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Manual of the New Zealand Flora.

4. Dichondra, Forst

4. Dichondra, Forst.

Small prostrate or creeping perennial herbs. Leaves orbicular-cordate or reniform, entire. Flowers small, solitary, axillary. Sepals subequal, distinct to the base. Corolla broadly campanulate, deeply 5-lobed; lobes induplicate. Stamens shorter than the corolla; filaments filiform; anthers small. Ovary of 2 distinct lobes or carpels, each 1-celled with a basal style and 1 or 2 ovules. Capsules 2, membranous, erect, 1- or rarely 2-seeded, indehiscent or bursting irregularly.

A small genus of 4 or 5 species, widely spread in tropical and subtropical countries.

Leaves ¼–1 in. diam. Corolla shorter than the calyx or barely equalling it 1. D. repens.
Leaves ⅛–¼ in. diam. Corolla much longer than the calyx 2. D. brevifolia.
1.D. repens, Forst. Char. Gen. 39, t. 20.—A small silky-pubescent creeping herb; stems slender, 2–12 in. long, rooting at the nodes, branched, often forming broad matted patches. Leaves alternate or tufted at the nodes, usually on long petioles; blade ¼–1 in. diam., reniform, emarginate or rounded at the apex, silky on both surfaces. Peduncles as long or longer than the petioles. Flowers small, greenish-yellow, about 1–6 in. diam. Sepals obovace, silky. Corolla about equalling the sepals, rarely slightly longer. Capsules enclosed in the persistent calyx and shorter than it.—Forst. Prodr. n. 134: A. Rich. Fl. Nouv. Zel. 201; A. Cunn. Precur. n. 397; Raoul, Choix, 44; Hook. f. Fl. Nov. Zel. i. 185; Handb. N.Z. Fl. 199; Benth. Fl. Austral. iv. 438.

North and South Islands, Chatham Islands: Abundant from the North Cape to Otago. Sea-level to 2500 ft. Spring and early summer.

A widely spread plant in the tropical and subtropical districts of both hemispheres, extending northwards to the United States on one side and China on the other.


D. brevifolia, Buch. in Trans. N.Z. Inst. iii. (1871) 208.—Much smaller and more densely matted than D. repens, often forming a compact turf. Leaves on short stout petioles; blade⅛–¼ in. diam., orbicular-oblong or reniform, emarginate or rounded at the apex, cordate at the base, rather thick, silky on both surfaces or almost glabrous. Peduncles stout, erect, usually longer than the-leaves. Flowers larger than in D. repens,¼ in. diam., yellowish. page 479Sepals obovate, silky. Corolla much longer than the sepals, sometimes twice as long. Ripe capsules about equalling the calyx.—D. repens var. brevifolia, Kirk in Trans. N.Z. Inst. x. app. xxxvii.

North and South Islands, Stewart Island: Not uncommon throughout, ascending to 3000 ft. November–January.

I retain this as a species with, considerable hesitation, but it appears to constantly differ from reduced states of D repens, which it otherwise much resembles, in the larger flowers with the corolla always much longer than the calyx.