Manual of the New Zealand Flora/Crassulaceæ

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Succulent or fleshy herbs or undershrubs. Leaves opposite or alternate, generally simple; stipules wanting. Flowers regular, hermaphrodite or rarely unisexual. Calyx persistent, free, usually 3–5-fid or -partite. Petals as many as the sepals, free or more or less cohering into a lobed corolla, inserted at the base of the calyx. Stamens as many or twice as many as the petals, inserted with the petals and sometimes adnate to them. Ovary superior, of as many carpels as petals; carpels free or connate below, 1-celled, usually with a small gland or scale at the base of each; styles simple; ovules usually numerous, attached to the ventral suture (few in Tillæa). Fruit of several 1-celled follicles, dehiscing along the ventral suture. Seeds few or many, minute, albuminous; embryo terete, cotyledons short.

A rather large order, spread over the whole world except Polynesia. Particularly abundant in South Africa, where nearly half the species are found; also plentiful in the rocky districts of Europe and central Asia; rare in Australia and South America. Genera about 15; species estimated at 400. All the species are inert, and are of little importance from an economic point of view. The single New Zealand genus is almost cosmopolitan.


Small and slender somewhat succulent glabrous herbs. Leaves opposite, entire. Flowers minute, axillary, solitary or fascicled, sometimes cymose. Calyx 3–5-lobed or -partite. Petals 3–5, free or connate at the base. Stamens the same number as the petals. Hypogynous scales 1 to each carpel or wanting. Carpels 3–5, narrowed into short styles; ovules 1 or more to each carpel. Follicles few- or many-seeded.

An almost cosmopolitan genus, comprising about 25 species. Two of those found in New Zealand also occur in Australia, and another in temperate South America, the Falkland Islands, and Kerguelen Island. Several of the New Zealand species are imperfectly known, and require careful study with recent specimens before satisfactory diagnoses can be prepared.

* A small scale at the base of each carpel.
Stems 2–7 in., red-brown. Leaves 1/51/3 in., oblong-spathulate. Flowers large, 1/61/5 in. diam. 1. T. moschata.
Stems 2–4 in., reddish. Leaves 1/41/8 in., linear, acute. Flowers 1/121/10 in. 2. T. Helmsii.
Stems 1–3 in., reddish, slender, matted. Leaves 1/121/8 in., linear-oblong, obtuse. Flowers 1/15 in. 3. T. diffusa.
Minute, delicate, matted, often less than 1 in. high. Leaves linear-oblong, fleshy, concave, 1/201/12 in. Flowers white, 1/151/12 in. 4. T. Sinclairii.
Prostrate and rooting, intricately branched, matted. Leaves thin, obtuse or subacute, 1/151/12 in. Petals rather longer than the calyx 5. T. pusilla.
Prostrate and rooting, intricately branched. Leaves thin, acute or apiculate, 1/151/10 in. Petals shorter than the calyx 6.T. acutifolia.
Stems decumbent and ascending, red-purple, ¾–2in. Leaves ovate-subulate, fleshy, concave. Flowers 1/101/8 in. Seeds 8 7. T. multicaulis.
** No scales.
Stems erect, simple or branched, red-brown, 1–5 in. Leaves oblong, subacute, fleshy. Flowers minute, in dense leafy clusters 8. T. Sieberiana.
Stems delicate, intricately branched, prostrate, 2–3 in. Leaves linear-oblong, acute, 1/161/12 in. Petals ovate-acuminate 9. T. debilis.
Minute, delicate, tufted, ½–2 in. high. Peduncles slender, much elongated in fruit. Carpels many-seeded 10. T. purpurata.

T. Hamiltonii, T. Kirk ex W. Hamilton in Trans. N.Z. Inst, xvii (1885) 92, is Tetrachondra Hamiltonii, Petrie ex Oliv. in Ic. Plant, t. 2250 (order Boragineæ).

1. T. moschata, D.C. Prodr. iii. 382-.—A small tufted succulent red-brown herb; stems 2–7 in. long, prostrate and rooting below, erect or ascending at the tips. Leaves connate at the base, thick and fleshy, 1/51/3 in. long, oblong-spathulate or linear-obovate or linear-oblong, obtuse. Flowers 1/61/5 in. diam., axillary, solitary; peduncles short. Calyx deeply 4-lobed; lobes obtuse, much shorter than the oblong obtuse petals. Scales 4, linear-cuneate, truncate at the tip. Carpels 4, turgid, obtuse; styles short, recurved. Seeds 6–8, rarely more.—Hook. Ic. Plant, t. 535; Hook. f. Fl. Nov. Zel. i. 76; Handb. N.Z. Fl. 61; Kirk, Students Fl. 142. Bulliarda moschata, D'Urv. in Mem. Soc. Linn. Par. iv. 618; Hook. f. Fl. Antarct. i. 13.

North Island: Shores of Cook Strait, from Cape Palliser to Cape Terawhiti. South Island: Queen Charlotte Sound, Banks and Solander! Coast near Westport, W. Townson! Banks Peninsula, Armstrong. Otago—Cliffs on the eastern and southern shores, Petrie! Kirk! Chatham Islands, Stewart Island, Auckland and Campbell Islands, Antipodes Islands, Macquarie Island: Not uncommon.

This is purely a coast plant, and is never seen far from the sea. It is also a native of Chili, Fuegia, Falkland Islands, Kerguelen Island, and Marion Island.

2. T. Helmsii, T. Kirk, Students Fl. 142.—Stems numerous, often forming large intricate patches, slender, 2–6 in. long, prostrate at the base, ascending above, green or reddish-green. Leaves rather distant, 1/81/5 in. long, linear, acute. Flowers 1/121/10 in. diam., axillary, solitary, on peduncles shorter than the leaves. Calyx deeply 4-lobed; lobes ovate, acute. Petals a third longer than the calyx, ovate-oblong, subacute. Scales 1 at the back of each carpel, narrow linear-cuneate. Carpels 4, turgid, about as long as the calyx; styles short, recurved. Seeds 3–5.

South Island: West Coast—Karamea, Rev. F. H. Spencer; Westport, W. Townson! Greymouth, R. Helms! December–March.

Very near to the Australian T. recurva, Hook, f., which, however, is a larger plant, with more pointed leaves, and with the calyx-lobes and petals decidedly acuminate. It is easily distinguished from T. moschata by the more slender habit, narrower acute leaves, and smaller flowers.

3. T. diffusa, T. Kirk in Trans. N.Z. Inst. xxiv. (1892) 424.—A slender much-branched matted plant forming broad reddish patches. Stems filiform, erect or prostrate, 1–3 in. long. Leaves in distant pairs, fleshy, connate at the base, 1/121/8 in. long, linear-oblong, obtuse, concave above, convex beneath. Flowers minute, about 1/15 in. diam., solitary, on very short axillary peduncles. Calyx-lobes 4, broadly oblong, obtuse. Petals equalling the calyx-lobes or rather longer, broadly oblong, obtuse. Scales 4, cuneate. Carpels ovoid; styles recurved. Seeds 2–4.—Students' Fl. 144.

{{smaller block|North Island: Miramar, Port Nicholson, Kirk! Stewart Island: Kirk!

Mr. Kirk states that the scales are absent; but I find them to be constantly present, although difficult to detect except in young flowers.

4. T. Sinclairii, Hook. f. Handb. N.Z. Fl. 62.—A minute delicate creeping or erect usually matted plant, rarely more than 1 in. high except when growing in water, when the stems are often elongated, and the leaves larger. Leaves minute, closely placed or distant, connate at the base, 1/201/12 in. long, linear or linear-oblong, acute or subacute, concave above, convex or almost keeled beneath. Flowers on short or long axillary peduncles, minute, 1/151/12 diam., white. Calyx-lobes ovate-oblong, obtuse. Petals about twice as long as the calyx-lobes, oblong, obtuse. Scales 4, linear-cuneate. Carpels 4, turgid; styles oblique, slightly recurved. Seeds 3–4, rarely more.—Kirk, Students' Fl. 142. T. novæ-zealandiæ, Petrie in Trans. N.Z. Inst. xxv. (1893) 270; Kirk, l.c. 142.

Var. obtusa.—Stems stouter, creeping, 1–2 in. long or more. Leaves longer, more acute. Flowers rather larger; petals rounded.—T. novæ-zealandiæ var. obtusa, Kirk, l.c.

North Island: Matata, Bay of Plenty, Petrie! South Island: Nelson to Southland, not uncommon in watery places. Sea-level to 3000 ft. Var. obtusa: Lake Waihola, Otago, Petrie!

I have felt compelled to reduce Mr. Petrie's T. novæ-zealandiæ to this species. The type specimens in his herbarium only differ from the ordinary state of T. Sinclairii in being stouter, with thicker and more acute leaves; but these are not characters on which a specific distinction can be based. The flowers and fruit appear identical in both.

5. T. pusilla, T. Kirk, Students' Fl. 143.—Stems numerous, very slender and delicate, prostrate and rooting, 1–3 in. long, forming broad pale-green matted patches. Leaves minute, in distant pairs, connate at the base, 1/151/10 in. long, linear or linear-lanceolate, obtuse or acute, spreading or reflexed, thin. Flowers minute, 1/15 in. diam.; peduncles longer or shorter than the leaves. Calyx-lobes ovate-oblong, acute. Petals rather longer, acute or subacute. Stamens equalling the petals. Scales 4, linear-cuneate. Carpels 4, turgid; styles recurved. Seeds 2–4.

North Island: Muddy banks of the Northern Wairoa, T. F. C.; Kawakawa, Bay of Islands, Kirk; Wairoa Falls, Hunua, Kirk! T. F. C! Petrie!

Distinguished from T. Sinclairii by the different habit, longer much-branched stems, more distant thin and pointed leaves, and shorter narrower petals.

6. T. acutifolia, T. Kirk, Students' Fl. 143.—Stems very slender, almost capillary, prostrate and rooting, much and intricately branched, forming pale-green matted patches. Leaves minute, in distant pairs, connate at the base, 1/151/12 in. long, narrow-linear or linear-lanceolate, acute or apiculate, thin. Flowers minute, 1/201/15 in. diam., on peduncles shorter than the leaves. Calyx deeply divided; segments linear-lanceolate, acuminate. Petals narrow-ovate, shorter than the calyx. Scales 4, minute. Carpels 4, ovoid, turgid; styles recurved. Mature seeds not seen.

North Island: Hurunuiorangi, Kirk! South Island: Winton Forest, Southland, Kirk!

This has precisely the habit of T. pusilla, but appears to differ in the narrower and more acute leaves, and in the calyx-lobes exceeding the petals. I have seen no specimens except those in Mr. Kirk's herbarium, which are few and incomplete.

7. T. multicaulis, Petrie in Trans. N.Z. Inst. xix. (1887) 324.—A minute slender much-branched reddish-purple plant; stems prostrate or decumbent below, ascending at the tips. Leaves opposite or in opposite fascicles, remote below, close-set and often imbricating above, connate at the base, 1/151/12 in. long, ovate-subulate, acute or mucrouate, fleshy, concave above, convex or keeled beneath. Flowers solitary, axillary, 1/101/8 diam., white or rosy. Calyx-lobes ovate-subulate, acute. Petals 4, exceeding the calyxlobes, broadly oblong, obtuse. Scales 4. Carpels 4, ovoid; style recurved. Seeds 8.—Kirk, Students' Fl. 143.

South Island: Canterbury—Mount Torlesse and Broken River basin, Emys! Kirk! T. F. C.; Lake Tekapo, T. F. C. Otago—Maniototo and Manuherikia Plains, Petrie! 1000–3000 ft. December–January. A well-marked plant.

8. T. Sieberiana, Schultz, Mant. iii. 345.—A small pale reddish-brown succulent annual; stems 1–5 in. high, erect, simple or branched from the base. Leaves minute, 1/10 in. long, connate at the base, ovate-oblong or linear-oblong, subacute, thick and fleshy, concave above, convex beneath. Flowers very minute, in dense axillary clusters mixed with small leaves, at first sessile, but the peduncles usually lengthen as the fruit ripens. Sepals 4, ovate-lanceolate, acuminate. Petals shorter and narrower, acute. Scales wanting. Carpels 4, linear-oblong, nearly equalling the sepals when ripe. Seeds usually 2.—Kirk, Students Fl. 143. T. verticillaris, D.C. Prodr. iii. 382; A. Cunn. Precur. n. 521; Raoul, Choix, 48; Hook. f. Fl. Nov. Zel. i. 75; Handb. N.Z. Fl. 62; Benth. Fl. Austral, ii. 451. T. muscosa, Forst. Prodr. n. 61 (non Linn.); A. Rich. Fl. Nouv. Zel. 322.

North and South Islands: Abundant throughout, in dry rocky or gravelly places. September–January. Also common in Australia and Tasmania.

9. T. debilis, Col. ex Hook. f. Fl. Nov. Zel. i. 75.—A very small delicate species; stems intricate, filiform or capillary, prostrate, 2–3 in. long. Leaves in scattered pairs, minute, 1/161/12 in. long, ovate-oblong or linear-oblong. Flowers minute, 1 or 2 in the axils of the leaves, sessile or on slender peduncles. Sepals 4, oblong, subacute. Petals ovate-acuminate, shorter than the sepals. Scales wanting. Carpel ovate-lanceolate, 1- or 2-seeded.—Kirk, Students' Fl. 143.

North Island: East Coast, Colenso!

The only specimen I have seen of this species is a mere scrap in Mr. Colenso's herbarium, and in the absence of additional information I have reproduced the description given in the Handbook.

10. 'T. purpurata, Hook. f. in Lond. Journ. Bot. vi. (1847) 472.—A very slender delicate and fugacious annual; stems 1–2 in. high, erect or suberect, sparingly branched. Leaves remote, connate at the base, 1/101/6 in. long, linear, acuminate, concave above. Flowers minute, 1/12 in. diam., on slender pedicels that elongate much in fruit. Calyx-lobes 4, ovate, obtuse or subacute. Petals 4, equalling the calyx, acuminate. Scales wanting. Carpels broadly oblong, obtuse. Seeds numerous, usually 10–15.—Hook. f. Fl. Nov. Zel. i. 75; Handb. N.Z. Fl. 62; Benth. Fl. Austral. ii. 451; Kirk, Students' Fl. 144.

North Island: Cape Palliser, Colenso. South Island: Lake Wanaka, Petrie!

Also common in south-eastern Australia and Tasmania. The linear acuminate leaves, long pedicels, and many-seeded carpels at once separate it from all the other species found in New Zealand.