Manual of the New Zealand Flora/Stackhousieæ

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Perennial herbs, usually of small size. Leaves alternate, narrow, quite entire, often somewhat fleshy. Stipules wanting or very minute. Flowers regular, hermaphrodite, in terminal spikes or rarely solitary. Calyx 4–5-lobed or -partite, imbricate. Petals 5, perigynous, inserted on the throat of the calyx, linear or spathulate, claws long, free at the base but more or less connate above, limb reflexed. Disc thin, clothing the base of the calyx-tube. Stamens 5, inserted on the edge of the disc. Ovary free, globose, 2–5-lobed, cells the same number; style single at the base, 2–5-lobed above; ovules 1 in each cell, erect, anatropous. Fruit of 2–5 globose angular or winged indehiscent 1-seeded cocci. Seed erect, with a membranous testa; albumen fleshy; embryo straight, radicle inferior.

A small order of 2 genera and 15 species. With the exception of the New Zealand plant and another found in the Philippine Islands, the whole of the species are confined to Australia.


Characters as above.

1. S. minima, Hook. f. Fl. Nov. Zel. i. 47.—A minute slender glabrous herb, with numerous creeping often matted underground stems, and short slender erect leafy branches ½–2 in. high. Leaves crowded or distant, rather fleshy, 1/61/3 in. long, linear or linear-oblong or linear-obovate, flat, acute. Flowers small, yellow, solitary and terminal, almost sessile or on very short peduncles, always exceeding the leaves. Calyx-lobes short, acute. Petals usually connate at the middle to form a tubular corolla but often altogether free, linear, acute or acuminate, tips recurved. Stamens 3 long and 2 much shorter; anthers glabrous. Ovary 3-lobed; style very short, 3-cleft. Cocci obovoid, smooth, 1 or 2 ripening, seldom 3.—Handb. N.Z. Fl. 42; Kirk, Students' Fl. 90. S. uniflora, Col. in Trans. N.Z. Inst. xviii. (1886) 258.

North Island: Hawke's Bay—Open downs on the east coast, Colenso; Waipawa County, H. Hill! South Island: Nelson—Mount Arthur Plateau, Wangapeka, T. F. C.; Spenser Mountains, Kirk! Canterbury—Ribband-wood Range, Haast; Broken River, Enys! Burnham, Kirk! Central Otago, not rare, Petrie! Sea-level to 4000 ft. December–January.

Sir Joseph Hooker describes the flowers as occurring in few-flowered spikes, and the anthers as pubescent; but I have not seen any specimens answering to this.