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Author Topic: New Zealand Field trips March 2011  (Read 1883 times)

David Lyttle

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New Zealand Field trips March 2011
« on: April 01, 2011, 01:18:24 PM »
Now that the month is over I will post some pictures from an outing on the 30th March to the Lammerlaw Range inland from Dunedin. It is a high rolling plateau covered in snow tussock (Chionochloa rigida) and is an important water catchment for Dunedin City. At this time of the year most of the flowering is finished apart from a few gentians that were struggling on. We had a fine calm day which has be rare lately.

1 Lammerlaw tops showing tussock grassland interspersed with wetland bogs

2 Looking over bogs with open pools. The are adjacent the pools is very wet and becomes better drained and dry up the slopes where the tussock grows There are distinct vegetational zones depending on the amount of water present.

3 Hebe imbricata (syn Hebe poppelwelli)

4 Close up of branches of Hebe imbricata Note prominent veins on the leaves which is a diagnostic feature for this species

5 Hebe hectori subsp demissa (this particular plant was formerly known as  Hebe subulata as it was considered distinct species)

6 Close up of branches of Hebe hectori subsp demissa Note the prominent mucro on the tips of the leaves. This is not present in the more typical forms of Hebe hectori

7 Celmisia argentea An open cushion of this species showing individual rosettes

8 A small Dracophyllum species growing in a cushion of Donatia novae-zelandiae

9 Epilobium pernitens growing on damp peat

10 A late flowering Ranunculus gracilipes with Epilobium pernitens
« Last Edit: April 01, 2011, 01:24:25 PM by David Lyttle »
David Lyttle
Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, South Island ,
New Zealand.

Paddy Tobin

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Re: New Zealand Field trips March 2011
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2011, 06:10:06 PM »
Quite an amount of interest in what, at first glance,  might appear a barren area.

Those celmisias look as though they were planted out in organised rows, a coincidence of nature.

Paddy
Paddy Tobin, Waterford, Ireland

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Maggi Young

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Re: New Zealand Field trips March 2011
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2011, 06:59:44 PM »
The tiny rosettes of the mats of C. argentea are very neatly arranged, aren't they?
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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Hoy

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Re: New Zealand Field trips March 2011
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2011, 08:30:53 PM »
Exciting terrain and plants!
Trond Hoy, gardening on the rainy west coast of Norway.

David Lyttle

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Re: New Zealand Field trips March 2011
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2011, 10:54:07 PM »
Hi Paddy, Maggi, Trond,

It is a fascinating area: the vegetation is very diverse with the main interest in the bogs. The tusscock on the drier slopes tends to shade out any plants that might grow under it. The other factor influencing the vegetation is the snow as in some sites snowbanks might persist for a long as December.

1 A New Zealand falcon, These birds can be very aggressive when nesting but this one was just curious. It flew down from behind me to take a good look: they are completely silent and perched on the Hebe so it could keep an eye on me.

2. Dead interloper A cabbage white butterfly out of its comfort zone

3 Hebe odora, procumbent form with more Celmisia argentea Usually theis specie forms an upright shrub like the one the falcon is perched on

4 Anisotome imbricata var prostrata Lacks the hairy leaves of Anisotome imbricata var imbricata which is a plant of the open cushion field, This variety grows in bogs

5 Geum uniflorum This was growing on a site that would have been a very deep snowbank. It was an unexpected find as it is generally a plant found further west in Fiordland

6 Montia sessiliflora  (was Claytonia australasica and then Neopaxia australasica) very similar in appearance to the Northern hemisphere  Claytonias)

7 Gentianella bellidifolia grows on drier better drained sites than the next species Gentianella amabilis, The latter species was considered to be a reduced environmental form of Gentianella bellidifolia by some botanists but now I am pleased to say they are considered to be distinct species

8,9,10 Gentianella amabilis This very attractive small gentian is confined to very wet sites - these ones were growing in a spaghnum bog. It is really a distinctive plant with generally single flowers and mottled leaves. Seeing them in the field there is little doubt that they are different species.

David Lyttle
Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, South Island ,
New Zealand.

Hoy

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Re: New Zealand Field trips March 2011
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2011, 11:11:51 PM »
David, very fascinating! Here all Gentiana/Gentianella are a kind of blue. Geum is a familiar genus but G uniflorum is totally unknown to me! Seems i have to visit one day ;D
In fact, my youngest daughter is visiting South Island these days. I think she and her friends are in the area of Timaru (Peel Forest) now! Wish I were there too!
Trond Hoy, gardening on the rainy west coast of Norway.

David Lyttle

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Re: New Zealand Field trips March 2011
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2011, 10:08:04 AM »
Trond,

All the mainland species of Gentianella in New Zealand are white though some have purple or pink colouration in the veins.  Some of the subantarctic Island species are highly coloured with rose pink or purple colouration. No true blues that you would associate with European gentians.

Here is a picture of Geum uniflorum in flower taken on Mt Burns which in Fiordland on the western side of the South Island.
David Lyttle
Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, South Island ,
New Zealand.

Hoy

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Re: New Zealand Field trips March 2011
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2011, 12:08:10 PM »
G uniflorum is a very showy plant, David. Reminds me of a refined form of Rubus chamaemorus ;D
Trond Hoy, gardening on the rainy west coast of Norway.

Lesley Cox

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Re: New Zealand Field trips March 2011
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2011, 11:04:16 PM »
How wonderful to have the falcon come so close. 8)
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

 


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