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Tuatara: Volume 2, Issue 2, July 1949


The Marchant Ridge of the Tararua Mountains, starts 30 miles from Wellington and is worth visiting by botany students. The first interesting area is Dobson's Mistake 2,200ft., a twice–burnt ridge that was once covered by silver beech forest, and has several subalpine plants which normally grow in tussock above 3,700ft. They occur on the windswept and eroded crest of the ridge facing the prevailing north–west winds and include Pentachondra pumila, Cyathodes empetrifolia, Oreobolus strictus and Gentiana patula, growing in three inch high mats orf Blechnum capense. The fact that this ridge is eroded, apparently makes it a good habitat for these plants of windswept tussock and fell field. Accompanying these are stunted Kamahi, Dracophyllum filifolium, and mountain flax, which are usually found in montane srub that follows fires.

Further north, is Omega, 3,668ft. This has an inteersting bog with many common subalpine plants often stunted by the boggy conditions; while on Block XVIII track to the Tauwharenikau valley is a stand of the mountain, Toa–toa which is almost absent from the Southern Tararuas, except for another stand on the Renata Ridge.