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Te Ika a Maui, or New Zealand and its Inhabitants

Chapter XXVI. Botany

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Chapter XXVI. Botany.

A New Plant, Fam. Balanophoneæ. (?)

A New Plant, Fam. Balanophoneæ. (?)

The botany of New Zealand is extremely interesting, not so much for the beauty of its flora, as on account of the fact, that it has a peculiar and distinctive character, which marks it as being a centre of its own.

This was noticed by the earliest explorers, and tends to prove the truth of the conjecture, which I have hazarded in treating of the geological features of the country; and, although it is true eighty-nine South American species of plants have been discovered in New Zealand, and that seventy-seven are found in Australia and South America, fifty of which are common also to Europe, and that sixty plants of the whole flora are European; still, the fact that there are twenty-six page 431 genera and five hundred and seven species, which is more than two-thirds of the whole, peculiar to New Zealand, must establish the claim to its having a botanic centre of its own.*

Allowing New Zealand to be the remains of a grand continental line, we may naturally expect that many of its plants would have a wide range, and be found in distant localities. Indeed, there are many reasons to suppose that the innumerable isles of the great Pacific are but the peaks of a submerged continent, which may have approached America on one side, and Australia on the other. A remarkable circumstance is, that the plants of the antarctic islands, which are equally natives of New Zealand, Tasmania, and Australia, are almost invariably found only on the lofty mountains of those countries. The fact also that both the New Zealand line, and the grand continental one of South America, are still being upheaved, tends to prove, that the causes which submerged the supposed continent are still in operation, and are continuing to deepen the ocean bed between them, in the same ratio that the respective sides are being raised.

The subject of the distribution of plants over the most widely separated regions of the globe, is one of deep interest, and tends most clearly to establish the fact of unity of design and operation in the works of the Creator. The remarkable resemblance of plants in similar latitudes with those at different elevations on mountains, is another interesting subject of enquiry, and a corroboration of the grand unity of the whole. A most remarkable instance of this is found in the Lycopodium cernuum, (a widely distributed Fern in all warm climates,) it only grows in the Azores, around some hot springs; it has also been collected in St. Paul's Island (lat. 38° S.), there, too, only by the side of similar springs. These facts are most remarkable, for the Lycopodium cernuum does not inhabit Madeira or any spot in the Azores, except the vicinity of the hot springs; and St. Paul's Island is also far beyond its natural isothermal in that longitude of the southern hemisphere. It is also to be remarked, that in neither island is the

* The magnetic centres now found to exist, may have a mysterious connection with the formation of botanic centres

page 432 Lycopodium accompanied by any other tropical plant, which would indicate the aerial transport of larger objects than the microscopic spores of the Lycopodia.*

The way plants have been dispersed is another interesting subject of enquiry. That minute spores of fungi are carried in the air to immense distances, is now an established fact. Professor Ehrenberg found the spores of fungi mingled with atmospheric dust that had fallen on ships far out at sea.

That seeds are drifted by currents to great distances is also well known. American seeds are thus cast on the shores of Britain; and if those of considerable size are often thus conveyed, we may reasonably suppose others more minute would be so to a far greater extent. When resident in New South Wales, I could not help noticing, that the Australian coast flora was totally different from that of the interior, and far more abundant, and this also holds good with New Zealand. In Australia, the cedar is only found along the coasts, and not far inland; so likewise with the kauri in New Zealand.

The fact also of the earth being filled with seed which retains its vitality for many ages, is also remarkable. I have noticed where lofty cliffs have fallen, and disclosed various ancient levels, that after a short time, the exposed vein of ancient vegetable mould has become covered with a vegetation of its own; so likewise when a portion of forest has been cleared and burnt off the ground, if suffered to remain uncultivated, is speedily occupied by the Poroporo, an edible solanum. I observed a similar thing in Australia: where the eucalyptus forest has been burnt, it is succeeded by the mimosa; so also in North America, the primæval forests are said to be replaced by the red cedar.

The disappearing and reproducing of various plants in the same localities, is very remarkable, and seems to depend on certain conditions of soil and circumstances; yet it is doubtful whether indigenous plants ever disappear from their proper localities. When the spot they inhabit becomes possessed by plants or trees of hostile growth to the original inhabitants,

* See Dr. Hooker's admirable Introductory Essay to the flor of New Zealand, pp. xx. & xxx.

page 433 they certainly do appear to die away and be lost, but when a more favourable state returns, they are then again resuscitated, as in the instances alluded to, and thus cannot be said to become extinct.* This is not the case with artificially raised flowers; the horticulturalist well knows that every flower he raises, however luxuriantly it may grow the first year, will seldom last more than three seasons in the same locality, and soon disappears. This fact tends to prove that plants, like animals, have their proper habitations assigned them, and with few exceptions, they will not permanently flourish beyond them. Man, with his attendants, the dog, the cat, the rat, &c., may be styled denizens of the world; so some plants also, such as the dock, the clover, chick-weed, plaintain, &c., are carried whereever man goes, and soon so greatly flourish, that in a few years it becomes almost impossible to say they have been introduced; these, however, are exceptions, and we cannot but conclude that New Zealand, embracing the Auckland, Chatham, Macquarie, and a few other islands, forms a botanic centre as well as Australia, and other continents; the characteristic feature of the New Zealand forest being a dark glossy green, is a remarkable contrast to the glaucous color of the Australian.

The number of species of plants already known in New Zealand, is six hundred and thirty-two, of which three hundred and fourteen are dicotyledonous or endogenous plants, and the rest, or three hundred and eighteen, are monocotyledonous and cellular plants.

To what can this remarkable disproportion be due—so contrary from what is the case in other countries. We can only regard it as a proof, coupled with the total absence of animals, and the former existence of a large number of wingless birds, that it has from most ancient times been cut off from other parts, and thus retained its primæval flora: it is still in its fern age.

* The same plants do not grow on cleared land that formerly occupied the same spot when it was covered with forest trees; a distinct class of vegetation makes its appearance as soon as the fire has passed over the ground. The same thing may be remarked with regard to the change that takes place among our forests; as one generation falls and decays, new ones of a different character spring up in their places.—See Back-woods of Canada, page 173.

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The emigrant from the flowery fields of Britain, cannot fail being struck with the nearly total want of these enlivening adjuncts to the landscape, when he first steps forth on those antipodal shores; the interminable plains of sombre fern, will at first present an unfavourable contrast to his native land. Excepting the palm, dracenas, and fern, there is little striking in the New Zealand landscape. There are few annual and flowering plants, and of those only a very few which possess vivid colors; in their place are to be seen a great number of trees and ferns, but it is these which give the distinguishing feature to the vegetation.

In England, there are not more than thirty-five native trees out of 1400 species. In New Zealand, of flowering trees, including shrubs above twenty feet high, there are upwards of 113, or nearly one-sixth of the flora, besides 156 shrubs and plants with woody stems. The number of trees, the paucity of herbaceous plants, and the almost total absence of annuals, are amongst the most remarkable features of the flora.

Dr. Hooker thinks that the conifera will prove, when known, to be the most universally prevalent natural family.

The plants number 730. The ferns (including lycopodia) 114, but the mosses and hepaticæ 450; and the same enterprising botanist expresses his opinion that the fungi also will be found to number more than 1000 species. The algæ enumerated by Dr. Harvey, are nearly 300 species, which have from their beauty and singularity long been objects of great interest to the botanist. Thus the total number of species according to Dr. Hooker is 2000: and the orders most numerous in species are compositæ, 90; cyperaceæ, 66; gramineæ, 53; scrophularineæ, 40; orchideæ, 39; rubiaceæ, 26; epacrideæ and umbellifera, each 23; none of which can be said to form prevalent features in the landscape, though none are rare.

The most tropical of all the New Zealand trees is the nikau (areca sapida.) The family of the Palmœ has only this representative; it is a most graceful and beautiful tree; it often attains the height of forty feet and a foot in diameter, the flower forms a large droop of a flesh color, not much unlike a page 435 cauliflower, which is succeeded by a bunch of red berries. The pinnate leaf is of large size, and is used in lining the inside of the roof; the natives plait it very neatly; the tender shoot is eaten; it tastes somewhat like a nut. The stem is of a dark clear green color, and at every four inches there is a ring, which marks its age. It is only found in the dense forest.

The nearly allied asphodelaceæ, have more species, and give a character to the plain. The ti, (cordeline Australis, or dracena Australis,) is found throughout the island in great abundance, excepting on the interior plains, where it is seldom, if ever seen. Though so common, it has a very foreign look, and until it begins to flower, which it does when about eight years old, there are no branches; afterwards every year adds to them, and the older it becomes, the more they are increased; it eventually becomes a very large tree of several feet in diameter, but of no use, as the trunk is composed of a mass of loose fibres; the leaf is that of a flag; the flower forms a large droop, and is very fragrant. The root of the young tree is eaten; when cooked it contains much saccharine matter; it is then called mauku. The tender shoot also is edible, though rather bitter. The missionaries brewed good beer from the baked root.

The turuki (cordyline stricta) is a tree only differing from the ti in having a narrower leaf; it grows in forests, and is also called ti ngahere: it has a strong fibre.

Toi (dracena indivisa). The fibre of this tree is remarkably strong and durable; the natives use it in the manufacture of rough mats. It is peculiarly adapted for rope, as it does not contract in water like the phormium tenax. The root is eaten; when cooked it is called kauru, and is very full of saccharine matter. The leaf is remarkably long and broad, and the flower is extremely fragrant.

Harakeke (phormium tenax). This plant is well known, but not yet so much as it deserves, for although it has gained much celebrity from the fine mats made of it by the natives, and also for the strength of its fibre in the manufacture of rope, it will, I am persuaded, soon be better known as a substitute page 436 for rags in the manufacture of paper, for which purpose it is admirably adapted. The flax, when immersed in a solution of alum, is readily converted into a pulp, and for this purpose, the simple leaves being cut and dried in their raw state, would be all that is required, and the material might thus be obtained at a nominal price, since it grows spontaneously over the country.

The flower stalk is called korari; the flowers are filled with honey, and in such quantities, that the natives collect it in calabashes. Between the leaves there is a gelatinous substance, which, when dried, is insoluble in water, and might, perhaps, be used as a cement for china, and rendering cloth water proof; the natives use it as a substitute for sealing wax. The juice of the root is also used medicinally. There are many varieties of this valuable plant.

The Rengarenga, marowarakihi, (arthropodium cirrhaium,) commonly called a lily; it is a pretty flowering plant; the root formerly was eaten.

Rengarenga iti (arthropodium candidum), is a diminutive variety of the former.

The Kareao. Fam. Similaceœ (ripogonum parviflorum), is a supple-jack which climbs to the top of the highest trees, and so mats them together, that it renders the forest impassable, except where a path has been cut; the plant is used for binding fences, and in building houses; it has a fragrant flower, and bears bunches of red berries, upon which the pigeon feeds.

Fam. Iridcœ. The genus libertia has three species—grandi flora, ixioides, and micrantha.

The Rurutu is a red flag-leafed plant growing on grassy plains, and bearing a white three-leafed flower.

Fam. Orchideœ. Of the terrestrial orchidœ are—(thelymitra Forsteri, orthoceras strictum, microtis banksii, acianthus rivularit, pterostylis banksii, gastrodia sesamoides). The maikaika is the common name for all these. A fine green and white one abounds in woods and swampy plains; a small red one also in the marshy spots of the interior. The perei, a large kind, is found in the woods, it produces tubers of considerable size, which are eaten. A beautiful one, with a heart-shaped leaf, is also found page 437 in caves and damp localities; it bears a fine dark crimson or purple flower. As epiphytœ on trees grow (Earina mucronata). The dendrobium Cunninghamii is a remarkable pendulous one. The bolbophyllum pygmeum is also of a similar character; they are fragrant and a great ornament to the forest.

Amongst the climbing plants which cling to trees for support, the most remarkable is the freycinetia Banksii, a monoco-tyledononous plant, belonging to the family of the pandanaceœ. It chiefly attaches itself to the kahikatea. It bears a white flower; the bracteæ of its blossoms are thick and fleshy, and when ripe are very sweet, with a flavor not unlike a luscious pear. It flowers in spring or September, and the fruit becomes ripe in autumn, which is in March and April.

Of the Piperaceœ.—There are two kinds, peperomia urvillianae, and the kawakawa (piper excelsum), the representative of the piper methisticum, of the Sandwich and Tonga Isles. It is only used in New Zealand medicinally by the natives, who chew the root as a remedy for tooth-ache. The settlers use the leaf as tea, and also make a very palatable beer from it. The green fruit much resembles the Jamaica long pepper, and, when ripe, it has a rich luscious flavor. It is a delicate plant, and seldom seen in the forest, at a distance from the abodes of men; the natives say they brought it with them. If a branch of the kawakawa were laid in the marae, or public square, it was regarded as an aitua, or omen of death.

Fam. Winteraceœ.—Horopito (drimis axillaris). This is also a pepper tree, and a much more pungent one than the former; it abounds in the interior, but is not found in the north part of the island.

Fam. Coniferaceœ.—Kauri (damara Australis). This beautiful pine is not found south of Kawia, on the western coast, and the Bay of Plenty on the eastern. Like the cedar of Australia, it is confined to the vicinity of the sea; it loves low sheltered localities, and a wet pipe-clay soil. The kauri forest forms a very deep deposit of turfy soil, which, being intermingled with much resinous matter when dry, burns with great facility. This tree produces large quantities of resin, which is now eagerly sought after as an article of trade, being page 438 chiefly used in England instead of size for glazing calico; but in the United States it forms a substitute for gum copal in making varnish, and has been much sought after by that enterprising people for this purpose. This resin being found in almost all the coal measures, indicates great antiquity, as its remains are seen as far south as Stewart's Island; thus, the surviving forests of this noble pine, now confined to an insignificant region, the same as that growing on the Isle of Pines, indicate their having once had a far more widely extended growth at some remote period. The cone of this tree is nearly round, and when dry falls to pieces; some attain a height of nearly two hundred feet, and a girth of forty, with a clear stem, rising like a tower to nearly a hundred feet without a branch. The kauri resin, when it first exudes from the tree, is of a milky color, or transparent like glass, but with age it acquires a yellow hue, and that which is found on the sand hills is scarcely to be distinguished in color, brilliancy, and hardness from amber. The largest masses are found in marshes; frequently lumps are dug up in such localities of a hundred pounds weight. The kauri resin, if put into strong rectified spirits of ether in a pulverised state, is immediately taken up. With the spirit of turpentine at 270°, a clear yellow-tinged solution is obtained; it dissolves pretty well with linseed oil if boiled. The kauri resin has been sold from £80 to £100 per ton. Some of it is found quite soft and plastic, from its containing a larger quantity of turpentine; the fresh resin is chewed by the natives. The sap of this tree is the thickest on the shaded side, which fronts the south; it is there frequently seven inches through. The timber is very close grained, and durable; it is highly prized for spars. The bark is clear of plants, which generally abound on most trees of the forest; its roots form a kind of net-work on the surface of the ground.

Fam. Taxaceœ.—Toatoa (podocarpus asplenifolitus). This tree chiefly grows on the table ground, in the interior of the south part of the island, where it is found in large clumps; it does not attain any great size; the bark is used as a brown dye.

Tanekaha, tawaiwai.—(Phyllocladus trichomanoides). This page 439 beautiful tree is found on the sides of hills; its general height is seldom more than fifty feet. The bark is plain, light colored, and ringed every six inches, forming distinct flakes up to the branches of the tree. The leaves are parsley shaped, which chiefly distinguishes it from the toatoa, which are flat and oval shaped. The wood is very similar to that of the cyprus, it is lighter and closer grained than the kauri, and very fragrant; it is also more durable when exposed to wet. The bark is much used to form a black and brown dye. The tree is rarely found in the south, but in the north is very abundant.

Miro (podocarpus ferruginea). This tree bears a rather large and flattened fruit, of a bright red color, and very aromatic flavor, which imparts an agreeable taste to the pigeon when it is in season. It closely resembles the yew in its leaf; the wood is close grained and durable; it does not attain any great size or elevation; but is, however, a very valuable timber.

Totara (podocarpus totara). This is a noble tree, and very highly prized for its great durability; it rises to the height of about a hundred and fifty feet. The bark has the appearance of having been chopped at intervals; it is tough and stringy, and much used as a covering for houses. Like the yew, the tree appears to be detrimental to underwood, and generally little is found growing under it. The totara is so abundant as to form forests up the Manawatu, and in some parts of the interior; in general the contrary is the case, and it is found scattered and intermingled with other trees.

The wood of this noble pine is red, hard, and durable, but brittle; it is preferred for canoes, and it is not unusual to see them more than seventy feet long, with a width of five or six feet, formed from a single log. The roots generally stand high out of the ground, and cover a considerable surface; in the south, this is by far the most valuable tree of all.

Kahikatea, kahika, koroi.—(Podocarpus excelsus.) This tree is generally called the white pine, from the color of its wood, although there is a variety which is yellow, harder, and more durable, and therefore the most prized. The kahikatea may be considered as nearly the loftiest tree in the New Zealand page 440 forest; it often attains a height of little less than two hundred feet, and in that respect rivals the noble kauri, but the general appearance is not very pleasing; it has a small top, and that not well covered with leaves, except when young, it then has a finer foliage and a pointed top like the fir tree. Swampy grounds are its favourite localities, and it is frequently found growing in water. In many parts there are forests solely of this tree, especially in the south. In the north, its timber is much softer and far more perishable than in the south, where it is chiefly used for building; though so soft, it is of extremely slow growth. I have known young trees which have not increased more than one inch in height during the year. This tree bears a little red oval berry, with the seed stuck on the top. Every other year the crop is most abundant, and it is a fruit highly prized by the natives; it is sweet, but without flavour. The wood in general will not last more than twenty years, it then almost pulverises with the touch; but if exposed to the air, it appears to be as durable as either the rimu or kauri. The kahikatea has resin in its heart, which, when burnt, produces a disagreeable smell; it contains much saccharine matter, which is found in lumps, of a very sweet and hitter taste. The wood likewise has a similar quality; a gum also exudes from it. An infusion of the wood is highly tonic, and will, I have no doubt, be found valuable as a medicine when better known.

Matai, mai, (dacrydium mai,) a tree with a fine thick top and leaf, much resembling that of the yew. It produces a purple berry like a small plum, of a sweet, fragrant, though slimy taste. The wood is of a slightly reddish color, close grained, but brittle, and peculiarly fragrant when burnt. It is highly prized as fuel, and also much used for furniture, as it works up very easily, and comes next to the totara in durability. The resin from this tree is very aromatic. It chiefly abounds in the interior, and there attains a height of about a hundred feet, with a diameter of four.

Kawaka, koaka, (dacrydium plumosum.) This tree grows in large quantities on the central plains; the wood is of a very dark red grain, and is said to be as durable as the totara. The page 441 tree has a remarkable foliage, which makes it conspicuous in the forest, but it is generally found on the outskirts fronting the plains; its height is seldom much above sixty feet.

Rimu, (dacrydium cupressinum.) This is one of the greatest ornaments of the New Zealand forest; its beautiful light green foliage hangs down in graceful festoons. The fruit is very similar to that of the kahikatea. The wood is red, streaked with dark lines, and is much prized for furniture and house building. It is known as the red pine, and is a hard and heavy timber, but rather brittle. It produces a resin, which is also slightly sweet and bitter, and, if wounded, emits a black bitter gum; the fragrance of the wood, when burnt as fuel, is extremely pleasant. It attains a great elevation, and is one of the highest trees of the forest. Young plants are rarely met with; and it is remarkable, that if planted in the open air, it requires shelter, as it cannot stand the cold of winter, except it has the canopy of a dense forest; and this remark applies to the palm and several other forest trees.

In addition to these pines, there is another in the north near Kaitaia, called hutu, (phyllocladus hutu,) which has a fine red-grained timber, the most nearly resembling the Australian cedar; and on the sides of the Tongariro mountain, there are two dwarf dacrydiums, closely resembling the rimu and kahikatea: they form low bushes, from six inches to two feet in height, which produce much finer and larger fruit than their loftier relatives in the forest. On the Tongariro and Taranaki mountains, a dwarf podocarpus, closely resembling the totara, is also found, and when the alpine regions have been more fully investigated, it is not improbable other members of this family will be discovered.

The Fam. of the Urticeœ—contains the onga-onga, (urtica ferox,) a shrub about twelve feet high, having a large and rather long pointed leaf of a dark green, thickly studded with formidable yellow spines, which make those who touch them take care not to repeat the experiment; the branches are similarly armed. It is a curious but ornamental shrub; its wood is close grained and hard. In the north there is a tree called the onga onga, (urtica debilis,) which has the appearance page 442 of a lime. The natives affirm that in its early years it is the nettle shrub.

The Fam. Labiacea.—contains micromeria Cunninghamii, which is found near the Wesleyan settlement, on the Hokianga.

The Fam. Boraginacea.—(Anchusa spaluata and myosotis Forsterii.)

The Fam. Convolvulaceœ.—Powiwi, paraha, (calystegia sepium,) the common convolvolus; it has a long fleshy root, which was formerly eaten; the flower is white striped with pink. The panahi, (calystegia soldanella,) the common bind weed, and the ipomoea pendula.

Fam. Loganaceœ.—Hangehange, (geniostoma ligustrifolium).

Fam. Gentianaceœ.—(Gentianasaxosa,) found at Dusky Bay, and on the Tongariro ranges; it bears a pale buff-colored flower and dark leaf. The gentiana montana is also found in the same locality, and the sebœa gracilis at Hokianga.

Fam. Apocynaceœ.—(Parsonsia heterophylla.)

Fam. Oleaceœ.—(Olea apetela,) a tree similar to the iron wood of Norfolk Island.

Fam. Sapotaceœ.—(Achras costata).

Fam. Myrsinaceœ.—Tipau, mapau (myrsine urvilliœ), (myrsine divaricata), found at Hokianga. Karaka (corynocarpus lœvigata). This noble tree resembles the English laurel, but attains the size of a timber tree. The leaf is large, glossy, and of a dark green, the foot stalk is purple, the flower is of a greenish white, small, and in clusters; the fruit is not unlike a date, and from two to three inches long. It has somewhat the flavour of the apricot, but too strong to be agreeable; it is called kopi and koroi; the kernel, after it has been boiled and steeped in water for some days, is eaten, otherwise it produces madness, and relaxes the joints, so that they will bend the wrong way. The wood when burnt is peculiarly offensive. The natives state that this tree was brought with them.

Of the extensive American Fam. Epacrideœ.—Mingi, monoa, (cyathodes acerosa,) a shrub. Patotara (leucopogon fasciculatus), a diminutive heath-like shrub, producing a very fragrant white flower, and a small transparent edible berry of an orange color; page 443 it abounds on sandy plains. Leucopogon Fraseri, pentachondra pumila, epacris pauci flora, but the nene, (dracophyllum latifolium,) is by far the most beautiful of this family, and attains the size of a tree. The dracophyllum longifolium belongs to the Middle Island, as also the dracophyllum rosmarinifolium, but the dracophyllum urvillianum and lessonianum belong to the North Island. Several members of this family are extremely ornamental, and, belonging to alpine regions, might be introduced into England.

Of the Ericeœ.—are gaultheria antipoda, gaultheria rupestris and fluviatilis.

Fam. Campanulaceœ.—Rimuroa (wahlenbergia gracilis) the blue-bell of New Zealand.

Fam. Lobeliaceœ.—Oru, (lobelia physaloides,—lobelia alata,—angulata,—littoralis,—submera.) The kowitiwiti and puaureroa belong to this family.

The Styllideœ.—Stylidium spathalatum and Forstera sedifolia.

The Goodeniaceœ.—(Goodnenia repens).

Of Compositœ.—are the following tribes and genera:—

Cichoraceœ, parerarera (scorzonera scapigera). This grows on the central plains in large quantities. Toitako, kueo, (pieris hieracioides, attenuata, sonchus oleraceus). Puwha, (vernoniaceœ Shawia).

Fam. Asteroideœ.—Pekapeka (solidago arborescens). Papataniwaniwa, (Lagenophora-Forsteri) the native daisy, (Lagenophora lanata, aster holocericeus, aster coriaceus). Ake piro, (Hoxtonia furfuracea), a pretty shrub with daisy-like flowers. (Vittadenia Australis.) Peke peke, (celmisia holocericeus,) a large broad-ribbed leafed aster, dark green on one side, and white downy on the other, growing on the central plains. Parerarera, peka peka, (celmesia coriacea), a smaller kind, found in the same parts as the former.

Fam. Senecionidaceœ.—Kohiriki (Bidens pilosa) cowhage (cotula coronopifolia, myriogyne minuta, soliva tenella, craspedia uniflora, cassinia leptophylla, ozothamnus pinifolia, Helichrysum bellidioides, (Pukatea) Gnaphalium luteoalbum,—simplex,—lanatum,—invohicratum,—keriense,—trinervœ, Arnica page 444 operina, senecio lautus,—Australis,—neglectus,—argutus,— quadridentatus,—hispidulus.

Of Rubiaceœ or Cinchonaceœ.—Are the genera (opercularia, diphylla, aspera)—karamu (coprosma lucida).

Hupiro (coprosma fœtidissima), a small-leafed shrub, growing in the woods on the central plains, emitting a very fœtid smell, perceptible in passing it, and especially when the leaves are rubbed.

(Coprosma propinqua,—rotundifolio—rhamnoides,—gracilis—divaricata,—acerosa,—repens,—spathulata, Ronabea Australia, nertera depressa, geophyla dichondrœfolia.)

Fam. Loranthaceœ, or Viscum, The mistletoe is found on several trees, it is parasitical on the kahikatoa, the puriri, the tawai, the tataka, and several other trees.

The Puka, (viscum antarcticum,) is found on the kahikatea and the pukatea; it bears a blue berry. Tirauriki, (viscum pubigerium.) Pirita (viscum salicornioides.) It grows on the ngaio, tataka, and manuka trees, and bears a transparent edible berry. The most beautiful of all is the rore rore, (loranthus tetrapetalus,) which bears a very fine bright scarlet flower; it is found on the tawai, (Batula nigra.) The black birch or beech tree.

Fam. Coneœ.—Gen. alseuosmia.

The Umbelliferœ—contain Hydrocotyle elongata,—microphylla,—Novœ Zealandiœ,—dichondrœfolia,—heteromeria, compacta,—moschata,—asiatica,—Petroselinum prostratum,—filiformi. Taramea, papaki, kueo, (Ligusticum aciphylla,) a prickly palmated leafed plant, abounding in the central plains, having an edible tap root, somewhat like a carrot; the common name is the Wild Irishman. The ergnginm vesiculosum is a low prickly plant, very similar in appearance to a diminutive thistle. I have only seen it at the Wanganui Heads, and on the coast near Taranaki.

Ligusticum gingidium, Peucedanum geniculatum, Apium graveolens. There are several varieties of umbelliferous plants growing on the central plains, which might be cultivated as vegetables, especially a white carrot, pinaihere. A variety of the taramea is found on the Ruahine and the Kaikoura page 445 mountains, which produces a resinous balsamic substance, highly aromatic. The taniwaniwa, or aniseed, also grows abundantly on the grassy plains.

Of the Araliaceœ,—so general in South America, several remarkable representatives are found in New Zealand.

Panax simplex. Waupaku, wauwaupaku (panax arboreum cussonia Lessonii, Polyscias pinnata,) Pate, (Aralia Schlefflera,) Horoeka, hohoeka (aralia, crassifolia). A tree with remarkable long narrow leaves, nearly two feet long, and not above an inch or so wide. In its early state, they are serrated, but as it grows older they become smooth and considerably shorter; it is a very ornamental tree; the wood is close grained, heavy and hard.

Of the Oxalideœ.—Tutaikaka (Oxalis Urvillei cataractœ). A white sorrel found near Kerikeri Water-fall, and thence deriving its name; in several parts it is larger in size, (Propinqua,—exilis, — divergens, — tenuicaulis, lacicola, — ciliifera, — crassifolia). The oxalis which flourishes on sand hills, produces the largest yellow flower, and that on the cold grassy plains the least.

Geranicaceœ.—Huika (Geranium pilosum—retorsum. pelargonium clandestinum).—Kaputawiti, kurakura, porewarewa.

Hypericaceœ.—(Hypericum pusillum).

Fam. Meliaceœ.—Kohekohe.—(Hartighsea spectabilis). This tree attains a considerable size; the leaves are remarkably bitter and the infusion is used as a tonic; a weak decoction is also used by females who have lost their infants, to stop the secretion of milk. Its flowers come out from the stem, and are very fragrant; the sap-wood is perfectly white, but the heart is of a dark red, and very similar in grain and color to mahogany; it attains a height of about sixty feet.

Fam. Sapindaceœ.—Topitopi, titoki, titongi (alectryon excelsum). A very ornamental tree, with a glossy light green leaf. The fruit is also very beautiful, it bursts from its sheath like a bright red strawberry, with a shining black seed in the centre; the fruit is tart, though edible, and from the seed a fine oil is expressed. In the south, the fruit is called titoki, and the tree topitopi; it is considered a durable timber, and well page 446 adapted for ship-building. Ake, ake rautangi, (Dodonœa spatulata). This tree does not attain any size, but the wood is considered the hardest and toughest in New Zealand; it was used for weapons of war.

Fam. Bombaceœ.—Hohere (Hoheria populnea). A tree with a fine net-like fibre under the bark; both the leaves, bark, and flowers, which are white, have a glutinous taste, like the mallow; it does not attain any size. It is ornamental, but only medicinally useful; the leaves of the young shrub are different from those of the grown-up tree. The aute (ancient cloth) was formerly made from the inner bark of this tree; it is still worn as ribbons.

Fam. Tiliaceœ.—Wau (entelea arborescens). The wood of this tree is remarkably light, and is used by the natives instead of cork to float their nets.

Fam. Eleocarpaceœ.—Hinau (Eleocarpus hinau). A fine tree, with a bright green spiral leaf; the bark is rough and unsightly; it attains a considerable size and height. The wood is of a beautiful yellow color; the berries are made into bread; the bark is remarkably stringent, it is used as a brown dye, and by immersing the articles thus colored in a ferrugineous swamp, it is turned into a bright and durable black.

Mako, makomako (Friesia racemosa). This is a beautiful tree, bearing bunches of fragrant bell flowers, and currant-shaped berries, which are eaten. It closely resembles the ribes; the leaves are reddish and transparent.

Fam. Sturculiaceœ.—(Plagianthus).

Fam. Malvaceœ.—(Hibiscus vesicarius). A fine plant of this family, bearing a large pink flower, is found at the North Cape; it attains a height of nearly a yard. Another closely resembles one seen in our gardens; the flower is of a light primrose color, with a very dark centre.

Fam. Lineœ.—Ririwa (linum monogynum). It grows about two feet high, and bears a fine white flower, sometimes edged with blue, and occasionally entirely blue.

Fam. Caryophylleœ vel Alsinaceœ.—(Arenaria media, stellaria media).

Fam. Elatinaceœ.—(Elatine gratioloides).

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Fam. Pittosporaceœ.—Tarata (Pittosporum crassifolium).—An ornamental tree, producing turpentine; the leaves are fragrant.

Tataka (P— undulatum vel umbellatum). It is also a resinous tree.

Tawiri, kohukohu (P— tenuifolium, P— eugenioides, P— cornifolium, P— reflexum, P— penielioides, P— radicans.)

Fam. Droseraceœ.—Wahu (Drocera propinqua). A pretty little fly-trap, shiel-shaped leaf, pink flower, red bulb root, sheathed in a black skin. (Drocera intermedia). A larger kind, growing in wet ground, with a branch-shaped leaf, and white flower.

Fam. Violaraceœ.—Haka (Erpetion spathulata). A small white violet; another with purple stripes, and a purple one, are found, but all without scent.

Fam. Flacourtiaceœ.—Mahoe (melicytus ramiflorus). It grows to the height of about fifty feet; the wood is heavier than the rimu, and it has a fine thin spiral leaf. (Melicytus macrophyllus.)

Fam. Cruciferœ.—Panapana (nasturtium sylvestre). A small leafed cress, with a white flower, growing in the woods. (Car-damine debilis, Alyssum maritimum, Lepidium oleraceum).— The hanea is a larger cress, with a brownish hairy leaf, and small yellow flowers; it grows near rivers, and attains a height of about eighteen inches.

The naunau has a thick dark glassy leaf, of an oval form, and bears a very small white flower, in size and appearance it resembles the wall-flower. The tawera is a water-cress.

Fam. Ranunculaceœ.—(ranunculus rivularis,—acaulis, acris,—plebeius,—hirtus,) Kaikaiarure. The common butter-cup is remarkable for the great irregularity in its petals; it may be found with either one, two, or three, or more, up to nine. The kopata uraura, is a very large and beautiful butter-cup, with glossy leaves, found in pools of water in elevated parts of the interior. It is said to be extremely poisonous; the roots are thick and long, almost like tubers.

The kowai kura is also a large kind, with downy leaves; the flower is small in proportion to the plant. There is also a pretty kind growing in swampy ground.

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Fam. Clematis. —Piki arero, pua wananga, a clematis bearing a large white scentless flower.

Puatautaua, a small greenish white flowering clematis, very fragrant; it is chiefly found on the sand hills near the sea.

Fam. Griselineœ.—(Griselinea).

Fam. Saxifrageœ vel cunoniaceœ.— (Quintina serrata, wein-mannia betulina,—fuchsioides,—sylvicola).

Towai, tawera, (Leiospernum racemosum) a large tree; the wood is red and streaked with black; it is highly valuable for furniture. Makamaka (ackama rosœfolia).

Fam. Crassulaceœ.—(Tillaea).

Fam. Ficodeœ.—Eruerueka (mesembryanthemum Australe). There are two kinds, one bearing a pink the other a white flower. Rengarenga, (Tetragona expansa). The panamata, paraihia, is a diminutive kind of spinach, with a very dark leaf.

Fam. Cucurbitaceœ.—Mawai (sicyos Australis). A creeping plant, resembling the cucumber.

Fam. Passifloraceœ.— Kohia, powiwi (passiflora tetranda). It bears a small green and orange flower, rather fragrant, and a fruit of a bright orange color; an oil is expressed from the seeds.

Fam. Halorageœ.—Toatoa (cercodia erecta), a stiff growing weed, about a foot and a half high, with a four-sided stem, and strong serrated leaf; it is used medicinally by the natives.

Cercodia alternifolia.—nicana, goniocarpus depressus,—tetragynus. Piri piri,—citriodorus, myriophyllum propinquum.

Fam. Onagraceœ. Kohutuhutu, kotukutuku, kohutukutuku (fuchsia excorticata), a large tree, frequently near three feet in diameter; it takes its name from shedding its bark; this is the only deciduous tree in the New Zealand forest. The flowers appear before the leaves, and generally from the branches; they are at first of a greenish blue with a purple inside, but afterwards change to a bright carmine; the fruit is edible. Totera (Fuchsia procumbens.)

Epilobium nummularifolium,—pedunculare.(kokota)— micro-phyllum,—rotundifolium,—thymifolium,— alsinoides,—nerte-rioides,— atriplicifolium,—pubens,— cinereum,— incanum,— hirtigerum,— virgatum,—glabellum,—confertum, —pallidiflo-rum,—junceum,—haloragifolium.

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Myrtaceœ.—This family, although less numerous in genera, yet possesses some of a very general distribution, and others which form some of the most beautiful and useful trees.

Kahikatoa, manuka, (Leptospernum scopiarum.) This is a beautiful tree, the leaf is small, but aromatic, the flowers white, and very abundant; it produces both flowers and fruit when only a few inches high, and yet attains the size of a large timber-tree, when it ceases to flower and seed so freely.— (L—ericoides.)

Aka, (metrosideros buxifolia,) a climbing plant, bearing a beautiful red flower; the stem is very strong and durable; it is used for tying up fences, and the timbers of houses; it has a myrtle-shaped leaf. A variety of this bears a white flower. (— perforata).—Rata (— robusta). This also bears a bright red flower, and in such quantities as to give the tree the appearance of being a red one at a distance. The rata is at first a climber; it throws out feelers or tentacles, by which it holds on to the tree it clings to; eventually it becomes a very large timber-tree, and kills the kind friend of its early days; it is often seen clasping the dead trunk of its former supporter after it has rotted away, and become separated from the ground, which gives it a very singular appearance. The rata becomes a noble tree; its aerial roots then disappear, and it overtops most of the trees of the forest; its head is very thick, its leaf like the myrtle, but not so pointed, its timber is very hard, tough, and of a dark red; it is valuable in ship-building and for carts.

Pohutukaua (M— tomentosa). This is a very ornamental tree; it only grows in the north end of the island, amongst the rocky cliffs on the sea shore; its leaves are large, thick, of greenish blue externally, and white underneath. It is not found inland, except on the little islands in the central lakes; the trunk is knarled, and twisted in every direction, the wood is extremely hard, and of a dark red; it is chiefly used for ships and knees of boats; it is fine fuel, and so generally used for this purpose, that soon this chief ornament of the northern shores of New Zealand will scarcely be met with; it is not found further south than a few miles beyond the Mokau.

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Rakapika (M—florida. M — diffusa, M— lucida, M— hypericifolia, M— salicifolia), Mairetawaka, maire, (Engenia maire). A fine large tree; the timber is close grained and heavy; it is considered very valuable for machinery, and can be used the same as box-wood.

Rama-rama, rohutu, (myrtus bullata). The myrtle; it has a fragrant leaf, and a very pretty white flower; it attains the size of a small tree, about thirty feet high, and is said to be common to the Chilian forests.

Fam. Rosacecœ.— Pirikahu, kaikaiaruri, hutiwa, (acœna sanguisorbœ). A low creeping bur, which sticks to the garments, as the name implies. It is called Hine-nui-te-po's hair.

The tutai whioi is a fine scarlet flowering bur, found on the central plains.

Tataramoa, (Rubrus Australis). The New Zealand bramble or raspberry; it produces an orange-colored fruit, of good flavor, and in great abundance, which the pigeon feeds upon. This plant climbs up to the tops of the highest trees, and frequently has a stem six inches in diameter; it looks like an immense rope suspended from the tops of the trees, and lays coiled in large folds on the ground; its wood is used for any purpose which requires flexibility. (Rubrus Schmidelioides— cissioides). The last is a remarkable bush; the leaves are extremely small, placed at the ends of a long cruciform-shaped stalk, covered with small bright yellow spines. I have never noticed either flower or fruit; the bush appears at first sight to have no leaves at all.

Fam. Leguminosœ.—Kowai, (Edwardsia microphylla.) This tree attains a very great size in the interior. On the Ruahine range I noticed it as large and lofty as any of the trees in the forest; it bears a bright yellow papilionaceous flower, thick and short in early spring, which gracefully hangs pendant from the slender branches, (—grandiflora, clianthus puniceus,) Kowaingutukaka, the parrot's-bill acacia, from the resemblance its bright red flowers bear to it. This much admired shrub is only met with in the vicinity of old pas, and it is not improbable that it has been introduced. I received an account of a French vessel, which was captured many years ago in the Bay page 451 of Islands; the natives emptied many of the boxes on a small island in the Kerikeri River, which to their disappointment they found were only filled with seeds. It was remarked a few years afterwards the whole island was covered with this shrub; its beauty attracted attention; its flowers were stuck in the ear as an ornament, the seed became sought after and was carried to every part. There appears some probability in this having been the case, it differs so widely from other New Zealand plants.

(Guilandina bonduc,) maukoro, (carmichaelia Australis, griselinia lucida,) makaka maukoro, a broom, bearing a very pretty white flower streaked with purple, only found in the interior. Taunoka is the common broom; there is a saying, that it has no heart, and a bad man is compared to it. There are several varieties of the broom, but, with one exception, their flowers are insignificant.

Fam. Rhamneœ.—Piripiri wata, (carpodetus serratus,) it bears a small white flower, and is found near Lake Omapere.

Pennantia corymbosa. Kumarahou, (pomaderris kumarahou,) a pretty shrub, bearing tufts of buff-colored flowers, only found in the north end of the island. Tauhinu, (—ericifolia,) a shrub also peculiar to the north, bearing an insignificant white flower. To this family also belong Corokia and Ixerba.

Fam. Coriariaceœ.—Tupakihi, tutu, Pukou, (coriaria sarmentosa.) This is a remarkable shrub which formerly abounded in every part of the island, but is now as rapidly disappearing, as cattle and sheep are increasing. It produces a large droop of a currant-like fruit, of a deep purple color, with seeds outside. The natives express the juice in large quantities, which they drink with impunity, having first carefully strained off all the seeds and foot-stalks, which are highly poisonous; they also boil it with sea-weed, and eat it in the form of jelly. Sheep and cattle are extremely fond of its leaves. The young shoots come up remarkably strong, tender, and succulent. If fed upon the first thing in the morning with an empty stomach, it frequently occasions death, but, otherwise, taken with grass, it appears to be as nourishing a food as clover, which also produces similar effects. It is remarked, that this plant page 452 makes much rich vegetable soil; at any rate, it is never found flourishing on bad land. It attains a height of from fifteen to twenty feet. There is a smaller kind, which has a less leaf, much longer, narrower, and more pointed in proportion, with a larger fruit, less highly colored, but the natives do not eat it, considering it more dangerous than the former. There is also a very diminutive kind, with a flower not unlike that of mignionette, which it little exceeds in size; it is only found in the interior: its fruit is not eaten.

Fam. Rutaceœ.—Warangi, rangiora, (melicope ternata,) a small tree, with a large dark-green leaf, having a downy white underside; it bears a bunch of small flowers, which have the fragrance of the violet.

The Pukerangiora is a larger variety of the same; the leaf is often nearly a foot long by nearly the same breadth: it produces resin. This is a singular and very ornamental shrub, growing about twenty feet high, (melicope simplex.)

Fam. Euphorbiaceœ.—Tauwau, ueueeke, (euphorbia glauca,) it chiefly grows near the sea-shore, and in open spots near the mouths of rivers. (Plagianthus, devaricatus—betulinus,—urticinus.) Nau nau.

Fam. Santalaceœ.—Maire, maire tawaki, maire taiki, (mida salicifolia.) The representative of the sandal-wood family. (—eucalyptoides,—viyrtifolia).

Fam. Thymelaceœ.—Kaikaiatua, (pimelia virgata,) a low shrub, bearing a small white flower, and having four leaves at right angles down the stem: it closely resembles the daphne outatoranga, (—arenaria,—Pilosa,—prostrata,—gnidia,—urvilliana.)

Fam. Proteaceœ.—Toru, (persoonia toru,) a tree found in the Bay of Islands. Rewa, rewarewa, (knightia excelsa. This beautiful tree closely resembles the banksia of Australia: when young it is very ornamental, and grows in a tapering form. It has a curious dark red honey-suckle flower. The wood greatly resembles that of the casuarina, and is durable. It is used chiefly for pales, shingles, and rails. It attains a considerable size and height.

Fam. Laurineœ.—Tarairi, (laurus tarairi,) a fine largeleafed page 453 tree, which attains a considerable size, but is only found north of the Waikato; it bears a long oval kernel, thinly covered with pulp, which has a strong taste of turpentine. The fruit has a fine purple bloom, and looks like a large plum. The wood is only used as fuel.

Taua (—taua,) a noble looking tree, forming forests in several parts of the south. The peculiarity of the New Zealand forest is, with a few similar exceptions, that it is composed of all kinds of trees intermingled.

The tawa has a small narrow leaf, and bears a purple plumshaped fruit, not bad eating; the kernel when cooked is also eaten. The tree attains a great size, but the wood is only used as fuel, as it soon takes the worm: it is very white and light. The inner bark is sweet, and, infused, makes a very nice beverage for the traveller when his tea is out, which does not require sugar. Tangeo, (—calicaris.)

Fam. Atherospermaceœ.—Pukatea, (laurelia Nova Zeal:) a large timber tree, but very perishable, it decays in a single year. Its roots are remarkably prominent, like the Australian fig tree. The wood is spongy, but tough; it is more durable in water.

Fam. Polygonaceœ.—Puka, (polygonum Australe,) the willow plant.

Heruna, (—adpressum,) pohuehue, (—complexum,) tutunahua, (—prostratum, rumex crispus,—brunonianus.)

Fam. Chenopodiaceœ.—Poipapa, (chenopodium triandrum,—botrys,—glaucum,—maritimum,—fruticosum, salicornia indica.)

Fam. Amaranthaceœ.—Peronychicœ.—Nahui, (alternanthera denticulata,) kohukohu. (mniarum biflorum.)

Fam. Plantagineœ.—Kopakopa, (plantago major.) This plantain closely resembles the European, but is indigenous and a valuable medicinal herb, well known to the natives. Plantago varia, a narrow downy-leafed plant; leaf long and of a brownish color.

Fam. Salviaceœ.—Salvia koru. This beautiful flower is only found in the vicinity of the North Cape, bearing a large blue and white flower.

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Fam. Primulaceœ.—(Anagallis arvensis, samolus littoralis.) The Fam. Fagus.—Tawai betula nigra, has perhaps two representatives, which attain a great height and diameter; they form alpine forests in the southern extremity of the North Island, and everywhere abound in the Middle Island. The rat formerly fed on the mast: it is said only to fruit once in ten years.

Fam. Scrophularinaceœ.—Koromiko, kokomiko, (veronica salicifolia,) perhaps the most generally diffused plant in New Zealand, and a very ornamental one, but disappearing before the horse. Formerly large groves might be seen of it in every direction: it bears a tapering shaped flower, of a purplish white. Napuka, karokio, (—speciosa,) a variety found at the Hokianga Heads, bearing a fine scarlet flower; the leaves are broader, rounder, and thicker than the former. Taranga, (—augustifolia,) a small-leafed variety. (—macrocarpa,—ligustrifolia,—parviflora, elliptica,—cataractœ,) Piriti, (—diosmifolia,—calycina, gratiola sexdentata, euphrasia cuneata.) The sides of Tongariro are covered with several curious varieties of this family, some of which may prove to be new.

Fam. Cyrtandraceœ.—Waiuatua, (rhabdothamnus solandri.) A beautiful delicate shrub, with small round leaves, and bell-shaped flowers, of an orange color, streaked with purple, much resembling the penstemon.

Fam. Solaneœ.—Poroporo, kohoho, koheuheu, (solanum lacinatum,) a bush sometimes found large enough to be classed amongst trees; it is found occasionally bearing white flowers and lighter green leaves, but in general the flowers are very similar in color to those of the potatoe, and the leaves of a dark sombre hue. The berries are as large as gooseberries, of an orange color, and are commonly eaten. There is a smaller solanum closely resembling the English night-shade in size and flower, which is white; it bears a purple berry, which, with the leaves, are both eaten; its native name is raupeti and remuroa.

Fam. Myoperineœ.—Manawa, (aricennia tomentosa,) the mangrove; it abounds in the north end of the island, where it forms a kind of marine grove, having numbers of oysters page 455 sticking to its roots and branches, but it is not found south of Kawia. Ngaio, (myoporum lœtum,) a glossy-leafed tree, abounding near the sea. In the south it attains a considerable size; the wood is hard and durable; when young it is very ornamental, and valuable as a shelter from the sea air, which seems to suit it the best; it is often three feet in diameter. (—pubescens,) a variety belonging to the Middle Island.

Fam. Verbenaceœ.—Puriri, (vitex littoralis.) This tree is not found south of Kawia: it belongs to the same order as the teak, and seems to require the sea air. The leaf is glossy; the flower much like the anterinum; the wood is of a dark brown color, very close grained and heavy; it is extremely durable, and can only be worked when green. Posts nearly forty years in the ground have been found as fresh as when first put in. This valuable timber is generally much pierced by the grub of a large cerambix.

Fam. Nolanaceœ.—(Dicondra repens).

Fam. Moreaceœ.—(Broussonetia papyrifera.)

Fam. Eupatoriceœ.—Pukapuka, (Brachyglotis repanda,) a handsome shrub; the leaves are very large and white under-neath. When the natives first saw paper, they compared it to these leaves, and hence both it and books in general are called puka puka. Rani, (—rani,—rotundifolia.)

Fam. Juncaceœ.—Kowarawara (astelia Banksii). It grows as an epiphyte, and also in swampy places. (Luzula picta, astelia solandri, juncusmaritimus,—effusus—filiformis).

Fam. Araceœ.—Taro (calidium esculentum). This plant was introduced by the natives when they first came; it is cultivated as an article of food.

Fam. Typhaceœ.—Raupo (typha angustifolia.). The root is edible; the leaves are used in lining and roofing houses.

Fam. Naiadaceœ.—(Potamogeton natans).

Fam. Juncaginaceœ.—(Triglochin flaccidum).

Fam. Graminaceœ.—(Agrostis crinita,—ovata,—rigida,—procera,—conspicua,—œmula,—Billiardieri,—Forsteri,—pilosa,) patiti, (Phalaris canariensis, Danthonia pallida, Bromu Australis, Schenodorus littoralis, Triticum scabrum,—repens, Poa Australis,—imbecilla,—cœspitosa,—Paspalum orbiculare, page 456 Rottboellia uniflora,) moa, (spinifex sericeus,—with a prickly ball of flowers,—avena antartica,) kakaho, toetoe, (arundo Australis). This is an elegant growing plant; it attains a height of about six feet; the flowering stalk is nearly twice that height, terminated by a fine waving plume; it is used to line their houses with, and looks extremely neat. The stalk is called kakaho, the leaf toetoe.

Karetu, (Torresia redolens,) a sweet-scented grass. Of the numerous families of sedges, ferns, &c., the following must suffice:—

Fam. Cyperaceœ.—Toetoe, (Lepidosperma elatior,) a coarse cutting grass; there are twenty other varieties of the same family: a general name for sedges.

Fam. Restiacœ.—Wiwi, (Leptocarpus simplex,) a general name for rushes.

Fam. Polyodiaceœ—Huru huru whenua (Asplenium Lucidum. Falcatum,—polyodon,—obliquum,—obtusatum,—flabellifolium,—bulbiferum,) ota (niphobolus-bicolor).

Raorao, aruhe, (Pteris esculenta,) tuakura, (Dieksonia squarrosa,) ponga, (cyathea dealbata,) korau mamaku, (cyathea medularis). The stem of this fern tree is eaten.

Mouku, paratawiti (marattia elegans). A beautiful fern, with an edible root not unlike the bulbous scales of the white lily.

Fam. Gleicheniaceœ.—Waewaekaka, (Gleichenia hecystophylla,) kopakopa, (Trichomenes reniforme). A beautiful circular-leafed fern, with the fructification on its edges.

Fam. Osmundaceœ.—Mange mange (Lygodium articulatum). A beautiful climbing fern, used in building.

Fam. Ophroglossaceœ.—Ti taranaki (Botychium Australe). A remarkable plant, abundant in the grassy plains. It was formerly eaten.

Fam. Lycopodiaceœ.—(Lycopodium lessonianum,—densum, cernuum,—flagellaria,—laterale,—phlegmaria,—volubile,—d' Urvillœi tmesipteris Forsterii). All the plants belonging to this family are very beautiful. The Jungermannia is a very large family; the Hepaticeœ also, and the Musci, calyptrati, mosses and liver worts, many of which are very beautiful, and page 457 extremely numerous. Several of the fungi are edible. Horses and cows have introduced the English mushroom. Varieties of the truffle and morell are also found. New Zealand is rich in its Algœ, several of them are edible; one kind, rimu, similar to the chondrus crispus, or carrigreen moss, is boiled with the juice of the tupakihi, and the rimuroa, a large tubular variety, is roasted and eaten.

Such is the brief sketch of the New Zealand flora, comprised in the islands named as forming its botanic centre; how far portions of it may be found in the islands to the north of it, still remains to be ascertained. Allowing the New Zealand isles to be the disrupted links of an ancient continental line, we may reasonably expect to find some of the plants in many of the northern islands, wherever there is sufficient elevation to give a similar climate to its own. In corroboration of this idea, three New Zealand plants, have been discovered on the lofty mountain of Kini-balu, in Borneo, under the equator, and these, too, of the most peculiar antarctic, New Zealand and Tasmanian genera, viz., Drapetes, Phyllocladus, and Drimys,* and it remains to be proved whether even the kauri itself, or a variety of it, may not be found even so far south as the south-western coast of New Zealand.

Thus, the wonderful way in which the various floras of our earth blend with each other, clearly establish the harmonious unity of the whole. In Australia, everything blooms in winter; in fact, the seasons are reversed: the trees which retain their foliage in winter, shed it in summer, and the wintry winds, whose dismal howl tells us that summer is past, are there represented by the hot winds of summer, which make the same mournful noise, and have the same parching, withering effect on vegetation as our wintry ones. This is not the case in New Zealand; there the trees, indeed, shed their old leaves in summer; but the forest is ever green, and little difference is perceptible to mark the roll of seasons: an equable climate produces an equable vegetation.

* See Dr. Hooker's Introductory Essay, p. xxxvi.

See Brenner's Journal, who states that he there met with the kauri.