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General Subjects => Alpines => Topic started by: David Lyttle on December 14, 2008, 09:40:55 AM

Title: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: David Lyttle on December 14, 2008, 09:40:55 AM
Is the Booker lurking - here are few little buttercups we stumbled on this weekend.
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: Gerdk on December 14, 2008, 10:30:19 AM
Not only the Booker is lurking - a name please for the inexperienced ones ??? ??? ???. Super plants!

Gerd
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: Maggi Young on December 14, 2008, 04:18:04 PM
OOH! Snowy pictures from the New Zealand Summer....... I believe that for this trip , David Lytttle will have been in the company of Dave Toole, Hugh Wood and Swedish Forunist, Johan Nilson who is travelling in NZ at the moment and who has been helped by Kim Roberts and other kind Forumists and mountain loving folks!! 8)   Hope it wasn't too snowy and cold ?!!


 I think the glorious ranuculus is R. acraeus   ::)
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: Maggi Young on December 14, 2008, 04:23:28 PM
see these pages for more about this truly lovely buttercup........


http://www.srgc.org.uk/smf/index.php?topic=203.msg3825#msg3825

http://www.srgc.org.uk/smf/index.php?topic=161.0
http://www.srgc.org.uk/smf/index.php?topic=240.0


ps.... Ian says he thinks Ranunculus haastii!!
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: ranunculus on December 14, 2008, 06:04:17 PM
Just got back from a Father Christmas 'spectacular' on the Embsay steam railway (at Skipton, North Yorkshire) with our gorgeous little grandson Ollie and have been THRILLED to see these magnificent images, Dave ... beautiful enough to make a grown man grovel in the snow, 'nearly' cute enough to surpass Ollie's face as he spotted Santa entering our railway carriage, rare enough to make me covet them greatly.
May we enquire where these wonderful images were taken, Dave and how far you had to hike to find them?
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: Rob Potterton on December 14, 2008, 10:50:40 PM
David, thank you for posting the photos - the plants are absolutely GORGEOUS. I've been drooling over them all day and been left almost speechless. WOW, WOW and more WOW.
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: t00lie on December 14, 2008, 11:27:09 PM
A few to add to Davids pics above.

A wonderful weekend up on the St Mary's Range --North Otago.

Gerd and others ---the Ranunculus is R.acraeus as Maggi has suggested.

Rightio first pic ---Our overseas visitor ---Johan Nilson from Sweden.

A local --David Lyttle.

Two further pics of the buttercup including a nice sized clump.

View from the top ridge back towards the ski field.

Interesting rock formation.

There were one or two other 'weeds' flowering as well --Aciphylla dobsonii.

No doubt David will have heaps more to follow.

Cheers Dave


Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: Lesley Cox on December 15, 2008, 01:11:02 AM
My God, that fourth picture, the "clump" is astounding. Almost like bedding out!!!
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: ranunculus on December 15, 2008, 07:15:55 AM
Absolutely stunning, Dave ... very interested to know the details of your hike into St. Mary's Range, please - i.e. distances involved, heights attained, etc.    Could a very old Englishman ever hope to see these gorgeous plants in the flesh?   :)
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: Lvandelft on December 15, 2008, 07:51:29 AM
Gorgeous pictures of 'weeds' . Thank you for showing these David and Dave.
Looking out for more.


My God, that fourth picture, the "clump" is astounding. Almost like bedding out!!!
And all these almost in your backyard Lesley! ;D
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: t00lie on December 15, 2008, 08:43:00 AM
Hello Lesley/Cliff/Luit

Yes my thoughts as well when i first viewed the Ranunculus.

I understand clumping is one of the distinguishing features that sets it apart from R .haastii.

There were one two other similar sized plants, and many many smaller, however speaking late on Saturday night to Hugh Wood,(who has had an association with the colony for over 20 +years),flowering has been more impressive in the past and interestingly the plants have moved east over time across the scree away from the fine rock material.
 
A four wheel drive vehicle is required to reach the lodge on the Awakino ski field --St Marys Range.Further on from the top huts,(where vehicles are parked),the plants can be reached by foot in an hour and a half.

I'm not sure of your age Cliff (i'm too polite to enquire--wink),however a number in our group who were in their 70s reached the buttercups and still managed a hike the following morning.

If i remember correctly the plants are growing around about the 1600 + metre mark---David has some GPS readings so when he 'posts' next he may have more precise details.
 
Cheers dave.


  

 
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: David Lyttle on December 15, 2008, 09:28:31 AM
Greetings All,

I see Dave got home safely and on to the internet instead of cutting hedges as he said he was going to do.
This particular trip was under the auspices of the Botanical Society of Otago and was organised by me insofar as it was organised by anyone. There were 17 participants and we were fortunate to have Hugh Wood whom some of you will know with us. Hugh has an unparalleled knowledge of the botany of the area an was able to guide us to many plants that we would not have found otherwise.

The St Marys Range runs roughly southeast- northwest on the south side of the Waitaki River. The predominant rock type is graywacke which forms extensive screes unlike the schist rock found further south in Central Otago. The rock type supports a different suite of plants than those we are accustomed to seeing on the main Central otago Ranges with a number of local endemics and some undescribed species. The peaks rise to about 2000 m with the main ridges running about 1700-1800 metres.

So in respect to your question Cliff, there is about 3-4 hours walking to get to the plants from the skifield access partly on 4WD tracks and the remainder over boulder fields.

Picture 1 shows the scree slope where the main colony of Ranunculus acraeus is located. The plants are located below the snowbank to the left of the rock outcrops running down on the right hand side of the picture. Altitude is 1800 -1850 metres.

Picture 2 shows another area of Ranunculus habitat.

Picture 3 shows Dave descending. He is the little orange dot.

Picture 4 shows the ridge crest of the St Marys Range. If you look closely you can see the Aciphylla dobsonii plants growing on the slope in the foreground.

Picture 5 shows Dave taking his ease amongst the buttercups. Note the orange jacket and purple longjohns.

Picture 6 is of Johan
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: David Lyttle on December 15, 2008, 09:40:39 AM
Cliff, the discrepancy between my time estimates and Daves is that I am assuming you will want to go home and not  remain there forever. ;D
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: Ian Y on December 15, 2008, 10:10:39 AM
Thanks to the two Daves for sharing this field trip - the plants and landscapes are awesome.

It does not seem like it is almost a year since I was out in the field with you both and these posts make it seem like I am still there with you and our young friend Johan who I know from experience will be having the time of his life.

Please keep them coming.
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: Gerdk on December 15, 2008, 12:14:02 PM
Really don't know what to admire more - plants, landscape or the colourful best dressed man on earth.  :o :o :o Thanks a lot for these pics.

Gerd
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: ranunculus on December 15, 2008, 01:50:17 PM
Dave and David,
Many thanks for these stunning images, for the requested information and for the reassurance that my aorta, my lungs, my knees and my dwindling stamina reserves won't be tested to the absolute limits. If seventy year old visitors can access these magnificent screes, then there is even a chance for little Mrs. B. !!!  Ouch!
Now all we have to do is plan ... and save ... and train ... and save ...
Would these plants co-exist with the equally stunning (but less dramatic) Lignocarpa carnosula, Stellaria roughii and Lobelia roughii?
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: Luc Gilgemyn on December 15, 2008, 02:06:12 PM
Amazing pictures David and Dave !!!  :o
Nice of you two that you went through all that trouble getting up that mountain just to show us these....  ;)

Honestly - some of the best ever R. pictures I ever saw !!
Thanks a lot for showing !
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: David Nicholson on December 15, 2008, 02:32:19 PM
Thanks for posting these folks, smashing plants. I see Dave Toole is still pushing the boundaries of sartorial elegence, and to me David it looked a bit parkie for shorts!
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: t00lie on December 15, 2008, 09:36:54 PM
Too wet here this morning so the hedge cutting is on hold.

David N
The following pic is of the state of my purple tights at the end of the trip--(sorry my camera is showing them as blue.)

What David L hasn't mentioned is that he ran into a problem while we were up high,where a large part of the front of his sole started to come away from the boot.For a while he took on the look of a person wearing a flipper--(over sized leg action in trying to lift the foot well above the rocks at every 2nd step !!!--hehe).
Although a serious situation we couldn't help but have a giggle.

Anyway as my pants were 'past it' we cut both legs to use as a sleeve over the boot and sole.
Using a bit of Kiwi ingenuity a flat rock was firstly used to twist the material a number of times and then wedged on the side of the boot to form ,(excuse the pun--smile),a 'tight' bandage.

It was so successful only one sleeve was required.

Unfortunately on the flip side of matters the clothing remanents are only fit for burning so i guess my sartorial elegance is at an end--sob!!!!.Wink.

Dave
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: ian mcenery on December 15, 2008, 11:18:08 PM
So sad well RIP Dave's trues. Bet it will be difficult to find replacements particularly in such a subtle colour  ;) ::) ;D

By the way David and Dave great piccies loved the buttercup and the mountains. Thanks
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: David Lyttle on December 16, 2008, 08:24:56 AM
Not withstanding appearances, Dave T is a true gentleman, (a Southern man, but we wont go down that track- there was a story told about pig dogs at one stage during the weekend) sacrificing his longjohns to help a mate.

These boots were not made for walking (Note the brand Asolo- I hope this gets lots of hits with Google)
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: David Lyttle on December 16, 2008, 10:02:10 AM
Cliff,

Stellaria roughii and Lobelia roughii were both present. I hope to post the pictures shortly. Lignocarpa carnulosa is not found this far south.

Gerd,

I have a picture of a violet growing at 1700 metres. Again I will post it when I have processed it. In the meantime here is tonights offering.

Picture1 is Aciphylla scott-thomsonii growing amongst the tussock. This species is New Zealands largest Aciphylla and favours wetter sites than Aciphylla aurea which is also present on the St Marys Range. You can see the water capturing capacity of the large snow tussocks - they are capturing water from the fog.

Picture 2 is Dracophyllum pronum. It is a sprawling shrub that is common on drier sites in the tussock grassland.

Picture 3 is a closeup of the flowers of Dracophyllum pronum.

Picture 4 is Epilobium crassum growing on scree.

Picture 5 is Gaultheria depressa var novae zelandiae. It is prostrate and creeping. It is common in tussock grassland.

Picture 6 is another Gaultheria which has me a little puzzled. It is a small shrub with larger flowers than Gautheria depressa shown above.

Picture 7 is Mysine nummularifolia showing the flowers. This species has attractive bronze foliage and purple berries ( the same colour as Dave T's longjohns)

Picture 8 is Kelleria dieffenbachii ( or maybe it is Kellaria villosa)

Picture 9 is Pimelea oreophila. This plant was flowering in profusion all through the tussock grassland.

Pictur 10 is again Pimelea oreophila. This particular plant has pinkish flowers.
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: ranunculus on December 16, 2008, 11:04:18 AM
Wonderful, David ... can't wait for the rest ... many thanks once again for taking the time and effort to resize and post.
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: Maggi Young on December 16, 2008, 11:08:40 AM
We were so pleased to hear the Hugh Wood was going to be accompanying "the Daves" and Johan on this trip.... we in Scotland are especially proud of Hugh, born in Aberdeenshire, who has devoted many years to climbing the mountains of his new country, New Zealand, plant spotting and photographing as he goes.... and without whom we would be in ignorance of the captivating  Ranunculus acraeus ...which is surely the MOST gorgeous buttercup  8)


I think we can be sure now of what "the Daves" have on their Santa wish list.... boots and long johns.....I do hope Santa is listening..... these great guys deserve a reward!
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: kiwi on December 17, 2008, 02:05:19 AM
Awesome read Dave and David, it has inspired me to get up for a look this weekend, I think I'll revisit the R.haastii pactch we found in Jan. do you think they will be in flower now?
Cheers,
Doug.
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: kiwi on December 17, 2008, 06:38:55 AM
Just to jog your memory.....
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: t00lie on December 17, 2008, 08:04:07 AM
Hello Doug

Great to hear from you.

"I think I'll revisit the R.haastii patch we found in Jan. do you think they will be in flower now?".

I'd say there is a good chance ---at least you'll know where to find them.

Cheers Dave
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: Lvandelft on December 17, 2008, 09:32:07 AM
Beautiful pictures Doug!
Would you mind giving us some names?
Most of NZ. plants will stay unknown for us here in the N.H. :(
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: David Lyttle on December 17, 2008, 10:36:21 AM
Thanks everyone for your generous comments

These pictures were taken as we were heading up the hill with Hugh Wood. Hugh was setting a cracking pace up the front with the rest the party straggling along behind.

Picture 1 shows the mist clearing from  the saddle at 1700 metres where we were heading. There is an old 4WD track to the saddle but at the moment it would be impassable. The saddle is above the left end of the large snow patch. Hugh is one of the two figures in the picture.

Picture 2 is a small plant of Aciphylla dobsonii growing in a blocky scree. By this time the mist had cleared  the strong light made conditions for photography less than ideal.

Picture 3 is another picture of Aciphylla dobsonii showing the flowers and Picture 4 is a closeup of the flowers.

Picture 5 and 6 are of the small buttercup Ranunculus gracilipes. This species was growing in profusion in the turfy bogs anywhere where there was water flowing.

Picture 7 shows an amazing plant of Melicytus alpinus (Violaceae) growing on an outcrop of shattered graywacke at 1700 metres. The plant is surviving by growing out of the cracks in the rock. Many of the branches are dead because of the harsh conditions but the plant appears to be thriving. you can see this in picture 8 which is a closeup view of the branches.

Picture 9 is of a flowers on another plant of Melicytus alpinus taken lower down. The higher plant had not yet flowered.

Picture 10 shows two species of Anisotome. Anisotme flexuosa is on the left with the fine hair tipped leave segments while Anisotome aromatica is on the right. The fruits of Anisotome flexuosa are well developed while Anisotome aromatica is still flowering.
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: Maggi Young on December 17, 2008, 11:35:15 AM
Welcome, Doug, we can't have enough Kiwis and their photos on this Forum... many of us are greatly interested in your native flora. 8)


The photos on these threads are a great joy! Thanks to you all.
David, that  last pic of the two little Anisotomes are a revelation to me.... really little chaps, aren't they?
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: Gerdk on December 17, 2008, 12:43:55 PM
Gerd,
I have a picture of a violet growing at 1700 metres. Again I will post it when I have processed it. In the meantime here is tonights offering.


Dear David,
Thanks a lot for ALL your interesing pics, especially for those of the Melicytis.
Will a 'real' Viola follow?

Gerd
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: David Lyttle on December 17, 2008, 07:19:13 PM
Hi Gerd,

There was a little Viola growing there, Viola cunninghamii but I did not take a photo of it as I was on my way to the Ranunculus site at the time. I will try to rectify this as it is relatively common even in lowland situations

Maggi,

There are a number of small umbelliferous herbs found along with Anisotome aromatica and Anisotome flexuosa in the alpine zone These include Gingidia decipiens, Gingidia baxterae and Oreomyrrhis colensoi and can be difficult to sort out in the field unless you look at them closely. There are a number of larger Anisotome species that are larger more robust plants such as Anisotome haastii and Anisotome capillifolia that Ian might remember seeing on Mt Burns last January. I will put in a close up of the flexuosa aromatic pair so you can see the differences more clearly. There is also Anisotome imbricata which forms a cushion and would be a very nice plant to grow particularly var imbricata.
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: Maggi Young on December 17, 2008, 08:26:41 PM
David, Ian remembers every minute of your trips with excitement and fondness.

Thank you for the close up of those wee chaps.... very nice little plants indeed.... I know nothing of the Gingidias you mention.
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: Peter Korn, Sweden on December 19, 2008, 07:15:02 AM
Johan
I see you have a good time and I hope you take a lot of pictures. Iīm looking foreward to see all of them.
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: ian mcenery on December 19, 2008, 10:30:26 AM
David looking at those boots well I agree at that price they should be ashamed. I bought a pair of Scarpas shown on the link below about five years ago. These unlike a lot of so called mountain boots are made in Italy always considered in my mountaineering days as the maker of the finest boots. Not many made there now though and certainly not in leather. These have been to the Dolomites twice, Switzerland, Crete and to the Himalayas as well as being used for hill walking once a week. Fortunately Pam insists on cleaning and polishing these so they still look like new. 8)  ::)

http://www.snowandrock.com/Department/Footwear/Hiking+Boots/M+New+SL+X+SCA0006.htm (http://www.snowandrock.com/Department/Footwear/Hiking+Boots/M+New+SL+X+SCA0006.htm)
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: David Lyttle on December 19, 2008, 10:47:44 AM
Following on from my last posting we reached a the saddle above the skifield. It is very barren with extensive screes. The most conspicuous plant on these screes is Aciphylla dobsonii shown in picture1 and 2.

There is a little island of green vegetation just below the saddle where we stopped for lunch. It is right of centre in picture 3. The Ida Range is in the distance (centre) extending northwards to the Hawkdun Range (right).

Picture 4 shows various members of the party at the lunch stop. From the left Hugh Wood , Janet Ledingham, Joy Comrie.

Pictures 5 is a view of the vegetation in the shrub island. In the foreground is Celmisia aff durietzii and Hebe pinguifolia.

Pictures 6, 7 and 8 are of Celmisia ramulosa showing its shrubby growth form. It is just on the point of flowering with a few flowers out.

Picture 9 shows the alpine moss Racomitrium pruinosum growing amongst the shrubs. Also present is the alpine lichen Thamnolia vermicularis. This latter species is also found in the Northern Hemisphere.

Picture 10 is a flowering plant of the Celmisia sps. It has a tighter growth form than Celmisia durietzii but ressemble Celmisia densiflora in other respects. Celmisia densiflora is present in the grassland at lower elevations but has a broader leaf.
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: David Lyttle on December 19, 2008, 11:07:11 AM
Ian, I have had the boots for quite a while- I originally bought them in the US for a trip to Baffin Island so they have crossed the Arctic Circle. On that occasion they lost a fair bit of rubber. I have used them infrequently since as they are a bit stiff for tramping. I thought as my climbing days are fairly much over there was no point not using them and it would save me having to buy a new pair of tramping boots. The outcome however is that I still need to buy a new pair of boots for the summer.

Here is the picture of Celmisia ramulosa missing from the previous post.
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: hadacekf on December 19, 2008, 08:29:45 PM
Thank you all for the interesting pics, I like especially the small Aciphyllas. Cotula atrata and Craspedia incana is perfect.
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: Maggi Young on December 19, 2008, 09:45:19 PM
Thank you all for the interesting pics, I like especially the small Aciphyllas. Cotula atrata and Craspedia incana is perfect.
I agree, Franz....and  I think the reason I so like these plants  is because they are quite happy to grow over here in our gardens! :D
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: mark smyth on December 19, 2008, 11:33:48 PM
Just found this thread. What stunning buttercups at the start. Have they been IDd? Why cant ours look like that?
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: Maggi Young on December 19, 2008, 11:50:26 PM
Mark, they are Ranunculus acreaus.... look back and follow the links, too, to find out more.
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: David Lyttle on December 22, 2008, 12:05:18 PM
In this post I am showing some pictures of the true scree specialists. Hugh took us way down the hill across a big creek and up on to a gravel mound where most of these plants were growing. It was a fairly energetic descent and ascent so only a few of us elected to go. We were well rewarded for our efforts.

Picture 1 shows the steep ground and broken screes typical of this side of the range. There is a little tarn tucked up in the fold of the hill slightly right of centre.

Picture 2 shows a little creek cascading through the boulders and screes.

Picture 3 is the black flowered daisy Leptinella atrata. This plant is quite widespread on the St Marys Range.

Picture 4 shows Haastia sinclairii in one of its several iterations. None of the plants we saw were very large; all had only a small number of rosettes.

Picture 5 is Raoulia petriensis. It was not very common here. Its  main stronghold is on the Ida Range further south but it is also found further north across the Waitaki River on the Kirkliston Range.

Picture 6 Raoulia youngii. It is generally found on the high exposed ridges and plateaus above 1600 metres.

Pictures 7 and 8 are of Lobelia roughii just beginning to emerge through the scree. It is very easy to walk right past these plants as they are difficult to spot on the scree.

Picture 9 is Myosotis traversii var cantabrica. The plant is still in growth and has yet to flower.

Picture 10 is taken back up on the saddle late in the day with the mist returning. A considerable amount of moisture is delivered to the range via these mists which enables the plants to survive on the screes better than one would expect considering their barren nature. The third ridge over is Mt Bitterness where Dave Toole and Johan had gone this particlar morning.
According to a geologist friend who has worked extensively in the area it is aptly named.
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: ranunculus on December 22, 2008, 12:31:29 PM
Beautiful, David ... beautiful.
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: Lvandelft on December 22, 2008, 12:37:25 PM
Wonderful pictures David. This last series is almost unbeatable with such beauties!
You never can show too many of them!
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: David Lyttle on December 23, 2008, 10:30:12 AM
Hi Cliff, Hi Luit,

I am getting towards the end of pictures from the St Marys Range but I have a few more that I hope may be of interest, My Christmas social obligations are conflicting with posting so you will have to bear with me as I post in dribs and drabs.

Cliff, we found this little creek at 1700 metres that was fringed with the little buttercup Ranunculus gracilipes- See Picture 1. There was a second smaller buttercup Ranunculus maculatus present. This was the first time I have seen it. I looked for illustrations and eventually found one in Hugh Wilson's book Wild Plants of Mt Cook National Park. I surmise that it is not collected very often, not necessarily due to rarity but because it is inconspicuous when it is not in flower. Picture 2 is Ranunculus maculatus and also shows the larger flowers of Ranunculus gracilipes.

Another plant that was common in the wet turf was this Raoulia. It is called Raoulia hectori var mollis. It exact relationship to Raoulia hectori is not entirely clear but the cushions are softer and seem to be confined to boggy sites. Raoulia hectori is common in the nearby cushion field on the drier more exposed sites. There are differences in the shape of the leaves as well. Picture 3 is of Raoulia hectori var mollis.

Pictures 4,5,6 and 7 are of Chionohebe densifolia. This species was growing in profusion on this site and was in full flower.

Picture 8 is a cushion of Kellaria villosa in full flower

Picture 9 and 10 are of Chionohebe thomsonii - I have had great difficulty getting good photos of this plant - it seems to be camera shy!
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: Luc Gilgemyn on December 23, 2008, 10:41:24 AM
More wonders from NZ nature David !   :)Fascinating pictures - the Chionohebes are stunning !
I shall gladly bear with you for more dribs and drabs...  ;D
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: Lvandelft on December 23, 2008, 11:55:31 AM
David, when you would have made a picture of Chionohebe thomsonii without flowers
I would not have seen any difference with the Raoulia hectori var mollis.
They look exactly the same on the pictures.??
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: ranunculus on December 23, 2008, 03:07:12 PM

Cliff, we found this little creek at 1700 metres that was fringed with the little buttercup Ranunculus gracilipes- See Picture 1. There was a second smaller buttercup Ranunculus maculatus present. This was the first time I have seen it. I looked for illustrations and eventually found one in Hugh Wilson's book Wild Plants of Mt Cook National Park. I surmise that it is not collected very often, not necessarily due to rarity but because it is inconspicuous when it is not in flower. Picture 2 is Ranunculus maculatus and also shows the larger flowers of Ranunculus gracilipes.

Many thanks for introducing me to R. maculatus, David ... don't think it gets a mention in any of my reference books.

Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: David Lyttle on December 24, 2008, 09:10:07 AM
Continuing on from my last posting beside Chionohebe densifolia and Chionohebe thomsonii the hybrid between the two species was present as well. The hybrid is known as Pygmea armstrongii. The hybrid was given this name before the genus Pygmea was revised and several of the species transferred to a new genus Chionohebe. Now it is orphaned as it was never formally renamed. It is intermediate between the two parental species though as you can see from the pictures there is a certain amount of variation present.

Pictures 1 and 2 Chionohebe thomsonii.

Pictures 3,4,5,6 and 7 are the hybrid Pygmea armstrongii.

Picture 8 is Dracophyllum muscoides. This species is the the most common Dracophyllum found in high altitude cushion fields throughout Otago.

Picture 9 is another common cushion plant Phyllachne colensoi. It tends to prefer damper sites than the previous species.

Pictur 10 is a little bitter cress , Cardamine corymbosa. It is found in boggy turfs beside streams and is very hard to find unless it is flowering
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: ranunculus on December 24, 2008, 09:39:21 AM
The pygmea is delightful, David ... but, of course, they ALL are!
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: David Lyttle on December 24, 2008, 10:23:41 AM
Luit , If you look closely at the rosettes of the Chionohebe you will see the leaves are covered in long fine hairs but maybe this is not so obvious in the photos. The flowers are of course distinct - the plants are quite distinct in the field. However I am going to show another Chionohebe look alike.

Picture 1 is a tiny forget-me-not, Myosotis pygmaea var glauca.

Picture 2 is a little cushion Myosotis probably an unamed species. It resembles Myosotis pulvinaris but the flowers are tiny at 2mm in diameter. I was walking past it thinking it was Chionohebe thomsonii but Johan who has shaper eyes noticed the flowers resembled those of Myosotis pygmaea and so the connection was made.

Picture 3 is the two of us looking at a Chionohebes. It was taken by John Douglas whom some of you may know.

Picture 4 is Lycopodium australianum a small alpine clubmoss.

The final site we visited was the Black Tor which was obscured by the mist on the day. I putting a picture taken on a previous visit to show this feature. I had found a colony of Stellaria aff roughii there on my previous visit and wanted to locate it again. Picture 5 is the Black Tor. The tor was a little island of vegetation amongst some uncompromising screes. It must stick up above the snowbanks in the winter allowing a greater variety of plants to grow. The black colour is due to the lichens growing on the rock. One is a species of Umbilicaria shown in picture 6 and the second black species found here is Neuropogon ciliatus. Dave Toole did not enjoy the little scramble down to the tor. However seeing the plants made him more cheerful.

Picture 7 shows a little garden clinging to the rock; Species are snow tussock, Chionochloa rigida, Hebe pinguifolia, Celmisia sp aff durietzii, Leucogenes grandiceps and a small tussock Poa colensoi.

Picture 8 and 9 show Stellaria aff roughii. This form differs from the more typical form as it grows in extensive mat rather than in small isolated clump. In picture 8 you can see the small rhizomes that grow through the scree and picture 9 shows the new seasons growth that is just beginning to emerge from under the stones.
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: David Lyttle on December 24, 2008, 11:01:01 AM
Hi Cliff, It is Christmas Eve here so seasons greetings to you and all other forumists who are logged on. This posting is the final one for the St Marys Range: I have kept the fauna for last. Those of a nervous disposition might like to log off at this stage.

Picture 1 is the speargrass weevil Lyperobius barbarae named after the Dunedin entomologist Barbara Barratt. Its host plant is Aciphylla dobsonii.

Picture 2 is two grasshoppers that I think are Brachchapsis nivalis. I will let someone else explain the literary allusion to those for whom English is a second language.

Pictures 3 and 4 are of a large active wolf spider that is very common on the screes. I presume it is black because it helps it to absorb heat. In the second picture the individual is still
torpid as it still has the dew on it.

Picture 5 is a male alpine weta - I do not know the species name. They live under rocks and come out at night though occasionally they are out during the day.

Pictures 6 and 7 are of the female. You can tell the females because they stop and pose for their pictures - the males are much more reluctant to have their photographs taken. I managed to photograph two females but only one male.

I have reattached Picture 2 as it did not appear to have loaded
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: ranunculus on December 24, 2008, 11:21:09 AM
Merry Christmas David ... Stellaria aff. roughii on Christmas Eve - what more could a guy want? (Don't anyone dare to answer that please)!
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: Maggi Young on December 24, 2008, 05:14:15 PM
Thought I would give you a little Christmas Eve treat by showing you our plant of Stellaria roughii from some years ago...looking pretty fab, as it happens.... cannot find the pic though, perhaps it was a slide..... it took quite a few years to grow the plant to about eight inches across, tight and flowering well... and must confess that a few years after the photo, it was dead. :P :'(
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: Ross Graham on December 24, 2008, 09:00:45 PM
Hi David,
Nice photos  :)
The celmisia aff duretzeii looks a bit like spectabilis the way the leaves are spear shaped. The flowers look like duretezeii though the way they are kind of delicate.
Its a bit hard to tell from the photo. I guess the tomentum under the leaves doesnt look like spectabalis. Were there lots of it? Im sure there must have been or you would have assumed it was a hybrid.
The Myosotis is interesting too. It just shows how much speciation is going on in New Zealand alpine flora. Every mountain range has different Celmisia species which are sometimes quite similar to other species.
Iv only cut pine trees down on the St Marys Range so I am not familar with what alpines grow there.
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: Senecio 2 on December 26, 2008, 03:06:54 PM
While it is still December a few comments and pics from an earlier, 4th December, field trip. Starting with one of the last plants seen on a wild, wet and windy day, Stellaria roughii.

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This was sighted on the scree to the west of Island Saddle, a site left to last on this day. Unfortunately by this time the weather was really turning nasty and we had to beat a hasty retreat before finding the other scree plants in this area. We had travelled as far north as possible by road at this time of year on the Hanmer to St. Arnaud road. Our beloved DOC (department of conservation) had, in their usual spirit of opening up our wonderful country, decided to close the road at Hellís Gate until 28th December. In past years proceeding past this point was subject only to a toll being paid to complete the trip. Fortunately the Helichrysum there were well worth a visit, showing a full range of species and hybrid forms. There was evidence of H. coralloides to H. microphyllum and every possible combination between.

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Even though relatively early in the season the highlight of the trip was the wonderful display of penwipers, Notothlaspi rosulatum, both in numbers and the various stages of growth from early buds to full flower. First the usual form.

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And a not so common form with green leaves.

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They were even present in small groups as opposed to the usual single specimens. These in bud.

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Twins in flower.

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Finally a close-up of a plant in bud.

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Noticeable in association with the penwipers, the screes had a great number of young Wahlenbergia cartilaginea plants surrounding older parents, a good omen for increased seed later. Back to plants on the saddle itself, Raoulia grandiflora,

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Gnaphalium nitidulum, one of our rarer plants, with many young specimens reappearing on the bare spaces left where earlier plants have been burnt off in successive dry years.

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Certainly a rewarding day trip with all plants no more than 200m from the road. No need for the walking heroics of the St Marys Range / Awakino Skifield, which is just as well as my companion for the day turned 83 last Monday.












Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: Maggi Young on December 26, 2008, 03:16:42 PM
Quote
While it is still December a few comments and pics from an earlier, 4th December, field trip. Starting with one of the last plants seen on a wild, wet and windy day, Stellaria roughii.


Welcome Senecio2.... is that you, Stuart??!!
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: Ian Y on December 26, 2008, 03:24:59 PM
Here is the picture of our plant now deceased of Stellaria roughii , grown from seed collected in the Cragieburn Range and sown in August 1989.
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: ranunculus on December 26, 2008, 04:11:18 PM
Oh boy, what a Boxing Day treat ... penwipers and a perfectly cultivated stellaria!  Many thanks Senecio2 (welcome) and Ian and Maggi.
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: David Lyttle on December 26, 2008, 09:22:50 PM
Ross,

The St Marys Range Celmisia is nothing like spectabilis. Hugh Wood recorded it as Celmisia aff durietzii but it does not entire conform to that species. In habit it resembles Celmisia densiflora but again is not that species. It also has some features of brevifolia and angustifolia. The leaves are very sticky on both surfaces. It is the predominant form on the St Marys Range screes though Celmisia densifolia and I think Celmisia angustifolia occur lower down. New Zealand alpines are of relatively recent origin and are still actively evolving each on its own mountain range which are akin to islands as each one is isolated from its neighbour.

Ian and Maggi,

It is a magnificent Stellaria; domestication in Scotland must suit the species. If you planted in the garden it might overun the place like chickweed ( The St Marys form could well run wild).  If I find some seed this summer I will send you some.

Cantabrians have such an easy life, scree plants within 200 metres of the road no tramping for hours/days into a mountain fastness to see alpines
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: kiwi on December 27, 2008, 06:52:11 AM
Finally got up the back today, too late for the buttercups, but here are some other shots.
Ill go find my alpine bible to give the correct spelling of names.
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: Luc Gilgemyn on December 27, 2008, 11:00:40 AM
Some great shots there Doug ! Thanks for getting "up the back" for us - better late than never !  ;D
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: t00lie on December 27, 2008, 08:36:07 PM
Doug
nice shots of some of the flora on Mt Hutt.
The Ranunculus haastii in seed particularly looks yummy.



[quote from Ian Y link=topic=2785.msg66402#msg66402 date=1230305099]
"Here is the picture of our plant now deceased of Stellaria roughii , grown from seed collected in the Cragieburn Range and sown in August 1989."
[/quote]

Scottie ---As already mentioned a wonderful sized specimen of Stellaria roughii ----certainly as i wandered the screes up country yesterday there was nothing matching it.
Saw quite a few with buds but nothing in bloom.

Not so for Celmisia philocremna --i counted 5 medium sized plants each with more than 20 stalks at various stages of flowering so it's going to be one of the better seasons .

Just a couple of pics from yesterdays excursion.

Cheers dave.
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: kiwi on December 28, 2008, 07:20:45 AM
Couple more shots of Mt Hutt yesterday,
An 'alpine hopper'
Raoulia eximea
Ranunculus crithmifolius?
Not sure, please could someone name this for me?

I know the last picture is totally off the subject but I spent an hour and a half haulling this giant ray in this morning and got this great shot after I cut it free. I know someone out there will appreciate its beauty.
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: David Lyttle on December 28, 2008, 10:12:48 AM
Hi Doug,

Names of the plants in your first post are;
1 Ranunculus haastii
2 Celmisia angustifolia ( as far as I can tell but I may be wrong on this one)
3 Helichrysum intermedium
4 Aciphylla scott-thomsonii
5 Bulbinella angustifolia
6 and 7 Celmisia spectabilis var magnifica

It is interesting that Celmisia angustifolia and Celmisia spectabilis have turned up following the discussion about the unidentified Celmisia from the St Marys Range on my earlier posting.

On your second posting the Ranunculus is indeed crithmifolius - it is a very cryptic plant and you can be standing on top of it before you see it.
The unidentified plant is Anaphalioides bellidioides formerly known as Helichrysum bellidioides. You will find it under this name in most of the botanical reference books. It is a very common plant and is quite variable.
Hope this helps
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: kiwi on December 28, 2008, 07:36:20 PM
Cheers David, I'm finding it hard get names, especially from a description in my limited reference books. Could you suggest a good book or two I should track down with photographs/pictures to help with identification?
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: Lesley Cox on December 28, 2008, 09:38:44 PM
Yes, to R. crithmifolius. Well unless David says differently of course! :)
Title: Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
Post by: David Lyttle on December 29, 2008, 01:23:59 AM
Hi Doug,

The best book that is currently available is " Wild Plants of Mount Cook National Park " by Hugh Wilson. It is good for most of Canturbury.
 
If you can find a second hand copy " New Zealand Alpine Plants" by Alan Mark and Nancy Adams is well worth having.  It is no longer in print and there are no plans to reprint it. The 4th edition published in 1995 is the most recent.  A lot of the names are no longer current but you can probably find someone who will emend them for you.