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Author Topic: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008  (Read 15711 times)

Luc Gilgemyn

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Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
« Reply #45 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
« Last Edit: December 23, 2008, 03:36:06 PM by Luc Gilgemyn »
Luc Gilgemyn
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Lvandelft

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Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
« Reply #46 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.??
Luit van Delft, right in the heart of the beautiful flowerbulb district, Noordwijkerhout, Holland.

Sadly Luit died on 14th October 2016 - happily we can still enjoy his posts to the Forum

ranunculus

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Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
« Reply #47 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.

« Last Edit: December 23, 2008, 04:25:36 PM by Maggi Young »
Cliff Booker
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David Lyttle

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Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
« Reply #48 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
David Lyttle
Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, South Island ,
New Zealand.

ranunculus

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Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
« Reply #49 on: December 24, 2008, 09:39:21 AM »
The pygmea is delightful, David ... but, of course, they ALL are!
Cliff Booker
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David Lyttle

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Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
« Reply #50 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.
David Lyttle
Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, South Island ,
New Zealand.

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Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
« Reply #51 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
« Last Edit: December 25, 2008, 10:08:27 AM by David Lyttle »
David Lyttle
Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, South Island ,
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ranunculus

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Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
« Reply #52 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)!
Cliff Booker
Behind a camera in Whitworth. Lancashire. England.

Maggi Young

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Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
« Reply #53 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 :'(
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!


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Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
« Reply #54 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.

Senecio 2

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Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
« Reply #55 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.












« Last Edit: December 26, 2008, 03:48:56 PM by Senecio 2 »

Maggi Young

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Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
« Reply #56 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??!!
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!


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Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
« Reply #57 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.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2008, 04:23:08 PM by Ian Y »
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ranunculus

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Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
« Reply #58 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.
Cliff Booker
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David Lyttle

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Re: New Zealand Field Trips December 2008
« Reply #59 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
David Lyttle
Otago Peninsula, Dunedin, South Island ,
New Zealand.

 

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