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Manual of the New Zealand Flora.

18. Abrotanella, Cass

18. Abrotanella, Cass.

Glabrous perennial herbs, always of small size, often moss-like. Leaves alternate, imbricate, quite entire. Heads small, solitary or crowded in little terminal corymbs, heterogamous and discoid. Involucre campanulate; bracts few, in about 2 series, nearly equal or the outer shorter. Receptacle small, naked. Female florets exterior, in 1 series, tubular, 3–4-toothed, fertile. Disc-florets hermaphrodite or male, tubular, 4-toothed. Anthers obtuse or shortly pointed at the base. Style-branches of the disc-florets very short, truncate. Achenes 4-angled or -ribbed, clavate, terete or compressed. Pappus wanting.

A small genus of about 14 species, most abundant in New Zealand, but also found in Australia and Tasmania, Fuegia, and the Falkland Islands. One species has also been described from Rodriguez. All the New Zealand species are endemic.

* Heads several in a small terminal cluster.

Leaves ½–1; in., linear-spathulate. Heads on a short leafy peduncle. Achenes obovoid or tetragonous. 1. A. spathulata.
Leaves ¼–⅓ in., narrow ovate or lanceolate. Heads almost hidden among the upper leaves. Achenes with 4 short horns 2. A. rosulata.
page 361

** Heads solitary.

Loosely tufted. Leaves ½–3 in., linear. Scape slender, bracteate, ½–3 in. Achenes clavate 3, A. linearis.
Forming broad flat patches. Leaves ⅕–⅓ in., linear or linear-spathulate. Scapes ¼–½ in. 4. A. cæspitosa.
Forming soft rounded patches. Leaves ¼–⅓ in., linear-subulate, broadest at the base. Achenes linear-clavate, 4-ribbed 5. A inconspicua.
Densely tufted, ½–1 in. high. Leaves narrow-linear, recurved. Achenes linear-clavate, 4-angled 6. A. pusilla.
Very minute. Stems ⅕–¼ in. Leaves 1/7 in., linear-oblong, truncate, margins thickened. Achenes setose, with 4 long bristles 7. A. muscosa.
1.A. spathulata, Hook. f. Handb. N.Z. Fl. 139.—Stems short, loosely tufted, 1–3 in. long, branched, creeping at the base, erect above. Leaves crowded, spreading, ½–1 in. long, 1/10–⅙ in. broad, narrow linear-spathulate, acute or obtuse, narrowed to the base, 3–7-nerved, flat, coriaceous. Heads about ⅛ in. long, in a small terminal corymb either raised on a short leafy peduncle or almost hidden amongst the upper leaves; involucral bracts 8–12, oblong, with 3 translucent nerves. Florets 8–12; disc - florets with a 4-angled corolla with 4 short erect teeth; corolla of the females tubular with a globose base and 4 short spreading teeth. Achenes of the female florets obovoid, compressed, with 3 cellular ribs; of the disc-florets tetragonous.—Kirk, Students' Fl. 330. Trineuron spathulatum, Hook. f. Fl. Antarct. i. 24, t. 17.

Auckland and Campbell Islands: Peaty soil on the hills, 500–2000 ft., Hooker, Kirk! Buchanan! January–February.

2.A. rosulata, Hook. f. Handb. N.Z. Fl. 139. —A small much-branched densely tufted little plant ½–1½ in. high. Leaves closely imbricate, spreading or recurved, the upper rosulate, ¼–⅓ in. long, narrow ovate or lanceolate, acute, rigid and coriaceous, concave above, nerved beneath. Heads 1/10 in. long, in terminal clusters of 3–6 amongst the upper leaves; involucral bracts 8–10, linear- oblong, coriaceous, nerved. Florets 8–10; disc-florets with a 4-angled corolla with 4 short erect teeth; corolla of the female florets tubular with 4 spreading teeth. Achene oblong-obovoid, 4-angled, the angles produced upwards into short horns.—Kirk, Students' Fl. 331. Ceratella rosulata, Hook. f. Fl. Antarct. i. 25, t. 18.

Campbell Island: In crevices of rocks, rare, Hooker, Kirk 1 1000–1400 ft. January–February.

A harsh and rigid little plant, easily distinguished from the other species by the short horns to the achenes.

3.A. linearis, Bergg. in Minnesk. Fisiog. Sallsk. Lund. viii. (1877) 14, t. 3, f. 28–38.—Rhizome creeping, branched. Stems slender, tufted, leafy at the base, 1–4 in. high. Leaves radical, page 362numerous, spreading, ½–3; in. long, linear, often curved, obtuse, coriaceous, more or less pilose towards the sheathing base. Scapes slender, ½–3; in. high, sometimes forked, with 2–5 linear obtuse bracts. Heads usually solitary, ⅙–¼ in. diam.; involucral bracts 8–14, linear-oblong, subacute, 3-nerved. Florets 20–24; females swollen at the base, deeply 4-lobed; disc-florets larger, tubular, with 4 short erect teeth. Achenes clavate, obtusely 4-gonous.— Kirk in Trans. N.Z. Inst. xxiv. (1892) 420;' Students' Fl. 331.

South Island: Not uncommon on the mountains from Nelson to Foveaux Strait; most plentiful on the western side of the central range; altitudinal range from 2500 to 4500 ft. Stewart Island: Not uncommon. Sea-level to 2500 ft. December–January.

4.A. cæspitosa, Petrie ex T. Kirk in Trans. N.Z. Inst. xxiv. (1892) 420.—A small densely tufted moss-like plant, often forming broad flat patches; stems seldom more than ½ in. high. Leaves numerous, spreading or recurved, ⅕–⅓ in. long, linear or linear - spathulate, obtuse, sheathing at the base, rather fleshy, flat or slightly concave, margins scarious when young. Scapes very short, often almost wanting; bracts 1 or 2, linear. Heads solitary, 1/10 in. diam.; involucral bracts about 8, linear-oblong, 3-nerved. Florets 6–8, precisely similar to those of A. linearis. Achenes clavate, obscurely tetragonous.—Kirk, Students' Fl. 331.

South Island: Nelson—Mount Arthur, Mount Owen, T. F. C. Canterbury—Mountains above the Broken River, Craigieburn Mountains, Petrie! T. F. C. Otago—Clarke's Diggings, Mount Ida, Mount Kyeburn, Petrie! 3000–6000 ft. December–January.

Probably only an alpine state of A linearis.

5.A. inconspicua, Hook. f. Handb. N.Z. Fl. 140. —A densely tufted moss-like plant, forming soft rounded patches; stems ½–2; in. long, densely leafy. Leaves numerous, spreading or ascending, ¼–⅓ in. long, linear-subulate, broad and membranous at the base, with ciliate margins, gradually tapering to a subacute thick and fleshy tip, rigid when dry. Head solitary, 1/10–⅛ in. diam., sunk amongst the uppermost leaves; involucral bracts linear-oblong, obtuse, 3-nerved. Florets 15–20; females narrow-tubular, slightly swollen at the base, lobes 4, spreading; disc-florets larger, between funnel-shaped and tubular, with 5 short erect lobes. Achene linear-clavate, 4-ribbed.—Buch. in Trans. N.Z. Inst. xiv. (1882) 354, t. 34, f. 1; Kirk, Students' Fl 331.

South Island: Otago—Mount Alta, Hector and Buchanan! Black Peak, A. McKay! common on all the higher mountains of the interior, Petrie! 4000–6000 ft. December–January.

6.A. pusilla, Hook.f. Handb. N.Z. Fl. 139.—A minute tufted moss-like plant. Stems slender, wiry, leafy, ½–1; in. long, emitting long fibrous roots. Leaves crowded, spreading or recurved, ½ in. page 363long, narrow-linear, acute, curved, rigid, coriaceous, flat above, midrib prominent beneath. Head solitary, 1/10 in. diam., sunk amongst the uppermost leaves; involucral bracts linear, obtuse, coriaceous, nerved. Style of the disc-florets bifid. Achenes of the female florets linear-clavate, 4-angled.—Kirk, Students' Fl. 332. Trineuron pusillum, Hook. f. Fl. Nov. Zel. i. 131.

North Island: Snowy places on the Ruahine Mountains, Cotenso!

This species has not been collected since its original discovery, more than fifty years ago. I have only seen a fragment of one of the type specimens, and the above description is based upon that given by Hooker.

7.A. muscosa, T. Kirk in Trans. N.Z. Inst. xxiv. (1892) 422, t. 36.—Stems very minute, ⅕–¼ in. high, either solitary or forming dense patches ½–1 in. diam. Leaves closely imbricating, erect, ⅛–1/7 in. long, linear or linear-oblong, truncate or retuse at the tip; upper half excessively coriaceous and rigid, somewhat concave, margins much thickened and cartilaginous; lower half membranous, sheathing. Heads minute, solitary, concealed amongst the uppermost leaves; involucral bracts 5, oblong, obtuse or acute or apiculate, nerveless or nearly so. Florets 4–8; females narrow, cylindrical, obscurely toothed at the mouth; disc-florets tubular, 4-toothed. Achenes oblong, truncate above, setose, obscurely tetragonous, with a long bristle at each angle.—Students' Fl. 332.

Stewart Island: Summit of Rakiahua, 2300 ft., Kirk! January.

A very remarkable little plant, closely allied to A. emarginata, Cass., from the Falkland Islands. It is one of the smallest flowering plants in the colony, and in a barren state might easily be mistaken for a Bryum or Tortula.