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Forest Vines to Snow Tussocks: The Story of New Zealand Plants

Low Climbers of Forest Margins and Shrublands

Low Climbers of Forest Margins and Shrublands

Some low climbers of more open habitats — Parsonsia capsularis, Muehlenbeckia complexa, Clematis (several species) — have already been considered in association with their higher climbing relatives.

The remaining species are mostly unspecialised 'scramblers', as defined in the last section in the discussion of hook climbers. They grow through shrubs and small trees at forest margins or in shrub communities in drier eastern localities. The species in this group are: Fuchsia perscandens; Brachyglottis (Senecio) sciadophilus and Helichrysum dimorphum of the Compositae or daisy family; Scandia geniculata of the Umbelliferae or carrot family (perhaps the only climbing member of this family); Carmichaelia kirkii, one of the leafless brooms; and an undescribed species of Coprosma.40

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One of our species of Lycopodium, the attractive trailing L. volubile, can also be a scrambling climber over shrubs. This species ranges from New Zealand to the tropical Pacific and south east Asia and, in the latter region, is recorded as sometimes extending into tree crowns.