Manual of the New Zealand Flora/History
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A History of Botanical Discovery in New Zealand
BOTANICAL DISCOVERY IN NEW ZEALAND.
The history of botanical discovery in New Zealand falls naturally and conveniently into two periods of almost equal duration. The first commences with the year 1769, in which Cook made his first visit, and closes with the establishment of British supremacy and the commencement of systematic colonisation in 1840. During the seventy-one years comprised between these dates, many voyages of discovery or survey in the South Pacific were undertaken by the British, French, or American Governments, during most of which New Zealand was visited. And, as naturalists or collectors were usually attached to these expeditions, it was through them that our first knowledge of the flora was obtained. During the same series of years several travellers of scientific attainments also visited New Zealand, such as the two Cunninghams, Dieffenbach, Bidwill, &c., all of whom formed collections of considerable importance. This period may therefore be appropriately called the period of investigation by visitors from abroad. That extending from 1840 to the present time can be just as correctly styled the period of investigation by naturalists resident in the colony.
Commencing with the voyages, the first in order of time, as well as in degree of importance, is Cook's first visit (1769–1770). For full details concerning this celebrated expedition, which has been well said "to have been the most momentous voyage of discovery that has ever taken place, for it practically gave birth to the great Australian Colonies," I must refer the reader to Hawkesworth's "Cook's Voyages," Wharton's transcript of Cook's journal, and Hooker's "Journal of Sir Joseph Banks." For the purposes of this work the following sketch will be sufficient. Cook's ship, the "Endeavour," left England on the 26th July, 1768. For that period, she was unusually well equipped for scientific work. Sir Joseph Banks, one of the leading naturalists of his time, and a man of much influence and ample fortune, volunteered to accompany the expedition. At his own expense he provided the requisites for making collections in every department of natural science, and engaged Dr. Solander, four draughtsmen or artists, and a staff of servants to accompany him. The cost to Banks of these preparations has been estimated at £10,000. After rounding Cape Horn, and after a stay of nearly four months at Tahiti and other islands of the Society Group, Cook struck south-westwards across the Pacific. On Friday, the 6th October, 1769, he first sighted New Zealand, and at once stood in for the land. Delayed by calms and baffling winds, it was not until the afternoon of Sunday, the 8th October, that he anchored on the north-west side of a deep bay, to which he afterwards gave the name of Poverty Bay, and almost directly opposite the present town of Gisborne. Cook immediately landed, accompanied by Banks and Solander, but an unfortunate skirmish took place with the Maoris, one of whom was shot, and the party returned to the ship. The next morning a landing was made in greater force, and some intercourse took place with the Maoris through the medium of a Tahitian interpreter. Their behaviour, however, was so threatening that it became necessary to fire upon them, and another man was killed and several wounded. Discouraged by this reception Cook once more re-embarked. The following morning another landing was effected, and Cook, together with Banks and Solander, strolled some little distance up the right bank of the Waikanae River. But the Natives again became troublesome, and a retreat had to be made to the landing-place. Seeing no hope of establishing a pacific intercourse. Cook returned to his vessel, and at daylight the following morning left the bay. Under the circumstances narrated above, it is obvious that little botanising could be done. Banks, in his journal, laments that "We took leave of Poverty Bay, as we named it, with not above forty species of plants in our boxes, which is not to be wondered at, as we were so little ashore, and always upon the same spot. The only time when we wandered about a mile from the boats was upon a swamp, where not more than three species of plants were found."
After leaving Poverty Bay, Cook followed the coast southwards, successively passing Table Cape, Portland Island, Hawke's Bay, and Cape Kidnappers, but nowhere making any attempt to land. On the 17th October, when off Cape Turnagain, he determined to return to the northwards, giving as a reason that there was "no likelyhood of meeting with a Harbour, and the face of the Country Visibly altering for the worse." On the 19th he repassed Poverty Bay, and on the 20th anchored in Anaura Bay, which he called "Tegadoo." Here the reception given by the Natives was all that could be desired, and Cook consequently remained until daylight on the 22nd, for the purpose, as he states, of giving "Mr. Banks an opportunity to Collect a little of the Produce of the Country." Banks, in his journal, says, "We ranged all about the bay, and were well repaid by finding many plants and shooting some most beautiful birds." Further on, he gives a description of the Maori cultivations, in which were planted "sweet potatos, cocos, and a plant of the cucumber kind," doubtless referring to the kumara, taro, and hue. Dr. Solander, in his manuscript volume of descriptions, presently to be referred to, enumerates ninety-eight species of plants as having been collected at "Tigadu." Among these were the first specimens of the beautiful Clianthus puniceus, which was found cultivated by the Natives near their dwellings.
On taking his departure from Anaura, Cook at first stood to the northwards, but the wind being unfavourable, he determined to put into Tolaga Bay, where the Natives had informed him wood and water could easily be obtained for his ship. On the morning of the 23rd he accordingly anchored about a mile from a small cove just inside the southern point of the bay. Here a stay was made until the 30th October. The Natives were friendly and obliging, and an ample supply of wood and water was obtained. Both Banks and Solander passed most of their time on shore, and an excellent collection of plants was formed. With respect to the vegetation. Cook remarks, "The Tops and ridges of the Hills are for the most part barren, at least little grows on them but fern; but the Valleys and sides of many of the Hills were luxuriously clothed with woods and Verdure and little Plantations of the Natives lying dispers'd up and down the Country. We found in the Woods, Trees of above 20 different sorts; Specimens of each I took on board, as all of them were unknown to any of us. The Tree which we cut for firing was something like Maple and yielded a whitish Gum. There was another sort of a deep Yellow which we imagin'd might prove useful in dying. We likewise found one Cabage Tree which we cut down for the sake of the cabage. The Country abounds with a great Number of Plants, and the woods with as great a variety of beautiful birds, many of them unknown to us." Altogether, Tolaga Bay appears to have left a favourable impression on the "Endeavour's" people. From the localities cited in Solander's manuscripts, it appears that about 160 species of plants were collected.
Leaving Tolaga Bay on the 30th October, Cook made sail to the northwards. On the following day he rounded the East Cape, and passing Cape Runaway and White Island (which was evidently quiescent at that time), he coasted along the shores of the Bay of Plenty, having occasional intercourse with those Maoris who came off to him in their canoes, but making no attempt to land. On the 3rd November he was abreast of Tauranga, and on the 4th reached the entrance of Mercury Bay. Finding in this locality a secure harbour with plenty of wood and water, and being anxious to observe the transit of Mercury, which was to take place on the 9th, Cook brought his vessel to an anchor. During a stay of eleven days many plants were collected, figured, and described, the total number, reckoning from Solander's manuscripts, being 213. Among those which had not been previously observed was the Mangrove (Avicennia officinalis), which occurred in such abundance along the sides of the Whitianga River that Cook gave it the name of the "River of Mangroves." Through a curious misapprehension he states that the mangroves "produce a resinous substance very much like Rosin. .... We found it, at first, in small Lumps upon the Sea Beach, but afterwards found it sticking to the Mangrove Trees, and by that means found out from whence it came." The resinous substance was no doubt the now well-known kauri-gum, pieces of which are often drifted along tidal streams, and are not infrequently detained among the roots or lower branches of the mangrove. The kauri-tree itself does not seem to have been observed, either by Cook or by Banks and Solander, although common enough on the hills overlooking Mercury Bay. Probably they did not venture far enough from the coast to reach it.
After leaving Mercury Bay Cook continued to follow the coast-line, and rounding Cape Colville, entered the Hauraki Gulf. Here he found himself surrounded by islands, and not wishing to lose sight of the mainland, kept close under the western side of the Coromandel Peninsula. A short sail brought him to the entrance of the Thames River, where he anchored, almost directly abreast of the position where the town of Thames now stands. On the following day, the 21st November, accompanied by Banks and Solander, he made a boat voyage up the Thames River for a distance of twelve or fourteen miles. A landing was effected on the west side of the river for the purpose of examining the kahikatea forest which still clothes its banks, and which had attracted Cook's attention at his anchorage. Describing the trees, he says, "We had not gone a hundred yards into the woods before we found a Tree that girted 19 feet 8 inches, 6 feet above the ground, and having a Quadrant with me, I found its length from the root to the first branch to be 89 feet; it was as Streight as an Arrow, and Taper'd but very little in proportion to its length, so that I judged that there was 356 Solid feet of timber in this Tree, clear of the branches. We saw many others of the same sort, several of which were Taller than the one we measured, and all of them very stout; there were likewise many other sorts of very Stout Timber Trees, all of them wholy unknown to any of us. We brought away a few specimens, and at 3 o'Clock we embarqued in order to return." It is somewhat distressing to state that the historic tree mentioned above, after surviving one hundred and thirty years with unimpaired vitality, was wantonly cut down only a few years ago.
From the Thames River Cook's course was directed to Cape Rodney, and from thence northwards to Cape Brett, which was reached on the 27th November. Here contrary winds were met with, and it was not until the 29th that the cape was weathered, and an anchorage found in the Bay of Islands, where the "Endeavour" remained until the 5th December. During this time visits were made to several of the islands in the bay, and to the mainland; but as it was impossible to go far from the coast, along which the vegetation was by no means varied, not many plants were collected, only seventy-seven being credited to the locality in Solander's manuscripts.
Leaving the Bay of Islands, Cook continued his survey of the coast to the North Cape, where he met with fierce and prolonged gales of such exceptional character that three weeks were occupied in rounding it. He then proceeded southwards along the western coast, but its dangerously open character prevented him from making a close approach. He consequently failed to observe any of the harbours—Hokianga, Kaipara, Manukau, Kawhia, &c.—and, as no canoes were seen, there was no intercourse with the inhabitants. He passed Mount Egmont on the 13th January, entered Cook Strait on the 15th, and on the 16th anchored in Queen Charlotte Sound, in the northern portion of the South Island. In this locality he made a stay of three weeks, taking advantage of his visit to careen and clean his ship, to lay in a stock of wood and water, and to give his crew the welcome change of a diet of fresh fish and green vegetables. He remarks that Queen Charlotte Sound "is a collection of some of the finest harbours in the world," and that "the Cove in which we lay, called Ship Cove, is not inferior to any in the Sound, both in point of Security and other Conveniences." He also says that the land "consists wholly of high hills and deep Valleys, well stored with a variety of excellent Timber, fit for all purposes except Ship's Masts, for which use it is too hard and heavy." The collection of plants made was larger than that formed in any other locality, numbering 220 species.
Taking his departure from Queen Charlotte Sound on the 7th February, Cook first took a run northwards to Cape Turnagain, thus completing his survey of the North Island. He then turned to the south, passing down the east coast of the South Island. On the 17th February he rounded Banks Peninsula, which he took to be an island; on the 25th February he was off Cape Saunders; and on the 10th March he was abreast of the south end of Stewart Island, which he assumed to be a peninsula connected with the mainland by a narrow neck. On the 13th he passed the entrance to Dusky Sound, from whence he followed the western coast northwards, reaching Cape Farewell on the 24th March, and thus completing the circumnavigation of the South Island. On the 27th he put into Admiralty Bay, to the west of Queen Charlotte Sound, for the purpose of again renewing his stock of wood and water, and on the 31st he left New Zealand, steering a course for the east coast of Australia.
In 1771 Cook returned to England. The natural-history collections, which were the property of Sir Joseph Banks, contained a large amount of material; but no work has ever been published treating of them as a whole. The plants had for the most part been fully described by Solander at the time of collection, and coloured drawings prepared of many of the species. Little additional labour was therefore required to prepare the results for publication. Evidently Banks intended that this should be done, for at his own expense he had 700 plates engraved on copper, and Solander's manuscript descriptions were revised and systematically arranged. The New Zealand portion, which was entitled "Primitiæ Floræ Novæ Zealandiæ," contained descriptions of nearly 360 species, illustrated by over 200 plates, and was practically ready for the press. Why it was not actually published is by no means clear, but the suggestion has been made that publication was at first delayed by the preparations made by Banks and Solander to accompany Cook in his second voyage, a project which was ultimately abandoned; and that a more serious interruption was caused by Solander's somewhat sudden death in 1782. After his companion's decease. Banks became more and more occupied with his duties as President of the Royal Society, and as an organizer and promoter of scientific research, and the idea of publication appears to have been abandoned. As stated in the preface, a type-written copy of Solander's descriptions and a set of impressions from the plates have been liberally furnished by the Trustees of the British Museum for use in the preparation of this work. Of their scientific value I cannot speak too highly; and it is a matter for regret that they were not presented to the world 125 years ago. It is, however, some satisfaction to know that the botanical results of the whole voyage are now, after this long delay, being issued under the auspices of the British Museum, and under the careful editing of Mr. Britten.
On the 9th April, 1772, Cook left England for his second voyage, the expedition consisting of two ships, the "Resolution" under his own command, and the "Adventure" under that of Captain Furneaux. John Reinhold Forster and his son George Forster, both well-known botanists, accompanied him in the capacity of naturalists, and were joined at the Cape of Good Hope by Dr. Sparrmann, also a botanist of repute, and a former pupil of Linnaeus. After several months had been spent in an unsuccessful search for a southern continent, Cook made sail for the south of New Zealand. During the voyage he was accidentally separated from the "Adventure," and failing to rejoin her put into Dusky Sound, the entrance to which had been noticed in his first voyage. He remained there from the 26th March, 1773, to the 1st May, mainly for the purpose of refitting, and to give his crew a rest after the months of incessant buffeting experienced in high southern latitudes. During his stay many boat voyages were made to various parts of the Sound, and a careful survey was made of it. The two Forsters devoted much of their time to botanizing, but their collections were by no means so large as might have been expected, considering what a productive locality Dusky Sound has proved to be in later years. Among the plants gathered were Olearia operina, Celmisia holosericea, Gentiana saxosa and G. montana, and Cordyline indivisa.
From Dusky Sound the "Resolution" proceeded northwards to Queen Charlotte Sound, which was reached on the 18th May. Here she rejoined the "Adventure," which had arrived on the 7th April. Both vessels left on the 7th June, in the first place for a cruise to the south-east of New Zealand, in further search for a southern continent, and then for eastern Polynesia. In October Cook again directed his course to New Zealand. Making the coast of the North Island near Table Cape, he steered to the south, stopping near Cape Kidnappers to give pigs and fowls to some Natives that came off to his ship. Up to this time the two vessels had been in company, but off Cape Palliser exceptionally severe weather was encountered, and they separated. The "Resolution" proceeded to Queen Charlotte Sound, which had been appointed a place of rendezvous, and remained there waiting for her consort from the 3rd November to the 25th, when Cook left for a cruise to the Antarctic Ocean. Five days after his departure the "Adventure" arrived, and remained until the 23rd December. During this stay an unfortunate dispute arose with the Maoris, which led to the massacre of a boat's crew of ten men. After a year's explorations in various parts of the Pacific, Cook once more returned to New Zealand, anchoring in his favourite resort, Queen Charlotte Sound, on the 19th October, 1774. His stay was but short, and on the 10th November he left on his return voyage, reaching Plymouth on the 30th July, 1775.
From the above sketch it will be seen that the only localities botanized in during Cook's second voyage were Queen Charlotte Sound, which had already been explored by Banks and Solander, and Dusky Sound. But a much longer period was spent in harbour and on shore than during the previous voyage, and the collections ought to have been quite as extensive. Instead of this, they were much smaller, the total number of flowering-plants and ferns not exceeding 180 species. Sets of these were distributed to several public and private herbaria, unfortunately in a somewhat careless manner as regards the nomenclature, thus causing many mistakes and much confusion. Within twelve months after their return the two Forsters conjointly issued a work entitled "Characteres Genera Plantarum," in which seventy-five new genera were shortly described and illustrated, thirty-one of them being from New Zealand. The book is interesting on account of containing the first published descriptions of New Zealand plants, but otherwise is most disappointing. The descriptions are short and meagre, and the illustrations so badly executed as to be practically useless. In 1786 George Forster published his "Florulæ Insularum Australium Prodromus," which contains diagnoses of 594 species, about 170 of which have New Zealand assigned as a habitat. As in the preceding work, the descriptions are short and unsatisfactory, and usually quite insufficient for the proper identification of the species. In the same year he also issued a little tract entitled "De Plantis Esculentis Insularum Oceani Australis Commentatio Botanica," which includes full descriptions and much curious information respecting the esculent plants, fifty-four in number, observed during the voyage, fourteen of which were from New Zealand. These three publications, together with a short essay, "De Plantis Magellanicis et Atlanticis," which contains no reference to New Zealand, appear to be the whole of the matter written by the Forsters respecting the botany of Cook's second voyage.
Cook's third and last voyage can be passed over with a few words. He left England on the 12th July, 1776, and after visiting the Cape of Good Hope, Kerguelen's Island, and Tasmania, reached his favourite anchorage in Queen Charlotte Sound on the 12th February, 1777, this being his fifth visit to the locality. His stay was brief, and on the 25th February he finally left New Zealand. Cook's surgeon, Mr. W. Anderson, had some knowledge of natural history, and his description of Queen Charlotte Sound, printed in Hawkesworth's "Cook's Third Voyage" (Vol. i., p. 145), contains an excellent account of the vegetation. His collections, however, were small and unimportant.
In 1791, Captain Vancouver, in command of the "Discovery," accompanied by Captain Broughton in the "Chatham," visited Dusky Sound, making a stay of nearly three weeks. The surgeon to the expedition, Archibald Menzies, devoted himself to the higher cryptogams, and made a large collection of ferns, mosses, and Hepaticæ. Many of his specimens were figured by Sir W. J. Hooker in the "Musci Exotici" or "Icones Filicum," together with a few flowering-plants in the "Icones Plantarum." A set of his collections is in the British Museum Herbarium, and another at Kew.
The first of the French voyages of discovery to touch at New Zealand was that of Captain De Surville, in the "Saint Jean Baptiste." De Surville arrived off Doubtless Bay in December, 1769, only three days after Cook had passed the same locality on his way to the North Cape. He remained three weeks at anchor in Mongonui Harbour, and was most hospitably treated by the Maoris, a hospitality which he returned by burning one of their villages and destroying their canoes, apparently because he suspected them of stealing a boat which had accidentally got adrift. I cannot learn that any natural-history collections were made during this visit.
In 1772 an expedition consisting of two vessels, the "Mascarin" and the "Marquis de Castries," under the command of Marion du Fresne and Duclesmeur, arrived off Cape Egmont. Proceeding north-wards, and failing to find a harbour, the ships rounded the North Cape, and eventually anchored in the Bay of Islands, where a stay of over two months was made. Marion and his people were welcomed with such apparent cordiality by the Maoris that no suspicions of treacherous conduct were aroused. They were thus quite unprepared for the sudden attack which was made upon them, and which resulted, as is well known, in the massacre of Marion and nearly thirty of his crew. A graphic account of this unfortunate incident is given in the journal of Crozet, upon whom the command devolved after Marion's death. The same journal contains an excellent sketch of the natural productions of the country, in which many references are made to the vegetation; but, as in De Surville's expedition, no collections were made.
In 1824 the surveying corvette "Coquille," under the command of Captain Duperrey, arrived at the Bay of Islands, and remained for nearly a fortnight. Two naturalists were on board. Lieutenant D'Urville (afterwards Admiral D'Urville), an ardent botanical collector, and M. Lesson, both of whom made collections of some extent. In the beginning of 1827 D'Urville revisited New Zealand in command of the same vessel, renamed the "Astrolabe." He was again accompanied by Lesson, and also by Quoy and Gaimard as zoologists. First sighting the coast of the South Island near Greymouth, he proceeded northwards, and, rounding Cape Farewell, entered Cook Strait. A secure anchorage was found on the west side of Tasman Bay, between the mouth of the Motueka River and Separation Point, in which he remained for a week, forming important collections. He then crossed to the east side of Tasman Bay, and discovered the strait separating D'Urville Island from the mainland, known to this day as "the French Pass." Several days were occupied in surveying this passage, during which time both the botanical and zoological collections were added to. D'Urville then sailed through Cook Strait, and followed the east coast of the North Island to Tolaga Bay, where a brief stay was made. Continuing his voyage, he rounded the East Cape, crossed the Bay of Plenty, and, passing to the north of the Great Barrier Island, arrived at Whangarei Heads, where he remained for two or three days. Turning southwards, he passed Cape Rodney and Tiritiri Island, and anchored at the entrance to Auckland Harbour, of which little was known at that time. He landed on both the northern and southern banks of the Waitemata, and, having sent a boat up the Tamaki River as far as the present township of Otahuhu, some of his men were guided by the Maoris across the narrow isthmus to the head of the Manukau Harbour. D'Urville left Auckland Harbour by the Waiheke Channel, passed between the Great and Little Barrier Islands, and after a cruise to the North Cape returned to the Bay of Islands. On the 18th March he finally left New Zealand, having spent a little more than two months on its shores.
After the "Astrolabe" had returned to Europe the scientific results of the voyage were published in elaborate style under the auspices of the French Government. The botanical portion was undertaken by A. Richard, one of the leading botanists of his time, and was issued in 1832, under the title of "Essai d'une Flore de la Nouvelle Zélande," accompanied by a folio atlas of plates. Richard included not only the species collected in the two expeditions of Duperrey and D'Urville, but also most of those obtained by Forster in Cook's second voyage. Altogether 380 species are enumerated, 211 of which are phænogams and 169 cryptogams, 51 of the latter being ferns. It is the first publication dealing with the flora of New Zealand as a whole, and possesses considerable merit, so much so that it is to be regretted that so little use of it has been made by New Zealand botanists.
Early in the nineteenth century a trading intercourse sprang up between the North Island and Sydney, and by degrees a small European settlement began to form at the Bay of Islands. This led to occasional visits from colonial botanists and explorers, and much additional information was thus obtained respecting the flora. In 1825 Mr. Charles Eraser, Government Botanist and Superintendent of the Sydney Botanical Gardens, landed for a day in the Bay of Islands, and made a small collection of plants. In 1826 his successor, the indefatigable Allan Cunningham, paid a visit of over five months' duration. Through the assistance afforded by the resident missionaries he was able to explore the greater part of the Bay of Islands district, and to visit Whangaroa and Hokianga, making extensive and valuable collections. In 1833 his brother, Richard Cunningham, arrived in H.M.S. "Buffalo," which had been sent to New Zealand by the Admiralty to obtain a cargo of kauri spars for experimental purposes. He also spent nearly five months in travelling through the Bay of Islands, Whangaroa, and Hokianga districts. In 1838 Allan Cunningham paid a second visit, remaining at the Bay of Islands through the whole of the winter and early spring; but the precarious state of his health prevented all active work, and his collections were consequently small. He returned to Australia in October, 1838, utterly exhausted and worn out, as his biographer says, "by twenty-five years of unwearied exertions and laborious travel," and after lingering a few months, died at Sydney in June, 1839.
During a short visit to England, Allan Cunningham had prepared for publication a sketch of the Flora of New Zealand, entitled "Floræ Insularum Novæ Zealandiæ Precursor; or, A Specimen of the Botany of the Islands of New Zealand." The first part of this work appeared in the "Companion to the Botanical Magazine," Vol. ii.; the remaining portions in the "Annals and Magazine of Natural History," Vols. i. to iv. In it Cunningham enumerates the whole of the species published by Forster and A. Richard, including also some of Banks and Solander's plants which had been described by other botanists. To these he adds the new species discovered during his first visit and that of Richard Cunningham. Altogether the "Precursor" includes the names of 639 species, of which 394 are phænogams and 245 cryptogams. Although containing much valuable information, it bears evident marks of hasty preparation, and can hardly be considered an adequate memorial of its enthusiastic and talented author. The herbarium of both the Cunninghams is now preserved at Kew.
Mr. J. C. Bidwill visited New Zealand for the first time in 1839, and after a short stay at the Bay of Islands proceeded to the Bay of Plenty, from whence he journeyed to Rotorua and Taupo. Crossing Lake Taupo he reached Lake Rotoaira; and, using the Native village there as a base of operations, succeeded in exploring the spurs of Tongariro and in ascending the cone of Ngauruhoe, being the first European to accomplish the feat. He returned by way of Rotorua, Tauranga, and the Thames Valley. His collections, which were forwarded to Sir W. J. Hooker, were the first made in the mountainous interior of the North Island, and contained several interesting discoveries, as Veronica tetragona, Dacrydium laxifolium, Senecio Bidwillii, Dracophyllum recurvum, &c. A few years later he visited the mountains of Nelson, forming a very interesting collection of mountain-plants, which were also forwarded to Sir W. J. Hooker.
In the years 1839–40–41, Dr. Ernest Dieffenbach made extensive travels in New Zealand as naturalist to the New Zealand Company. In addition to an examination of the whole of the northern peninsula, from the North Cape to Auckland, he travelled along the western coast to Raglan and Kawhia, and, crossing to the Waipa Valley, followed the western bank of the Waikato River to Lake Taupo. A project to ascend Tongariro and Ruapehu was frustrated by the opposition of the Maoris, and he returned to Auckland by way of Rotorua, Tauranga, and the Thames Valley. During another journey he explored a large part of the Taranaki District, and was the first European to ascend Mount Egmont. He also visited Wellington, Wanganui, and Kapiti Island, and spent some time in the exploration of Queen Charlotte Sound, Cloudy Bay, and the whaling-stations on the north-east coast of the South Island. Finally, he paid a visit to the Chatham Islands, and brought away the first plants collected in that outlying dependency of the colony. On his return to England Dieffenbach published his "Travels in New Zealand," the two volumes of which are replete with interesting matter relating to the flora, fauna, and Native inhabitants. His botanical collections were presented to the Kew Herbarium, but, according to Sir J. D. Hooker, they are "most scanty, compared with the great extent of interesting ground he passed over."
In July, 1840, the French corvette "L'Aube" arrived at the Bay of Islands, and after a brief stay proceeded to Akaroa, remaining there until November, 1841. In January, 1842, "L'Aube" was replaced by "L'Allier," which was stationed at Akaroa until January, 1843. The surgeon attached to these two vessels, M. E. Raoul, made excellent collections, mainly at Akaroa, and, as he was the first botanist to investigate the flora of the eastern side of the South Island, many of his plants were altogether new. Raoul first of all published his discoveries in the "Annales des Sciences Naturelles" (Series III., Vol. ii.), but subsequently he prepared a work of wider scope under the name of "Choix de Plantes de la Nouvelle Zélande," illustrated with thirty beautiful plates. In it he reprints the descriptions previously published in the Annales, and gives an enumeration of the known species of the flora, including about 950 species, of which rather more than 500 are flowering-plants. But he accepted all Cunningham's species, many of which were not well founded, and also included no small number of synonyms and introduced plants. If these are eliminated, his list will be reduced to under 800. Raoul's services to New Zealand botany have been well commemorated in the genus Raoulia, dedicated to him by Sir J. D. Hooker.
In the year 1837 an elaborately organized expedition, consisting of the corvettes "Astrolabe" and "Zélée," under the command of Admiral D'Urville, was despatched by the French Government for the purpose of exploration in the Antarctic regions. The expedition visited the Auckland Islands during 1839, when M. Hombron, who acted as botanist, made a collection of plants, the first formed in the locality. The official record of the voyage, which appeared under the title of "Voyage au Pōle Sud et dans l'Océanie," contains a folio atlas of botanical plates prepared under the direction of M. Hombron, and two volumes of descriptive matter; one including the Cryptogamia, by Montaigne, the other the phænogams, by Decaisne. Drawings and descriptions were given of several species from the Auckland Islands; but all, or nearly all, had been already described in Hooker's Flora Antarctica, presently to be alluded to.
About the same period, the well-known American Exploring Expedition, under the command of Captain Wilkes, visited both the Bay of Islands and the Auckland Islands. Several naturalists were attached to the expedition, and collections of considerable importance were formed. After Wilkes's return, and after many delays, the botanical collections were intrusted to the eminent American botanist, Asa Gray. An account of the phænogams ultimately appeared (in 1854) in two volumes quarto, with a folio atlas of 100 plates. The number of New Zealand plants enumerated is not large, but Asa Gray's critical and descriptive remarks are in many cases of considerable value.
We now arrive at the Antarctic Expedition of Sir James Clark Ross, which left England in September, 1839, for the purpose of investigating the phenomena of terrestrial magnetism in high southern latitudes, and of prosecuting geographical discovery in the Antarctic regions. It consisted of two vessels, the "Erebus," commanded by Ross, and the "Terror," under Captain Crozier. To the first-mentioned vessel Dr. (now Sir J. D.) Hooker was attached as assistant surgeon and naturalist, whilst Dr. Lyall served in a similar capacity on the "Terror." After calling at the Cape of Good Hope, Kerguelen's Island, and Tasmania, the expedition arrived at the Auckland Islands on the 20th November, 1840, remaining until the 12th December. On the 13th December it reached Campbell Island, leaving again on the 17th for a cruise to the Antarctic Circle and the south polar regions. Although the Auckland Islands had been visited by D'Urville and Wilkes during the previous year, nothing had been published respecting the vegetation, and with characteristic ardour Hooker devoted himself to its exploration. The luxuriance of the flora and the relatively large proportion of plants with brilliant and conspicuous flowers at once attracted attention. Hooker goes so far as to say, when writing of Bulbinella Rossii, "Perhaps no group of islands on the surface of the globe, of the same limited extent and so perfectly isolated, can boast of three such beautiful plants, peculiar to their flora, as the Pleurophyllum speciosum, Celmisia vernicosa, and the subject of the foregoing description." Under such circumstances the scrutiny given to the vegetation was keen and almost exhaustive, as evidenced by the fact that but few additions have been made by later explorers. The first volume of the "Flora Antarctica," prepared by Hooker after his return to England, and issued in 1844, is confined to the flora of the Auckland and Campbell Islands. It contains descriptions of 100 species of flowering-plants and twenty ferns and fern-allies, together with numerous mosses, Hepaticæ, and other cryptogams, and is illustrated with eighty beautifully prepared plates, fifty-six of which are of phænogams. Altogether, it is a splendid monument of painstaking exploration and research, and it seems almost incredible that the observations and material on which it is founded should have been collected in less than a month.
After the discovery of Victoria Land in the summer of 1840–41 Sir James Ross returned to Tasmania, proceeding from thence to the Bay of Islands, which was reached on the 14th August, 1841. Here the expedition remained until the 23rd November. During this period Sir J. D. Hooker was actively engaged in collecting materials for his projected "Flora of New Zealand," receiving much assistance from Mr. Colenso and other residents. He remarks that his collections "contained no novelty amongst flowering-plants not known to Mr. Colenso and Dr. Sinclair, with whom I spent many happy days. Amongst cryptogamic plants I collected much that was then new, but most of the species have since been found elsewhere."
With the departure of the Antarctic Expedition in 1841 the first period of botanical discovery in New Zealand—that of investigation by visitors from abroad—may be said to have closed; for, although several scientific expeditions, such as the "Novara," "Challenger," &c., have since visited the colony, they have done little in the way of botanical research. Since 1841 the advance which has been made is almost wholly due to the efforts of the colonists themselves.
The foremost place among resident botanists and explorers must be granted to the Rev. W. Colenso, both on account of the number and variety of his discoveries, and the ardour with which, for a period of no less than sixty-five years, he continued to observe and to collect facts and specimens in almost all branches of natural science, always giving the leading place to botany. Arriving in New Zealand in 1834, he was induced, first by the visit of the illustrious Darwin in the "Beagle" in 1835, and later by Allan Cunningham in 1838, to take up the study of the botany of his adopted country, forwarding his specimens from time to time to Sir W. J. Hooker at Kew. At first his collections were confined to the district between Whangarei and the North Cape, but he soon enlarged his field of operations. Space will not permit of a full account of his many journeys, which practically covered the whole length of the North Island, but the following were the most important. In 1841–42 he travelled on foot from Hicks Bay to Poverty Bay, and from thence inland through the rugged and almost inaccessible Urewera Country to Lake Waikaremoana, which he was the first European traveller to reach. He then crossed the Te Whaiti Mountains to Ruatahuna, from whence he proceeded to Rotorua and Tauranga. Striking inland again, he followed the upper Thames Valley to its head, and, crossing to the Waikato River, canoed a hundred miles down the river to its mouth. From thence he followed the west coast to the Kaipara Harbour, then again made for the east coast at Mangawai, finally reaching the Bay of Islands by way of Whangarei and Whangaruru. In 1843 he journeyed from Hicks Bay to Poverty Bay, and thence by sea to Castle Point. From that locality he proceeded to Ahuriri (Hawke's Bay) and the Wairoa River, which he ascended to Waikaremoana, returning by way of Rotorua and Tauranga. In 1844 he transferred his residence from the Bay of Islands to Hawke's Bay, and in the following year made his first expedition to the summit of the Ruahine Range, finding there a harvest of previously unknown alpine and subalpine plants. In 1847 he travelled by way of Titiokura and the Mohaka River to Taupo and Inland Patea, passing along the flanks of Tongariro and Ruapehu, and returning to Hawke's Bay over the Ruahine Range, which he was the first European to cross. These journeys and many others, all made on foot, with a few Native companions only, and often under circumstances of great privation and no little danger, are evidence of the ardour and enthusiasm with which Mr. Colenso carried on his botanical explorations in the early days of the colony. Nor did his zeal diminish with age, for the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute contain papers written by him describing plants collected during a journey made to the flanks of the Ruahine Range in his eighty-fifth year. In addition to numerous writings on the Maori race, on which he was for many years the chief authority, Mr. Colenso contributed no less than fifty-nine papers on botanical subjects to the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute. Very few volumes, from the foundation of the Institute to the time of his death, are without a communication from his pen. It is true that in his later descriptive writings he adopted views as to the circumscription of species which are in conflict with those held by all other New Zealand botanists, and thus introduced a vast number of synonyms into the flora; but that is a circumstance which must not detract from the recognition of his undoubted services to the botany of New Zealand.
Dr. Andrew Sinclair was originally a surgeon in the Royal Navy, and first became known as a botanist from the collections he made while attached to the surveying expedition of H.M.S. "Sulphur" to the Pacific coasts of North and South America. He first visited New Zealand in 1841, during the stay of the Antarctic Expedition at the Bay of Islands, and accompanied Sir J. D. Hooker and Mr. Colenso in numerous botanical expeditions. Returning to Australia, he met with Captain Fitzroy, who was then on his way to New Zealand as Governor, and who engaged him as private secretary. Not long after his arrival in the colony he was appointed to the post of Colonial Secretary, which he retained for several years. His leisure time was almost entirely devoted to botanical pursuits, and he collected largely in most parts of the North Island, transmitting copious suites of specimens to Kew, where they constituted a large part of the material used by Hooker in the elaboration of the "Flora Novæ Zealandiæ." After the establishment of parliamentary government in New Zealand Dr. Sinclair vacated his position, and after a brief sojourn in England returned to New Zealand, with the intention of devoting himself to botanical work. After a short stay in Auckland he proceeded to Nelson, where he made important collections, adding many species to the alpine flora. He then repaired to Canterbury, and joined the late Sir Julius Haast in the geological and botanical survey then being made of the Southern Alps. There, in the year 1861, he was unfortunately drowned in an imprudent attempt to ford the Rangitata River. Although he never published anything of importance on New Zealand plants, his name will always be remembered as one of the pioneers of botanical discovery in the colony.
In the years 1847–51, H.M.S. "Acheron," under the command of Captain Stokes, was engaged in the survey of the coast-line of New Zealand, and especially of the western and south-western portions. Captain Stokes was accompanied as surgeon-naturalist by Dr. Lyall, who had served in a similar capacity in H.M.S. "Terror" in the Antarctic Expedition, and who made large collections, especially of Cryptogamia. Milford Sound, Chalky Inlet, Dusky Bay, Preservation Inlet, and both shores of Foveaux Strait were the chief localities botanized in by Lyall during this expedition. Among the plants collected were the first specimens of the magnificent Ranunculus Lyallii.
In 1853 there appeared the first volume, containing the flowering-plants, of Sir J. D. Hooker's "Flora Novæ Zealandiæ"; the second volume, including the cryptogams, following in 1855. The publication of this important work, in every way worthy of the reputation of its distinguished author, marked a new era in the history of the botany of New Zealand. For the first time the student was provided with an account of the flora characterized by aptness of description and accuracy of detail, and prepared by a botanist who had not only studied and collected a large proportion of the species in their native habitats, but whose position gave him ample opportunities of examining the material upon which the publications of his predecessors were founded. Under such advantages, the synonyms and false species incorrectly included by previous writers disappeared, and the flora assumed more of its real proportions and extent. Altogether, the "Flora" contains descriptions of 1,767 species, or more than double the number given in the last previous enumeration, that of Raoul in the "Choix de Plantes." Of the total number, 731 are flowering-plants and 119 ferns or fern-allies, the remainder falling into other orders of Cryptogamia. The value of the work is much enhanced by the 130 carefully prepared plates which accompany it, and by the philosophic Introductory Essay dealing with the affinities and distribution of the species.
The eleven years subsequent to the publication of the "Flora" formed a period of great activity in botanical research in the colony. This was mainly due to the rapid settlement of the South Island, which led to the exploration of the central range of mountains, from Nelson to Otago, and the consequent discovery of the rich alpine flora existing thereon. The earliest worker in this field was Sir D. Monro, the first of whose contributions was received at Kew while the "Flora" was in progress. He explored a large part of north-eastern Nelson and Marlborough, making many capital discoveries, such as the magnificent Olearia insignis, Helichrysum coralloides, Celmisia Monroi, Senecio Monroi, &c. His sole publication, so far as I can learn, is an interesting essay on the Geographical Botany of Nelson and Marlborough, printed in the first volume of the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute.
Mr. W. T. L. Travers arrived in Nelson in 1849. About 1854 he took up the study of the alpine flora of the South Island, making many excursions into remote and little-explored districts, and forming copious collections, the whole of which were forwarded to Kew. Among the localities botanized over by him were the upper Buller Valley, including Lakes Rotoiti and Rotoroa; the whole of the Wairau Valley, from the mouth of the river to its sources in the rugged Spenser Mountains; the upper Clarence Valley, with its tributaries; the Waiau and Hurunui Valleys, with the adjacent mountains; also the Canterbury Plains and various parts of Banks Peninsula. His discoveries included many singular and prominent species, and the genus Traversia (now reduced to Senecio) was named in his honour by Sir J. D. Hooker. He contributed many papers and addresses more or less relating to the botany of the colony to the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute, and was an earnest and assiduous supporter of botanical research up to the time of his death in 1903.
The well-known geologist and explorer Sir Julius Haast first landed at Auckland in 1858. Meeting Dr. Hochstetter, the geologist to the "Novara" expedition, he travelled with him through the greater part of the interior of the North Island, subsequently visiting portions of the Nelson District. After Hochstetter's departure, he accepted an engagement from the Nelson Provincial Government to explore the western and southern portions of the province, a work which occupied the greater portion of 1860, and during which he became familiar with the alpine vegetation of that part of the colony. In the following year he was appointed geologist for the Province of Canterbury, and at once commenced a series of expeditions into the then little-known Southern Alps for the purpose of studying their geology and physical structure, and of forming botanical and zoological collections. The botanical results, with which we are alone concerned, proved to be most important, and cast a flood of light on the nature and distribution of the alpine flora of the colony. I quite concur with Sir J. D. Hooker's opinion that it is difficult to imagine how Sir Julius Haast, with so many and such arduous duties as surveyor and geologist, could have personally effected so much for botany as he has done. Most of his botanical work was performed in the years between 1860 and 1870, but his interest in the subject remained undiminished until his death in 1887. His name is appropriately commemorated in the genus Haastia, the three or four species of which rank amongst the most curious and remarkable in the flora. His collections were either forwarded to Kew or distributed among European museums, but few being retained in the colony.
Dr. Lauder Lindsay, a well-known British botanist, visited New Zealand in the summer of 1861–62, and spent nearly four months in investigating the botany of eastern Otago, the district examined stretching from Dunedin to the mouth of the Clutha River, and inland to Tuapeka. The results of his journey were published in 1868 under the title of "Contributions to New Zealand Botany," with four coloured plates. Dr. Lindsay gives the total number of species collected at 612, of which 199 were phænogams and 413 cryptogams. The memoir contains much information of value, the critical notes in particular being copious and interesting.
Mr. John Buchanan arrived in New Zealand prior to 1860, taking up his residence in Dunedin. He at once commenced an assiduous study of the native vegetation, making many important discoveries and collecting large suites of specimens. In 1862 he accepted the appointment of draughtsman and botanist to the Geological Survey of Otago, then being organized by Dr. (now Sir James) Hector. In the two or three years immediately following he accompanied Sir James Hector in a succession of adventurous journeys, during which a great part of central and western Otago was visited and explored. The collections made, which were mostly forwarded to Kew, contained many interesting and remarkable discoveries, among which may be mentioned Ranunculus Buchanani, Pachycladon novæ-zealandiæ, Hectorella cæspitosa, Azorella exigua, Celmisia ramulosa, Veronica Buchanani, &c. In 1865 Mr. Buchanan prepared his "Sketch of the Botany of Otago," the first local Flora issued in the colony, and a work of considerable merit, evidencing much industrious research. It was written at the request of the Commissioners of the New Zealand Exhibition of 1865, but was not actually published until 1869, when it appeared in the first volume of the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute. On the establishment of the Geological Survey of New Zealand in 1866 he was appointed draughtsman and botanist, and removed to Wellington. He was successively engaged in botanical explorations of the North Auckland Peninsula, the Kaikoura Mountains, and Mount Egmont, some interesting notes on the two last-mentioned districts being printed in Vol. x. of the Journal of the Linnean Society. In 1873 he published a valuable paper on the flora of the Wellington Provincial District; followed in 1874 by his "Flowering-plants and Ferns of the Chatham Islands," based on the collections made by Mr. H. H. Travers in 1863 and 1871. His most important work, published in 1880, is the "Indigenous Grasses of New Zealand," a folio volume of nearly two hundred pages, illustrated with sixty-four lithographic plates. It contains descriptions of the whole of the species then known to inhabit New Zealand, together with notes on their economic value, distribution, &c. Mr. Buchanan's contributions to New Zealand botany include forty separate papers, stretching through twenty volumes of the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute. His last communication appeared in 1887, after which persistent ill health compelled him to give up botanical work. His death took place in 1898. His earlier collections were mostly forwarded to Kew, but in later years he formed an extensive herbarium for the Colonial Museum. His private collections, drawings and analyses, manuscript notes, &c., were bequeathed to the Otago University Museum.
No account of the history of botanical discovery in New Zealand would be complete without reference to the labours of Sir James Hector, the first Director of the Geological Survey and Manager of the New Zealand Institute. Arriving in the colony in 1861, his first duty was a geological and topographical exploration of the Province of Otago, a work which at that time involved many difficulties and hardships, and no small amount of danger. As previously mentioned, he obtained the services of Mr. Buchanan as collector and artist; but his own share in the work of botanical exploration was by no means small. That he fully grasped the leading features of plant-distribution in the South Island is evidenced by his essay "On the Geographical Botany of New Zealand," printed in the first volume of the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute. After his removal to Wellington in 1866, the official duties appertaining to the Geological Survey and Colonial Museum, &c., left little time for botanical research; but he has never missed an opportunity of promoting the efforts of others. In fact, it can be said that from the time of his arrival in the colony up to the present day no attempt has been made to investigate its flora which has not had his countenance and support. His services to botanical science are fitly commemorated in the remarkable endemic genus Hectorella, and in the magnificent Senecio Hectori, one of the finest of the arborescent Compositæ of the colony.
In 1863 Mr. H. H. Travers visited the Chatham Islands for the purpose of investigating its flora, at that time only known from a few plants collected by Dr. E. Dieffenbach in 1840. He remained in the group for several months, and succeeded, in forming large collections. On his return these were placed in the hands of the late Baron Mueller, of Melbourne, who published the results in his "Vegetation of the Chatham Islands," issued in 1864. In it Baron Mueller enumerates 129 species, of which sixty-two are phænogams and sixty-seven cryptogams. Seven new species were described. The work forms an important addition to the botanical literature of the colony, but New Zealand botanists entirely repudiate the peculiar views entertained by the author respecting the circumscription of many of the species. For instance, he merges the whole of the species of Veronica found in the Chathams, together with thirteen others from New Zealand, into one collective species, to which he gives the new name of V. Forsteri. An excellent account of Mr. Travers's visit was contributed by himself to the first volume of the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute. In 1871 he again visited the group, adding largely to his previous list. On this occasion his collections were worked out by Mr. Buchanan in his paper on "The Flowering-plants and Ferns of the Chatham Islands." Mr. H. H. Travers has also made collections on the Tararua Mountains, the Nelson mountains, and in other localities.
The important discoveries made in the interior of the South Island during the ten years following the publication of the "Flora Novae Zealandiae," and the increasing demand for a concise and inexpensive account of the plants of the colony, induced the New Zealand Government to make arrangements with Sir J. D. Hooker for the publication of such a work. The first part, containing the flowering-plants and ferns, appeared in 1864, under the title of "Handbook of the New Zealand Flora"; the concluding part, comprising the mosses, Hepaticæ, and lower cryptogams, followed in 1867. Its publication at once showed the great advance which had been made in elucidating the flora. The 731 species of flowering-plants and 119 ferns known in 1863 were increased to 935 and 135 respectively, an increase of nearly one-quarter; while the additional information obtained with regard to the distribution of the species was correspondingly large. The general plan of the work was in accordance with that recommended by Sir W. J. Hooker for a uniform series of floras of the British Colonies, a project which has been to a considerable extent carried out. In point of execution, the "Handbook" realised all the expectations which could have been entertained. The clearness and excellence of the descriptions and their general accuracy are most noteworthy, especially when it is considered that a large proportion of the species have been examined and described by the author alone. Its publication gave an immense impetus to the study of the indigenous vegetation, and it must always remain the foundation for future systematic work on the botany of the colony.
The number of persons who have collected plants or published memoirs relating to New Zealand botany during the forty years which have elapsed since the publication of the "Handbook" is so large that I can only allude to the chief workers here. The first place must be accorded to Mr. T. Kirk, both from the number of his discoveries and the importance of his publications. Arriving in the colony in 1863, he at once devoted himself to its botany, his first discoveries being briefly mentioned in the appendix to the second part of the "Handbook." For ten years after his arrival he resided in Auckland, his chief explorations during that period being that of the Great Barrier Island in 1867, of the north-eastern coast of the northern peninsula in 1868, of the Thames Goldfields in 1869, of the Waikato district in 1870, and of the Rotorua and Taupo districts in 1872. Among the numerous species added to the flora by these journeys are the following: Pittosporum Kirkii, Pseudopanax discolor, Coprosma arborea, Olearia Allomii, Dacrydium Kirkii, Phyllocladus glauca, and Isoetes Kirkii. In 1874 Mr. Kirk removed to Wellington, occupying firstly the position of Lecturer on Natural Science at Wellington College, and at a later date that of Chief Conservator of State Forests. In the performance of the duties of the latter office he travelled through the greater part of both the North and South Islands, and these journeys were always employed to the furtherance of botanical science. After his retirement from the State Forests Department he made a lengthened exploration of Stewart Island, detecting several novelties, among them the superb Olearia Traillii. In 1890 he paid a visit to the Auckland and Campbell Islands, adding several species to their flora. During the same voyage he landed on the Snares and Antipodes Islands, the vegetation of which was previously quite unknown. The results of this expedition were embodied in a memoir printed in the Report of the Australasian Association for 1891. Mr. Kirk was a voluminous writer, and his contributions to New Zealand botany, mostly printed in the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute, number nearly a hundred and fifty. His most important completed work is "The Forest Flora of New Zealand," issued in 1889. Its primary object was to diffuse a knowledge of the forest resources of the colony and to describe the chief methods of timber working and conversion. It contains much information on the economic value and uses of the New Zealand timbers, together with descriptions of the species, and is illustrated with 150 plates. In 1894 he was commissioned by the New Zealand Government to prepare a Flora of the colony, a work for which he had long been collecting material, and for which his wide personal knowledge of the vegetation of the country gave him exceptional qualifications. He entered upon the work with characteristic energy and ardour; but, unfortunately, his health gradually failed, and after several serious illnesses he died in March, 1897. That portion of his work which was in a sufficiently complete state at the time of his death, comprising the Polypetalæ, and the Monopetalæ as far as the Compositæ, was issued from the Government Printing Press in 1899. Although printed without the advantage of the author's supervision, and without the introductory and supplementary matter usually given in such publications, it shows very clearly the loss which botanical science has suffered through his decease, and all students will regret that he did not live to complete the work for which he had made so many preparations.
I do not propose to say anything in regard to my own researches into the flora, beyond stating that they have extended continuously from the year 1870 to the present time, and include an examination of almost the whole colony, from the Kermadec Islands and the North Cape to Otago. A list of my papers on botanical subjects will be found in Mr. Hamilton's Bibliography, printed in Vol. xxxvi. of the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute (pp. 342–72).
In the years 1874 and 1875 Dr. Sven Berggren, of the University of Lund, Sweden, made an extended visit to New Zealand, travelling through the greater portion of both Islands, and making large collections, especially of cryptogams. The new species of flowering-plants were described and beautifully illustrated in a memoir published in 1877 in the Proceedings of the University of Lund. The Algæ have been worked out by Dr. Nordstedt and the late Professor J. G. Aghard, while scattered memoirs relating to other orders of cryptogams have been published from time to time by Dr. Berggren himself.
From 1875 to the present time many important contributions to our knowledge of the flora of the colony have been made by Mr. D. Petrie, formerly Chief Inspector of Schools for Otago, and now holding a similar position in Auckland. During a residence of more than twenty years in Otago he sedulously investigated the vegetation of the eastern, central, and southern portions of the province, ascending many of the mountains, and forming large collections, especially of the rarer alpine and subalpine plants. Among the species added by him to the flora are Ranunculus Berggreni, Carmichælia compacta and C. Petriei, Coprosma virescens and C. Petriei, Olearia fragrantissima, Celmisia prorepens and C. Petriei, Myosotis Goyeni, Tetrachondra Hamiltoni, Veronica Petriei, Ourisia prorepens, &c. In company with Mr. G. M. Thomson, he also visited Stewart Island, making several discoveries of interest, as Actinotus bellidioides, Liparophyllum Gunnii, Carex longiculmis, and Ehrharta Thomsoni. In 1895 Mr. Petrie published his "List of Flowering-plants indigenous to Otago," in which he catalogues the whole of the species, numbering over 760, observed by himself in Otago, giving at the same time particulars respecting the geographical and altitudinal range of the species. Altogether forty-four papers on botanical subjects are credited to Mr. Petrie in Mr. Hamilton's bibliography of New Zealand botanical literature.
Mr. G. M. Thomson, of Dunedin, has also done excellent service towards the elucidation of the botany of Otago. As already mentioned, he accompanied Mr. Petrie in an exploration of Stewart Island, and has collected largely in the vicinity of Dunedin. Several papers on Otago plants have been contributed by him to the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute; but probably the most interesting of his publications are two memoirs "On the Means of Fertilisation among some New Zealand Orchids" (Trans. N.Z. Inst., xi., 418) and "On the Fertilisation of New Zealand Plants" (Ibidem, xiii., 241). His work on the "Ferns and Fern-allies of New Zealand," issued in 1882, is an accurate and useful compendium, containing descriptions of all the known species. He is also the author of an "Introductory Class-book of Botany," which has been largely used in New Zealand schools.
Mr. J. F. Armstrong, for many years resident in Christchurch, has collected largely in the Province of Canterbury, and has published several papers of value. Among them are his "Sketch of the Flora of the Province of Canterbury" (Trans. N.Z. Inst., xii., 325) and "Synopsis of the New Zealand Species of Veronica" (Ibidem, xiii. 344), the latter publication containing descriptions of several new species. He also founded the genus Corallospartium for the reception of the remarkable plant first described by Sir J. D. Hooker under the name of Carmichælia crassicaulis.
The Right Rev. W. L. Williams, Bishop of Waiapu, has for thirty years given special attention to the botany of the East Cape and Hawke's Bay Districts, carefully noting the chief features of the vegetation, and collecting copiously. Among his discoveries may be mentioned the remarkable Carmichælia Williamsii, one of the most local plants in the colony. Mr. Kirk's paper on the Botany of the East Cape District (Trans. N.Z. Inst., xxix., 509) is largely founded on Bishop Williams's specimens and notes. The collection of Maori plant-names is also a subject to which he has devoted much time and labour, and the list appended to this work is in great measure due to his friendly co-operation.
Mr. A. Hamilton, the present Director of the Colonial Museum, made an interesting collection of plants at Okarito in 1878, which included several novelties. Among them was the remarkable species described by Hooker as Euphrasia disperma, which has since been taken by Wettstein as the type of his genus Anagosperma. At a later date he botanized in the Hawke's Bay District, along the flanks of the Ruahine Range, and elsewhere on the eastern side of the North Island. In 1894 he visited Macquarie Island, and, although much hindered by exceptionally severe weather and other untoward circumstances, succeeded in adding considerably to our knowledge of the botany of the island. A list of the plants collected will be found in his "Notes on a Visit to Macquarie Island" (Trans. N.Z. Inst., xxvii., 559).
Mr. H. Hill, of Napier, has also collected largely in the Hawke's Bay and East Cape districts. Many of his specimens were communicated to Mr. Colenso, and were described by that gentleman as new species. He was the first to find the widely distributed Peperomia reflexa in the colony, and to rediscover the plant to which the name of Veronica Colensoi was originally applied by Hooker.
Mr. J. D. Enys. for several years resident at Castle Hill, in the middle portion of the Waimakariri basin, and a keen observer in many branches of natural science, made large collections in the Canterbury Alps in the years between 1874 and 1890. Among his discoveries may be mentioned Ranunculus Enysii and R. paucifolius, Carmichælia Enysii, Ligusticum Enysii, Botrychium lunaria, &c. He also paid a visit to the Chatham Islands, bringing back a few interesting plants, among which were the first specimens of the endemic Sonchus grandifolius. His collections were for the most part communicated either to Mr. Kirk or myself.
Mr. James Adams, of Thames, has botanized in several parts of both the North and South Islands, making several interesting discoveries, the chief of which are Celmisia Adamsii, Loranthus Adamsii, and Myosotis amabilis. His papers on the Botany of Te Aroha Mountain (Trans. N.Z. Inst., xvii., 275); on the Botany of Te Moehau (Ibid., xxi., 32); and the Botany of Hikurangi Mountain (Ibid., xxx., 414); contain much interesting matter bearing on the distribution of the New Zealand flora.
Mr. F. R. Chapman (now Mr. Justice Chapman) has collected in Otago, and in 1890 visited the Auckland Islands and other islands to the south of New Zealand. His paper on "The Outlying Islands South of New Zealand" contains much valuable information of a botanical nature. He has also published two papers containing descriptions of certain new species of Celmisia (Trans. N.Z. Inst., xxii., 444; and xxiii.. 407).
Professor J. H. Scott, of Dunedin, visited Macquarie Island in 1880. On his return he published an excellent account of the fauna and flora (Trans. N.Z. Inst., xv., 484), including a catalogue of the plants observed by him.
Among others who have interested themselves with New Zealand botany between the publication of the "Handbook" and the year 1895 may be mentioned the late Mr. Justice Gillies, Captain Hutton, T. H. Potts, C. Traill, S. Percy Smith, J. Rutland, P. Goyen, Captain G. Mair, A. T. Urquhart, H. Tryon, Archdeacon Walsh, T. W. Kirk, J. W. Hall, J. Tennant, and J. Baber.
In 1896 Dr. L. Diels, of Berlin, published in Engler's Botanical Year-book a paper entitled "Vegetations-biologie von Neu-Seeland," which deserves special mention on account of being the first attempt to prepare an account of the flora of the colony from an œcological standpoint. Although based entirely on herbarium material and on the observations of other botanists and collectors, and consequently containing errors both of omission and commission, it is nevertheless a work of considerable originality and merit, and is well worth the attention of all students of the flora.
Since 1897 by far the most important contributions to our knowledge of the New Zealand flora have been made by Dr. L. Cockayne, and I regret that only brief mention can be made of his work here. In three papers "On the Seedling Forms of New Zealand Phanerogams and their Development" (Trans. N.Z. Inst., xxxi., 354; xxxii., 83; and xxiii., 264) he describes with considerable detail the seedling leaves of many New Zealand plants, giving numerous figures, and in several instances tracing the gradual development of the foliage into the mature stage. Much information is given respecting the life-history of the species treated of, particularly in the genera Carmichælia and Veronica. In the latter genus, most of the species with scale-like leaves are very fully discussed, and their early foliage described. In a paper on the "Plant-geography of the Waimakariri River-basin" (Trans. N.Z. Inst., xxxii., 95) Dr. Cockayne makes the first attempt in the colony to treat the flora of a district from an œcological point of view. It was followed by his "Account of the Plant-covering of Chatham Island" (Trans. N.Z. Inst., xxxiv., 242), a publication which has thrown a flood of light on the nature and composition of the flora of this seldom-visited appanage of New Zealand. Lastly, the volume of Transactions for 1904 contains an elaborate paper on "An Excursion to the Southern Islands of New Zealand," in which he not only gives a detailed account of the "plant-formations" which make up the flora of the islands visited, but also contributes a list of the flowering-plants and ferns, and a sketch of the physiographv. geology, climate, &c. These papers, which mark an entirely new epoch in the history of botanical investigation in New Zealand, will induce all students of the flora to look forward with impatience for the appearance of the general work on the plant-geography of New Zealand which it is understood that Dr. Cockayne has in preparation.
The very important researches made by Professor A. P. W. Thomas into the life-history of Phylloglossum, summarised in his "Preliminary Account of the Prothallium of Phylloglossum" (Proc. Roy. Soc. Vol. lxix., pp. 285–91) deserve special mention; as also his suggestive paper on "The Affinity of Tmesipteris with the Sphenophyllales" (Ibid., p. 343–50). The more detailed information promised with respect to both these communications will be eagerly looked forward to by New Zealand botanists.
During the last five years, Mr. W. Townson, of Westport, has diligently explored the greater portion of south-western Nelson, from the Mokihinui River southwards to the Grey River, repeatedly ascending all the higher peaks of the coast ranges, as Mount Frederic, Mount Rochfort, Mount William, Mount Faraday, Mount Buckland, &c. He has also visited the Lyell Mountains, and many of the high peaks flanking the Buller Valley, as far up the river as Mount Murchison and Mount Owen. Most of this large district had never been carefully examined for plants, and Mr. Townson has consequently reaped a rich harvest of novelties, most of which are described in this work. Among them are Aciphylla Townsoni, Celmisia dubia, Dracophyllum Townsoni and D. pubescens, Gentiana Townsoni, Veronica divergens and V. coarctata, and the interesting new genus of Orchideæ which I have named in his honour Townsonia. Mr. Townson's specimens, which have been collected with great care and judgment, have been mainly forwarded to me for the purposes of this work, and have proved of much service in determining many questions relating to the geographical range of the species.
Mr. H. J. Matthews, the present head of the Forestry Department, has collected in many parts of the colony, adding largely to our knowledge of the range of the species, and obtaining a few novelties, notably the beautiful Ranunculus Matthewsii, described in the appendix to this work. He has also done excellent service in forming an extensive collection of living plants in his garden at Dunedin, especially of the rarer alpine and subalpine species. If this collection is maintained and extended, it will prove invaluable for affording the means of leisurely study and comparison in difficult genera like Veronica and Celmisia, &c.
Mr. F. G. Gibbs, of Nelson, has done excellent work during the last ten years in the Nelson District, both on the Dun Mountain Range and on the chain of mountains extending northwards from Mount Arthur to Collingwood. Among his special discoveries are the curious Veronica Gibbsii, Gentiana vernicosa, Celmisia Gibbsii, &c.
The Marlborough District has been carefully and closely examined by Mr. J. H. Macmahon, who has made several finds of importance, especially in the neighbourhood of Mount Stokes. Celmisia Macmahoni, C. Rutlandii, and Veronica rigidula are interesting novelties first observed by him.
Mr. K. H. Matthews, of Kaitaia, has assiduously collected in most parts of Mongonui County, paying special attention to the Orchideæ. He has added Corysanthes Matthewsii and Chiloglottis formicifera to the flora, and has succeeded in refinding Pittosporum obcordatum, which for sixty years after its original discovery by Raoul had eluded the search of New Zealand botanists.
Mr. H. Carse, now resident in Mongonui County, has botanized in several portions of the Auckland Provincial District. He has given special attention to the Cyperaceæ, adding Schœnus Carsei and Lepidosperma filiforme to the list of those already known to occur in the colony. He was also the first to observe the curious little plant which I have provisionally described under the name of Trithuria inconspicua.
For several years Mr. F. A. D. Cox has carefully investigated the flora of the Chatham Islands, obtaining much new information relating to the distribution and environment of the species, and collecting a few novelties. His specimens, often accompanied by valuable notes, have been forwarded to Mr. Kirk, Dr. Cockayne, and myself.
Other recent workers are R. Helms, R. J. Kingsley, J. Dall, D. W. Bryant, Elsdon Best, E. W. Andrews, J. B. Simpson, H. Nairn, J. R. Annabell, J. B. Lee, and T. P. Arnold.
In the preceding sketch I have made no attempt to include the names of those authors who have published general works or special monographs in which New Zealand plants are casually mentioned or described. Nor have I mentioned the labours of those who have attended solely to the lower cryptogams, a branch of the flora which is outside the scope of the present work.