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Author Topic: NZ Field trips January 2007  (Read 23518 times)

Lesley Cox

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NZ Field trips January 2007
« on: January 02, 2007, 09:34:19 PM »
Our day yesterday was interesting, if damp, though as much for good food and drink, and a trip to McRae's Flat where there is a massive gold mining project, as for plants.

Our first stop was to let the dog have a run and drink which gave me an opportunity to see the Central Otago rockscape in context, but with a "rest area" sign to keep things civilized.

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This rock is entirely typical of Central Otago and is basically a schist type, rotten to the core and crying out to be made into crevice gardens.

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We were caught on a torrential downpour with thunder and lightening so took shelter for a few minutes in this little rock alcove.

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But the rain cleared quickly and I was able to take a few pictures.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2007, 01:25:23 PM by Maggi Young »
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

Lesley Cox

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Re: Field trips January 2007
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2007, 09:51:37 PM »
This unlikely candidate is a member of the Violaceae and is one of many divaricating shrubby plants native to New Zealand. It is (I think) Hymenanthera alpina.

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The thorns are vicious and very rigid. Don't fall into it!

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Here it is in unripe fruit. The orange bits are lichen.

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Bulbinella hookeri or the so-called "Maori Onion" is attractive in the garden but would be better if it didn't flower gradually as the bottom flowers are gone and the stem looks shabby before the upper ones are out.

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This little orchid is also in bloom at the top while in seed lower down. It is very unspectacular, maybe a prasophyllum. It seems larger in both flower and seed than the ubiquitous and weedy Microtis uniflora.

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« Last Edit: January 02, 2007, 10:04:39 PM by Lesley Cox »
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

Paddy Tobin

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Re: Field trips January 2007
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2007, 09:54:36 PM »
Lesley,

Great to see the other side of the world. Good rocks. Looking forward to some plant photographs. Many thanks for posting.

And now for a completely personal comment: You really must change the photograph you use with your posts. It doesn't do you justice at all - this is after seeing you in that alcove sheltering from the rain.

Paddy
Paddy Tobin, Waterford, Ireland

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Re: Field trips January 2007
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2007, 09:57:26 PM »
Lesley,

Delighted to see Bulbinella hookeri in the wild. It grows well here. That other plant, the thorny one, might well be called the resurrection plant since those who fall into it are sure to rise again.

Paddy
« Last Edit: January 02, 2007, 10:13:43 PM by Paddy Tobin »
Paddy Tobin, Waterford, Ireland

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Joakim B

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Re: Field trips January 2007
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2007, 10:12:08 PM »
Lesley I agree with Paddy regarding the photo! If I my have an opinion.
Paddy a good joke :) :)
The violet is truley a mother-in-law violet! We only have step mother violets in Sweden but they look much less harmfull :)

Nice pics of mighty rocks
Joakim
« Last Edit: January 02, 2007, 10:18:17 PM by Joakim B »
Potting in Lund in Southern Sweden and Coimbra in the middle of Portugal as well as a hill side in central Hungary

Paddy Tobin

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Re: Field trips January 2007
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2007, 10:15:35 PM »
Got it fixed now, Joakim.


Paddy
Paddy Tobin, Waterford, Ireland

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Joakim B

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Re: Field trips January 2007
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2007, 10:17:36 PM »
Then I fix mine Paddy :)
Potting in Lund in Southern Sweden and Coimbra in the middle of Portugal as well as a hill side in central Hungary

Joakim B

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Re: Field trips January 2007
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2007, 10:21:11 PM »
Lesley
Is the NZ native orchids grown in gardens? I am extra curious about everything that is orchids.

Kind regards
Joakim
Potting in Lund in Southern Sweden and Coimbra in the middle of Portugal as well as a hill side in central Hungary

Lesley Cox

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Re: Field trips January 2007
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2007, 10:22:32 PM »
That's certainly true Paddy, rise again both loudly and painfully! but it's the bulbinella which is known locally as Maori onion, mainly because of the strappy foliage I suppose. The local name for hymenanthera is Matagouri.

We saw just one celmisia, the little and least exciting of all, Celmisia gracilenta.

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And these few are specially for you Paddy, knowing you like Aciphylla aurea.

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This female stem carried thousands of almost ripe seeds. I collected a few and had bleeding hands to show for it. The next pic shows a stem literally weighed down with seed.

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This is a different species, not sure which but Dave or David will know. We saw just this one plant, with an oldish, male flower stem.

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Wet, all of us and smelly, just the dog, we left the area in search of lunch. Then later in the day to Macrae's Flat.



Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

Lesley Cox

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Re: Field trips January 2007
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2007, 10:41:41 PM »
Hi Joakim, the orchid CAN be grown in gardens but because it is so quiet, I doubt if it is, much. The other I mentioned, the microtis, certainly does grow here with me and with David as well as many other gardeners but it is a weed really, totally devoid of horticultural attraction, and seeding into other plants such as precious cushions, and being a pesky nuisance. The flower is green same as the foliage and is less than 5mm across.

Mcraes, as the area is known by locals, is chiefly of interest now for it's massive open cast gold mining operation. There are literally thousands of hectares now involved and much of the landscape looks like the moon. The first picture is a board which tells something of the project and the company concerned, which I think is largely American.

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There are viewing areas which show some of the immediate work areas and there are tours arranged through the processing halls and elsewhere. The big trucks which are loaded by a digger whose bucket lifts 38 tonnes at a time, are themselves pretty big. Their load per journey to the processing plant is 191 tonnes each. There was a notice saying that if a gardener worked 24 hours a day with a wheelbarrow, it would take 10 days to move a single truckload.

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All very interesting but NOT NICE!
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

Paddy Tobin

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Re: Field trips January 2007
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2007, 10:50:54 PM »
Lesley,

You are a treasure. Many thanks for the photographs of the Aciphylla aurea, absolutely fabulous.

Good Holy God, that seedhead is a lethal affair, chainmail gloves?

Paddy
Paddy Tobin, Waterford, Ireland

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David Lyttle

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Re: Field trips January 2007
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2007, 12:15:09 PM »
Hi Lesley,

Your Aciphylla is Aciphylla subflabellata which is an uncommon plant.

However the correct scientific name for matagouri which is the plant you have photographed in pictures 1-3 is Discaria toumatou not Hymenanthera alpina. Matagouri (or Mata-bloody-gouri as it is known in the vernacular) is also called wild irishman. It is a member of the family Rhamnaceae.

Hymenanthera alpina is now known as Melicytus alpinus. You are correct - it is a member of the Violaceae. Audrey Eagle has illustrated seven iterations of this plant in her new book. It is widespread in the Eastern South Island ranging from the coast to the main divide. Some authorities consider there are several undescribed taxa in the complex as it is quite a variable plant.

The Bulbinella is Bulbinella angustifolia not Bulbinella hookeri. Bulbinella hookeri has broader leaves and is not found this far south.

You are correct with the orchid - It is Prasophyllum colensoi. It is superficially similar to Microtis unifolia in general appearance but the flowers are quite distinct.

I will post a picture of Melicytus alpinus so you can tell the difference.
David Lyttle
Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, South Island ,
New Zealand.

Lesley Cox

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Re: Field trips January 2007
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2007, 12:58:02 AM »
Thanks David, for the picture and the correction. I've seen that one around too but thought they were just the other perhaps grazed by bunnies when young, or by sheep.

Chainmail wouldn't work Paddy as the spines would go through the linkages. Have to be made from sheet metal I think.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

t00lie

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Re: Field trips January 2007
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2007, 10:52:55 PM »
Western edge of the Eyre Mountains Northern Southland.New Zealand.

Finally posting shots of a trip of 4 days ago.

Although it's an area i know reasonably well from numerous fly fishing trips, i'd never botanised the higher slopes so it was a trip which i was looking forward too but ultimately won't forget for a while.

Unfortunately most of the following pics are scenery shots as i didn't manage to reach the screes i was focusing on.The text accompanying the pics will hopefully explain.

Cheers Dave
« Last Edit: January 05, 2007, 10:55:32 PM by t00lie »
Dave Toole.  Invercargill.Bottom of the South Island New Zealand .Zone 9--Maritime climate .1100mm rainfall PA.

Ian Y

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Re: Field trips January 2007
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2007, 10:41:30 AM »
Great to see the pictures Dave, next year at this time I will be heading out to join you when I visit New Zealand.
Hopefully I will see some of your hills in person.
In the meantime I hope that you, Lesley, and others keep posting your field pictures.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2007, 11:24:53 AM by Maggi Young »
Ian Young, Aberdeen North East Scotland   - 
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