Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Olearia arborescens Ckn. & Laing

Noted at Monserrate in 1885 as Eurybia nitida. Olearia were found along the chapel walk up to the late 1980's.

H.H. Allan, FLORA of NEW ZEALAND, VOL. I gives this name as one of the many synonyms for Olearia arborescens.

Syn. Olearia nitida Hook f. Handb. N. Zeal. Fl. 125.

Syn. Solidago arborescens Forst. f. Fl. Ins. Austr. 56. 1786

Introduced to Europe from New Zealand only two years previously (1886)

Gardeners' Chronicle 1907:"extremely handsome flowering shrub, it is, curiously enough, rarely seen".

O. nitida, Hook. f. Handb. N.Z. Fl. 125.—A much-branched shrub 3–12 ft. high, rarely more; branches stout or slender, often angular. Leaves alternate, variable in size, 1½–3½ in. long, broadly ovate or elliptic-ovate, acute or acuminate, rounded and often unequal at the base, coriaceous or almost membranous, clothed with appressed white and satiny tomentum beneath; margins distinctly or obscurely sinuate-dentate, rarely entire; petiole ½–1 in. long. Corymbs large, rounded, much-branched, very effuse; branches slender, silky-pubescent. Heads numerous, ⅙–¼ in. long, obconic; scales of the involucre laxly imbricating; the outer ovate, pubescent or villous; the inner linear, fimbriate or sparingly silky. Florets 15–20; ray-florets 7–10, with a short broad ray. Pappus-hairs unequal, dirty-white or reddish. Achenes short, broad, silky. —Kirk, Students' Fl. 268. O. populifolia, Col. in Trans. N.Z. Inst. xvii. (1885) 243. O. suborbiculata, Col. l.c. xviii. (1886) 263. O. erythropappa, Col. l.c. xxii. (1890) 468. O. nmltiflora, Col. xxvii. (1895) 387. Eurybia nitida, Hook. f. Fl. Nov. Zel. i. 117. B. alpina, Lindl. and Paxton, Flow. Gard. ii. 84. Solidago ar-borescens, Forst. Prodr. n. 298; A. Rich. Fl. Nouv. Zel. 252. Steiractis arborescens, D.C. Prodr. v. 345. Shawia arborescens, Raoul, Choix, 45.
Var. cordatifolia, Kirk, Students' Fl. 268.—Leaves orbicular, cordate at the base, very coriaceous. Heads broadly obconic; involucral scales densely woolly, inner villous at the tips. Florets about 20; those of the ray with long and narrow ligules.
Var. angustifolia, Cheesem.— Leaves 2–3½ in. long, linear-lanceolate to lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, almost membranous, margins sinuate. Corymbs lax, much-branched. Heads large, in. long; rays long and narrow.
Var. capillaris, Kirk, l.c.—Small, stout or slender, densely or sparingly branched. Leaves small, ¼–1 in. long, ovate or rounded, membranous or sub-coriaceous, silky above when young. Heads 3–12, in sparingly branched corymbs longer than the leaves; pedicels very slender; involucral scales glabrate or slightly villous. Florets 8–12.—O. capillaris, Buch. in Trans. N.Z. Inst. iii. 1871) 212.
North and South Islands, Stewart Island: Not uncommon from the East Cape and Taupo southwards. Sea-level to 4000 ft. November–January. Var. cordatifolia: Stewart Island, Kirk! Var. angustifolia: Ohinemuri Gorge, Thames Valley, T. F. C. Petrie! Var. capillaris: Mount Egmont, Adams and T.F.C.; Nelson mountains, H. H. Travers! Dall! source of the Poulter River (Canterbury), Cockayne!
Perhaps the most variable species of the genus, but generally to be recognised in all its forms by the thin white and peculiarly satiny tomentum on the under-surface of the leaves.

Monday, 2 November 2009

John Gibson (1815-1875)

Gardener, apprenticed to Joseph Paxton. Visited Madeira in 1835 whilst en route to India.

Gardener's Chronicle . 1872. John Gibson . No.26.
Gardener's Chronicle . 1875. Obituary .Vol. 3,no. 55.