric-ventricose, or subclavate, usually projecting a. maturity, bearing 2–4 spores on slender usually upright sterigmata. Dichophyses either dendriform when composed of an apical cluster of branches sometimes repeatedly branched and borne on a simple stem, or compound when composed of a central stem traversing the context and bearing numerous lateral branches which may be dendriform or simple. Gloeocystidia cylindrical, clavate, or fusiform, thin-walled, hyaline. Spores smooth or finely warted, hyaline of tinted, of various shapes.

Type Species. Vararia investiens (Schw.) Karst. = Radulum investiens Schw.

Distubution. Probably world-wide.

Key TO Species

Spores fusiform. fusiform-clavate. or laer [ unclear: ] muform.

Dichophyses dendriform, coloured yellow-brown, compacted in the hymenium and context  1. V. [ unclear: ] Lestiens (Schw.) Karst.

Dichophyses dendriform, hyaline, staining deeply with aniline blue.

[ unclear: ] Gloeocystidia confined to the hy [ unclear: ] menial region, projecting to 60μ; dichophyses [ unclear: ] confined to the hymenial region; base of context composed of a thick layer of parallel compacted hyphae …  2. I [ unclear: ] Piotrusa G. H. Cunn.

Gloeocystidia present both in the hymenium and context, not projecting; dichophyses confined to the hymenial layer and appearing as asterophyses in the context; base of context a tenuous layer of repent hyphae 3. I. [ unclear: ] fuspora G. H. Cunn

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Spores elliptical, obovate, or subglobose; dichophyses dendriform, hyaline, staining deeply with aniline blue; present both in the hymenium and context.

Spores elliptical or elliptical-obovate, 8–12 × 5–6.5μ; gloeocyatidia abundant in hymenial region and forming a dense palisade in base of the context …  4 V. cllipsospora G. H. Cunn.

Spores bioadly obovate or subglobose, 3.5–4.5 × 3–3.5μ; gloeocystidia scanty, fusiform, confined to the hymenrial region …  5. V. ochroleuca (B. & G.) G. H. Cunn.

Spores globose or subglobose; dichophyses compound, consisting of a central stem traversing the context, bearing lateral branches which are dendriform or simple, staining deeply.

Spores minutely warted, 6–8.5μ diameter; compound dichophyses with dendriform lateral branches …  6. V. rhodlospora (Wdkef.) G. H. Cunn.

Spores smooth, 4.5–6μ diameter; compound dichophyses with unbranched lateral branches.  7. V. [ unclear: ] poricnlosa (B & C.) G. H. Cunn.

1. Vararia investiens (Sehweinitz) Karsten

Bidrag till kannedom af Finlands Natur och Folk, 62, 96, 1903.

Radulum [ unclear: ] investiens Schw., Trans. Am. Phil. Soc. ns.,μ 165, 1832.

Corticium alutarium Berk. & Curt., Grevillea, 2, 4, 1873.

C. investiens (Schw.) Bres., I. R. Accad. Ag., Atti 111, 3, 110, 1897.

Asterostromella investiens (Schw.) Hoehn. & Litsch., K.Akad. Wiss., Wien, Sitz. 117, 1083, 1908.

Hymenophore annual, adnate, membranous, effused forming linear areas to 10 × 3 cm., with numerous irregular outlying islands; surface yellow ochre, resembling new chamois leather in colour and surface, often pruinose, finely irregularly tuberculate, or even, not creviced; margin thinning out, concolorous, aduate, fibrillose. Context 60–150μ thick, yellow ochre, composed of densely arranged dichophyses with a narrow layer of parallel hyphae at the base and an intermediate layer of branched and woven hyphae; generative hyphae 3.5–4μ diameter, wall 0.2μ thick, hyaline, with clamp connections. Hymenial layer vaguely defined, to 40μ. deep, of basidia, paraphyses, gloeocystidia and dichophyses. Basidia emerging to 20μ, scanty, 16–24 × 5–7μ, cylindrical or ventricose-cylindrical, with inflated rounded base and long narrow apex, 4-spored; sterigmata erect, slender, to 8μ. long. Paraphyses scanty, subclavate, about half the size of the basidia. Gloeocystidia scanty, confined to the hymenial region, fusiform, 24–35 × 5–6μ, sometimes slightly protruding, wall 0.25μ thick, occasionally coated with gelatinous warts. Dichophyses yellow-brown, arranged in several vague layers, to 30μ in width, repeatedly branched, sometimes dichotomously, ends acuminate. Spores fusiform, or clavate-fusiform with bluntly rounded apex and long-acuminate base, 9–11 × 3–4μ, wall hyaline, smooth, 0·2μ thick.

Type Locality : Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Distribution. North and South America; Europe; West Indies; Japan; New Zealand.

Habitat. Effused on bark of dead branches.

Hakea Acicularis R.Br., Auckland, Campbell's Bay, July, 1953, J. M. Dingley.

Hebe solicifolia (Forst. f.) Ckn. & Allan. Auckland. Rangitoto Island, July, 1950, J. M. Dingley.

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Leptospermum scoparium Forst. Auckland. Parahaki, Whangarei, May, 1949, J. M. Dingley. Rangitoto Island, July, 1950, J. M. Dingley. Waikowhai, February, 1954, S. D. Baker.

Recognized readily by the yellow-ochre colour of the surface, which resembles new chamois leather, and masses of yellow-brown dichophyses in the context and hymenial region. Spores are present in only one of the five collections listed; in shape they resemble those of V. fusispora. Our collections have somewhat larger and more densely branched dichophyses than those of specimens examined hi Kew herbarium, but in other features agree closely.

2. Vararia protrusa n.sp.*

(Text-fig. 1).

Hymenophorum adnatum, membranaceum, effusum; superficie cremea, interdum pallide rosea vel bubalma, rimosa; margme albo, fibrilloso, adnato. Con-textus 60–150ft crassus, albus. Basidia subclavata, 35–44 × 7—9μ. Gloeocystidia in regiom hymenii modo reperta, ad 64μ eminentia, cylindrata, apicibus rotundis, 40–80 × 7-10μ, parietibus 1μ crassus. Dichophyses hyalini, 12–24μ, libere ramosi. Sporae fusiformes, lacrimiformes vel piriformes, 11–16 × 5 5–7μ, hyal [ unclear: ] mae, laeves.

Hymeuophore annual, adnate, membranous, effused forming irregular colonies to 5 × 2 cm., with numerous outlying islands; surface cream, sometimes pallid pink, buff, or pallid plum, becoming creviced exposing the while context; margin thinning out, fibrillose, adnate, white. Context 80–150μ. thick, white, composed of a thick basal layer of closely arranged parallel hyphae, a narrow intermediate layer of woven mainly upright hyphae, and scattered crystals; generative hyphae to 3μ diameter, wall 0.25μ thick, branched, septate, with clamp connections. Hymenial layer to 60μ. deep, of basidia, paraphyses, gloeocystidia and dichophyses. Basidia subclavate, 35–44 × 7–9μ, 4-spored; sterigmata upright, slender, to 8μ long. Paraphyses subclavate, about half the size of the basidia. Gloeocystidia abundant, confined to the hymenial region, projecting to 64μ, cylindrical with rounded apices, 40–80 × 7–10μ., wall 1μ. thick. Dichophyses confined to the hymenial region, staining deeply, 12–24μ. across, several times branched, ultimate branchlets 0.5–2μ long. Spores fusiform, lacrimiform, or pyriform with bluntly acuminate apex and long acuminate base, apiculate, 11–16 × 5 5–7μ., often adhering in fours, wall smooth, hyaline, 0.25μ. thick.

Distribution. New Zealand.

Habitat. Effused on bark of dead branches.

Callitris cupressiformis Vent. Auckland Huia, October, 1953. J. M. Dingley.

Dacrydium cupressinun Sol. Auckland. Mairoa Forest, Wairakei, March, 1953, J. M. Dingley.

Leptospermum ericordes A Rich Auckland Cornwalhs, November, 1952, J. D. Atkinson, type collection, PDD herbarium, No 11859.

Leptospermum scopari [ unclear: ] num Forst Auckland Anawhata Road, Waitakeres. 1.000 ft., October, 1946. August, 1049. J. M. Dingley.

Leucopogon [ unclear: ] fascculatus (Forst. f.) A Rich Auckland, Cornwalhs, September, 1953, J. D. Atkinson.

[Footnote] * Latin descriptions of new species, were supplied by Mrss Beryl Hooton. Libia [ unclear: ] an of the Division.

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Picture icon

Text-Fig. 1 —Fig. 1—Transverse section of Vararittma pirolrolusa. Fig. 2.—Transverse section of Varrolra fusispora. Original. × 500.

Resembling V. fusispora in macrofeatures and shape of the spores, the species may be separated by the projecting gloeocystidia which are confined to the hymenial region, different dichophyses, and thick basal layer of the context Gloeocystidia are abundant and project for the greater part of their length, well above the basidia Because of this unusual feature the specific name has been given. Dichophyses are more scantily developed, possess shorter lateral branches than others described, and are confined to the upper part of the hymenial region. The thick, compact layer of parallel hyphae forming the basal layer of the context is also an unusual feature. Basidia of this and the following species are subelavate. Spores are formed when basidia are fully exerted and remain attached, often in fours, after basidia have collapsed. Two collections possess a pink surface which in parts may be pinkish-buff or pallid plum colour, as in other features they agree with the type they are considered to be colour forms only.

3. Vararia fusispora n.sp.

(Text-fig. 2).

Hymenophorum adnatum, membranaceum, effusum; superficie alba, deinde cremea, alutacea vel interdum roseo-bubahna, areolatae rimosa; margine albo, fibrilloso, adnato Contextus 60—400μ crassus, cremeus Basidia subclavata, 35–56 × 6–9μ. Gloeocystidia in hymenio cylindrata, apicibus rotundis, non eminentia, 40–60 × 5–6μ, in contextu obclavata, obovata vel fusiformis saepe distorts, 24–60 × 6–12μ Dichophyses hyalini, 14–16μ, libere inaequaliter ramosi. Sporae fusiformes, apicibus obtuso-acuminatis et basibus longo-acuminatis, aliquot clavato-fusiformes, 14–17 × 4–6μ, hyalinae, laeves.

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Hymenophore annual, sometimes reviving a second season, adnate, membranous, effused forming linear areas to 25 × 3 cm., or as frequently numerous small elliptical scattered colonies to 2 × 1 cm.; surface white, becoming cream, alutaceous or occasionally pinkish-buff, even, at length areolately creviced mainly in the centre; margin thinning out, white, fibrillose, adnate. Context 60–400μ thick, cream, sometimes arranged in two layers, composed of a narrow base of parallel 1 hyphae, an intermediate layer of scanty woven hyphae, dichophyses, gloeocystidia and crystals scattered or arranged in groups or lenses; generative hyphae to 4μ diameter, wall 0·2μ thick, hyaline, branched, septate, with clamp connections. Hymenial layer to 50μ deep, composed of a palisade of basidia and paraphyses, gloeocystidia and dichophyses. Basidia subclavate, 35–56 × 6–9μ, projecting to 20μ., 4-spored; sterigmata upright, slender, to 8μ. long. Paraphyses subclavate, shorter and narrower than the basidia. Gloeocystidia abundant or scanty, in the hymenial layer cylindrical with rounded apex, scarcely or not projecting, 40–60 × 5–6μ, in context clavate, obovate, fusiform, sometimes monili-form, often distorted and forked at the base, 24—60 × 6–12μ. Dichophyses arranged in one or two dense zones in the hymenial layer and scattered through the context, staining deeply, 14–16μ across though sometimes much smaller, irregularly twice or thrice branched, terminal ends acute or blunt, short; in context lax and scantily branched, resembling asterophyses. Spores fusiform with bluntly acuminate apices and long-acuminate bases, or sometimes clavate fusiform with rounded apices and irregularly curved above apiculate ends, 14–17 × 4–6μ, wall hyaline, smooth, 0·25μ thick, soon collapsing.

Distribution. New Zealand.

Habitat. Effused on bark of dead branches.

Albizzia lophantha Benth. Auckland. Campbell's Bay, November, 1946, Mrs. E. E. Chamberlain.

Aristotelia serrata (Forst. f.) Oliver. Westland. Weheka, 600 ft., November, 1946, J. M. Dingley.

Beilschmiedia tawa (A. Cunn.) Hook. f. & Benth. Auckland. Lake Rotoehu, 1,200 ft. May, 1952, G. H. C. Lake Okataina, 1,400ft., December, 1953, G. H. C. Welling. on. Pohangina Reserve. 200 ft., September. 1953, G. H. C.

Coriaria arborea Linds. Auckland. Atkinson Park, Waitakeres, 800 ft., June, 1953, J. M. Dingley.

Cupressus macrocarpa Hartw. Auckland. Campbell's Bay, January, 1953, E. E. Chamberlain.

Hedycarya arborea Forst. Auckland. Huia, October, 1953, J. M. Dingley.

Leptospermum scoparium Forst. Auckland. Kohekohe, near Waiuku, February, 1953, J. M. Dingley.

Leucopogon fasciculatus (Forst. f.) A Rich. Auckland. Cornwallis, 50 ft, April, October, 1953, J. D. Atkinson.

Melicytus ramiflorus Forst. Auckland. Kauaeranga, Thames, October, 1950, J. M. Dingley.

Muehlenbeckia australis (Forst f.) Meissn. Wellington Rata, 100 ft. January, 1954, G. H. C. Otago. Taieri Mouth, 200 ft., May, 1952, G. T. S. Baylis.

Myrtus bullata Sol. Wellington. Bruce's Reserve, Hunterville, 400 ft., September 1953, G. H. C.

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Myrtus pedunculata Hook. f. Wellington. Carter's Bush, Carterton, 150 ft, December, 1952, G. H. C.

Olearia sp. Otago. Bragg's Bay, Stewart Island, February, 1954, J. M. Dingley.

Oxylobium sp. Auckland, Campbell's Bay, November, 1946, Mrs. E. E. Chamberlain.

Podocarpus totara Don. Auckland. Te Kuiti, January, 1953, J. D. Atkinson. Wellington. Carter's Bush, Carterton, 150 ft., December, 1952, G. H. C.

Rhabdothamnus solandri A. Cunn. Auckland. Manaia, Whangarei Heads, October, 1947, J. M. Dingley.

Rhipogonum scandens Forst. Wellington. Pohangina Reserve, 200 ft., September, 1953, G. H. C.

Rubus australis Forst. Auckland. Clevedon, August, 1949, J. M. Dingley. Wellington, Carter's Bush, Carterton, 150 ft., December, 1952. G. H. C, type collection, P.D.D. herbarium, No. 11838. Ohakune, 2,000 ft., December, 1953, J. M. Dingley. Otago. Ryan's Creek track, Stewart Island, February, 1954, J. M. Dingley.

Spores, though similar in shape, are of larger size than those of V. investiens. They vary appreciably in both features, most being fusiform with long-acuminate sometimes geniculated basal ends. Gloeocystidia are abundant in the hymenial layer and in shape cylindrical or subclavate with rounded apices; in the context they vary appreciably in size and shape, many being bifid or distorted. Dichophyses of the hymenial layer resemble those of V. protrusa though usually more freely branched and with narrower branchlets; in the context they are more lax with elongated branches, resembling slender asterophyses. Collections from Beilschmiedia tawa possess more lax dichophyses, especially in the context, but in other features agree with the type.

4. Vararia ellipsospora n.sp.

(Text-fig. 3).

Hymenophorum adnatum, membranaceum, effusum; superficie cremea, deinde alutacea, tenuiter areolatae rimosa; margine albo, fibrilloso, adnato. Contextus 30–100μ. crassus, alutaceus. Basidia cylindrata, 24–30 × 5–6μ. Gloeocystidia flexuoso-cylindrata, leviter vel non eminentia, 40–56 × 8–10μ, apicibus longoacuminatis, in contextu ovata, ovalia vel piriformia, 18–20 × 9–12μ. Dichophyses hyalini, 16–30μ, libere ramosi. Sporae ellipticae, aliquot obovatae, apiculatae. 8–12 × 5·5–6·6μ, hyalinae, laeves.

Hymenophore annual, adnate, membranous-coriaceons, effused forming linear areas to 30 × 1–5 cm., or sometimes small scattered discrete elliptical colonies to 3 × 1 cm.; surface cream then alutaceous, even, at length becoming finely areolately creviced; margin thinning out, white, fibrillose, adnate. Context 30–100μ. thick, alutaceous, composed of a narrow basal layer of cemented repent hyphae, an intermediate layer of scanty woven hyphae associated with numerous dichophyses arranged in one or several vague layers and numerous gloeocystidia compacted into a palisade near the base; generative hyphae to 3μ diameter, wall 0·25μ thick, hyaline, branched, septate, with clamp connections. Hymenial layer somewhat obscure, to 40μ deep, of basidia, paraphyses, gloeocystidia and dichophyses, Basidia cylindrical, projecting to half their length, 24–30 × 5–6μ

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4-spored, soon collapsing; sterigmata slender, upright, 6–8μ long. Paraphyses scanty, subclavate, smaller than the basidia. Gloeocystidia flexuous-cylindrical, when irregular in length and shape, projecting slightly, or not, 40–56 × 8–10μ, with apex rounded or drawn into an acute point, at base inflated, also crowded near the base when ovate, oval or pyriform, 18–20 × 9–12μ. Dichophyses staining deeply, somewhat irregular in shape and branching, 16–30μ across, twice or thrice dichotomously branched, terminal ends acute, curved or straight. Spores elliptical, some obovate, apex rounded, base apiculate, sometimes obliquely so, 8–12 × 5·5–6·5μ, soon collapsing, wall hyaline, smooth, 0·2μ thick.

Distribution. New Zealand.

Habitat. Effused on bark of dead branches and fern stipes.

Albizzia lophantha Benth. Auckland. Campbell's Bay, January, 1954, E. E. Chamberlain.

Beilschmiedia tawa (A. Cunn.) Hook. f. & Benth. Auckland. Te Whaiti, 1,500 ft. June, 1951, J. M. Dingley. Taneatua Reserve, 50 ft., May, 1952, G. H. C. Lake Rotoehu, 1,200 ft., June, 1952, G. H. C. Wellington. Lake Papaetonga, 50 ft., August, 1952, G. H. C.

Cyathea medullaris (Forst. f.) Swartz. Auckland Mt. Atkinson, Waitakeres. 800 ft, May, 1950, J. M. Dingley.

Rhipogonum scandens Forst. Wellington. Carter's Bush, Carterton, 150 ft., December, 1952, G. H. C, type collection, P.D D. herbarium, No. 11849.

Chief diagnostic features are the elliptical spores, hyaline deeply staining dichophyses crowded in the hymenial layer and context, dense palisade of gloeocystidia in the hymenial layer and especially in the base of the context where they are compacted and many cemented. Basidia collapse immediately spores attain fall size so are seldom seen in other than actively fruiting specimens. The species differs from V. racemosa (Burt) R. & J., which also possesses elliptical spores, by the presence of much larger well-developed dichophyses, differently.

Picture icon

Text-Fig. 2.—Fig. 3.—Transverse section of Vararia ellipsospora. Fig. 4.—Transverse section of Vararia ochroleuca. a. Spores of same, × 1000, Original. × 500.

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shaped gloeocystidia which are more freely developed in the base of (he context, and larger spores.

5. Vararia ochroleuca (Bourdot & Galzin) n. comb.

(Text-fig. 4).

Asterostromella ochroleuca Bound. & Galz. Bull Sop. Myc, Fr., 27. 266. 1911.

Hymenophore annual, adnate, membranous, effused forming irregular areas to 5 × 3 cm.; surface cream or pallid ochre, even, not creviced; margin thinning out, fibrillose, concolorous, adnate. Context white, to 90μ thick, composed of a narrow base of repent hyphae, and a scanty intermediate layer of woven hyphae associated with numerous dichophyses and scattered masses of crystals; generative hyphae 2–2·5μ diameter, wall 0 2μ thick, hyaline, branched, septate, with clamp connections. Hymenial layer to 30μ deep, of basidia, paraphyses, gloeocystidia and dichophyses. Basidia cylindrical or ventricose-eylindrical, 12–24 × 4–6μ, projecting to 10μ, 2–4-spored; sterigmata slender, upright, to 6μ long. Paraphyses scanty, mainly obclavate or fusiform, smaller than the basidia. Gloeocystidia scanty, fusiform with long-acuminate apices, or aculeate, 32–60 × 5–7μ, projecting 10–25μ, confined to the hymenial region. Dichophyses scattered in the context and massed in the hymenial layer, 14–35μ across, 2–3 times dichotomously branched, terminating in long aculeate curved or straight ends. Spores commonly subglobose, some broadly obovate, apiculate, 3·5–4·5 × 3–3·5μ, wall hyaline, smooth, 0·2μ thick.

Type Locality Aveyron, France.

Distribution. Western Europe; New Zealand.

Habitat. Effused on bark of decaying wood.

Nothofagus cliffortioides (Hook. f.) Oerst. Wellington. Horopito, National Park, 1,500 ft., March, 1948, J. M. Dingley.

Nothofagus menziesii (Hook. f.) Oerst. Otago. Alton Valley, Tuatapere. February, 1954, J. M. Dingley.

Separated from other species with a similar surface and hyaline dendriform dichophyses by the small spores, small ventricose-cylindrical basidia, aculeate or fusiform scanty gloeocystidia confined to the hymenial layer, and narrow hyphae. Spores vary appreciably in shape; most are subglobose with an apiculus, others broadly obovate with rounded or abruptly acuminate apices (Text-fig. 4a). Collections listed agree with a speciman examined in Kew herbarium, ex Dermo, France, differing principally in the presence of abundant crystals in the base of the context.

6. Vararia rhodospora (Wakefield) G. H. Cunningham,

Proceedings of Lunean Society of New South Wales. 77.291, 1953.

(Text-fig. 5).

Asterostromella rhodospora Wakef., Kew Bull. Misc. Inf., 372, 1915.

Asterostroma epigaeum Lloyd. Myc. Notes. No. 50, 709, 1917.

Hymenophore perennial, stratose, adnate, membranous, effused forming irregular areas to 15 × 5 cm., often less, with numerous irregular orbicular outlying islands; surface cream, alutaceous or pallid ochre, even, not creviced; margin at first thinning out, concolorous, adnate, in old specimens becoming cliff-like or receding and tobacco-brown Context 0·1–1·5 mm. thick, cream becoming ferruginous when old, composed of 1–9 obscure layers, base a narrow zone of parallel cemented hyphae. arising from which are the scanty upright hyphae of

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the intermediate layer, upright dichophyses and embedded crystals and spores; generative hyphae to 3μ. diameter, wall 0·2μ thick, hyaline, branched, septate, with clamp connections. Hymenial layer somewhat indefinite, to 40μ deep, of basidia, scanty paraphyses, gloeocystidia and dichophyses. Basidia cylindrical, 22–32 × 5–6μ, 4,-pored, projecting 10–20μ, soon collapsing; sterigmata curved, delicate, 6–8μ long. Paraphyses subclavate, about half the size of the basidia. Gloeocystidia abundant in the hymenial layer, scattered and soon collapsed through the contest, subclavate or fusiform, some projecting slightly, 32–85 × 6–8μ. Dichophyses with stems arising from the base and traversing the context to the surface, producing at intervals lateral branches bearing dendriform branchlets with acute apices, wall staining deeply, some tinted near the base. Spores globose or subglobose, 6–8·5μ, wall hyaline, delicately and closely warted, 0·5–1μ, thick.

Type Locality. Blackball Range, Queensland.

Distribution. Australia; Japan; New Zealand.

Habitat. Effused on dead bark and decorticated branches.

Aristotelia serrata (Forst. f.) Oliver. Auckland. Oratia, Waitakeres, 1,000ft., July, 1951, J. M. Dingley.

Cordyline sp. Auckland. Purewa Bush, August, 1948, J. M. Dingley. Southwest King Island, January, 1952, E. E. Chamberlain.

Picture icon

Text-Fig. 3.—Fig. 5.—Transverse section of Vararia rhordospora. Fig. 6.—Transvrse section of Vararia portentosa. Original. × 500.

Coriaria arborea Linds. Auckland. Rangitoto Island, August, 1948, July, 1950, J. M. Dingley.

Gaya lyallii (Hook, f.) Baker. Westland. Alec's Knob, Waiho, 2,000ft, November, 1946, J. M. Dingley.

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Leptospermum scoparium Forst. Auckland. Swanson, December, 1945, J. M. Dingley.

Suttonia salicina Hook. f. Auckland. Ruatewhenua, Waitakeres, 900ft., August, 1949, J. M. Dingley.

Unknown Hosts. Auckland. Mountain Road, Henderson, 1,000ft., September, 1953, J. M. Dingley. Wellington. Terehaunikau Valley, Tararuas, November, 1948, J. M. Dingley.

Specific features are the globose verruculose spores, often stratose context and erect compound dichophyses. Spores on the surface are hyaline with orange contents, in the lower layers some may have walls tinted; they are scattered freely both on the surface and amongst the context hyphae. In size and numbers verrucae differ appreciably; those in the collection from Leptospermum scoparium being scarcely visible under a magnification of × 600, whereas in the collection from South-west King Island on Cordyline verrucae are about 0·5μ tall and readily seen. Each compound dichophysis consists of a central stem which, arising in the base, traverses the context to the surface of the hymenium. At intervals lateral branches are produced, sometimes in whorls, bearing dendriform processes which are somewhat similar to those of preceding species. In some collections basal portions of the walls of the dichophyses are pallid yellow, the remainder being hyaline; in others they are hyaline throughout. All stain deeply with aniline blue.

Collections listed match the type of Asterostromella rhodospora in Kew herbarium. The species shows a general resemblance to Vararia pallescens (Schw.) R. & J. and V. peniophoroides (Burt) R. & J. From the former it may be separated by the different dichophyses and larger spores with coarser markings; from the latter by the different gloeocystidia and dichophyses though spores are similar and bear similar verrucae. A fragment of Asterostrmna epigaenm Lloyd from Japan was found to be the same as this species.

7. Vararia portentosa (Berkeley & Curtis). (Text-fig. 6.) G. H. Cunningham, Proceedings of Linnean Society of New South Wales, 77. 290, 1953.

Corticium portentosum Berk. & Curt., Grevillea. 2, 3, 1873.

C. diminuens Berk. & Curt., I.c.

C. penetrans Cke. & Mass. Grevillea, 19, 90. 1891.

Stereum portentosum (B. & C.) Hoehn. & Litsch., K. Akad. Wiss., Wien. Sitz., 116. 743, 1907.

Hymenophore perennial, stratose, adnate, effused forming irregular areas to 30 × 7 cm., with a few orbicular scattered outlying islands; surface cream, alutaceous or pallid buff, resembling chamois leather, not creviced; margin at first thinning out, soon becoming cliff-like, or receding in successive layers, adnate, concolorous or pallid tan when old. Context varying in thickness with age, 0·1–1·5 mm. thick, isabelline or tan, composed of numerous (5–20) layers differentiated by bands of generative hyphae, parallel branches of dichophyses, scattered crystals or thinning of the context; base a narrow layer of repent hyphae closely compacted, intermediate layer of vertical branched hyphae, densely arranged dichophyses and scattered crystals which may be compacted into vertical lenses; generative hyphae to 3μ diameter, wall 0·2μ thick, branched, septate, with clamp connections. Hymenial layer indefinite, composed of scattered groups of basidia and paraphyses, partly embedded among lateral branches of the dichophyses. Basidia cylindrical, 20–32 × 5–6μ, emerging to 10μ, 2–4-spored; sterigmata upright,

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slender, to 5μ long. Paraphyses scanty, subclavate, about half the size of the basidia. Gloeocystidia absent. Dichophyses with stems arising from the base and traversing the context, producing lateral branches which may be straight or curved, extend for 50μ and remain unbranched or become sparingly branched near apices, at the surface becoming entwined laterally and covering the hymenium. staining deeply. Spores globose or subglobose, 4·5–6μ. diameter, some apiculate, wall hyaline, smooth, 0·2μ thick.

Type Locality. Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Distebution. North and South America, Europe, East and West Indies, Australia, New Zealand.

Habitat. Effused on dead bark and decorticated wood of branches.

Albizia lophantha Benth. Auckland. Campbell's Bay, January, 1954, E. E. Chamberlain.

Alectryon excelsum Gaertn. Wellington. Carter's Bush, Carterton, 150ft, November, 1950, J. M. Dingley.

Beilsehmiedia tarairi (A. Cunn.) Benth. & Hook. f. Auckland. Awhitu Peninsula, 300ft., April, 1946, G. H. C. Karekare, Waitakeres, 800ft., September, 1946, J. M. Dingley.

Beilschmiedia tawa (A. Cunn.) Hook, f & Benth. Auckland. Claudelands Reserve, Hamilton, November, 1946, G. H. C. Wellington, Weraroa, September, 1919, G. H. C.

Cupressus macrocarpa Hartw. Auckland. Campbell's Bay, November, 1946, Mrs. E. E. Chamberlain.

Hoheria populnen A. Cunn. Auckland. Mt. Eden, 350ft., March, 1950, G. H. C.

Leptospermum ericoides A. Rich. Auckland. Whangarei Heads, October, 1947, J. M. Dingley.

Leucopogon fasciculatus (Forst. f.) A. Rich. Auckland. Waipoua Kauri Forest, September, 1949, J. M. Dingley.

Metrosideros tomentosa A. Rich. Auckland. Chicken Island, May, 1949, Mrs. O. Turbott.

Plagianthus betulinus A. Cunn. Wellington. Carter's Bush, Carterton, 150ft., December, 1952, G. H. C.

Pseudopanax crassifolium (Sol.) Koch. Wellington. Ruahine Ranges, October, 1945, A. P. Druce.

Unknown Hosts. Auckland. Birkenhead Kauri Park, July, 1946, J. M. Dingley. Hunua Ranges, September, 1949, J. M. Dingley. Mt. Eden, 350ft., March, 1950, G. H. C. Walker's Bush, Waitakeres, August, 1950. J. M. Dingley. Waipoua Kauri Forest, December, 1951, G. B. Rawlings. Canterbury, Riccarton Bush, February, 1927, D. W. McKenzie.

Though of more simple structure than in other species described, dichophyses are nevertheless compound organs comparable with those of V. rhodospora; for they arise in the same manner from the base, and similarly stain deeply with aniline blue. They differ in that lateral branches do not become further branched, or branch only occasionally near the apices. Other features indicating that the species is a Vararia are the projecting delicate cylindrical basidia, arising in small

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groups and collapsing as soon as spores mature, and delicate spore walls which also collapse shortly after spores are shed. Old specimens are stratose and composed of several layers which are visible under a lens. In both macro- and micro-features the species resembles closely “Stereum” duriusculum Berk. & Br. Both are perennial with similar dichophyses and spores, S. duriusculum differing in possessing gloeocystidia of a type similar to those of V. rhoclospora (c.f., Talbot, Bothalia, 6, 51,1951).