Like Mr. Kirk, I have not seen any South Island specimens that I can refer to this species, although small forms of C. acicularis have frequently been mistaken for it. C. Benthamianus appears to me to constantly differ from C. acicularis in the shorter and more strict leaves, with much shorter acicular points, and in the broader and shorter sepals, which can hardly be called acicular, and barely exceed the capsule. In C. acicularis the sepals are narrower, and have long acicular apices much exceeding the capsule.
7. C. acicularis, Hook. f. Handb. N.Z. Fl. 25.—A perfectly glabrous densely tufted rigid and shining plant, forming green or brownish rounded tufts 3–6 in. diam. and 1–3 in. high. Leaves very numerous, densely imbricated all round the branches, 1⁄4–3⁄4 in. long, linear-subulate, often curved, broad and sheathing at the base, gradually narrowed into very long acicular points, channelled above, convex and smooth below. Flowers almost sessile amongst the uppermost leaves, than which they are shorter. Sepals 5, narrow linear-subulate, narrowed into long acicular tips, at least 1⁄3 longer than the capsule.—Kirk, Students' Fl. 62.
South Island: Dry rocky places in the mountains, abundant throughout. Altitudinal range from 1500 ft. to 6000 ft.
Well characterized by the robust stems and branches, long leaves with remarkably long acicular points, almost sessile flowers, and long sepals, which much exceed the capsule.
8. C. canaliculatus, T. Kirk in Trans. N.Z. Inst. xxvii. (1895) 357.—A small densely tufted much-branched plant, forming rounded cushions 3–4 in. diam. and 2 in. high, occasionally more laxly branched and open. Leaves in opposite pairs with broad connate sheathing bases, 1⁄8–1⁄5 in. long, rigid or chaffy, spreading, subulate, gradually narrowed into an acute or shortly acicular tip, deeply channelled above, convex below, margins thickened. Flowers 1⁄6 in., terminating short lateral branchlets in the axils of the uppermost leaves. Sepals 5, broadly ovate, acute or subacute, margins thin and almost translucent. Stamens 5, longer than the sepals. Hypogynous disc reduced to a thickened line. Capsules equal to or rather shorter than the sepals.—Students' Fl. 61. C. squarrosus, Cheesem. in Trans. N.Z. Inst. xxviii. (1896) 534.
South Island: Nelson—Mount Owen, on limestone rocks, alt. 4000ft., T. F. C., W. Townson! Otago—Buchanan!
A well-marked plant, the chief characters of which are the short spreading chaffy leaves, either acute or very shortly acicular, the short stout lateral peduncles, and the broadly ovate sepals.
9. C. Buchanani, T. Kirk in Trans. N.Z. Inst. xxvii. (1895) 358, t. 27d.—Apparently a laxly tufted plant 2–3 in. high, with slender erect stems. Leaves not imbricating, loosely spreading, 1⁄4–1⁄2 in. long, linear-subulate, sheathing at the base, membranous, concave above, convex below, gradually narrowed into short acicular points. Peduncles axillary, slender, usually rather longer than the leaves. Flowers 1⁄5–1⁄4 in. long. Sepals 5, linear-subulate, acuminate, half as long again as the short capsule.—Students' Fl. 62.