W hat I believe to be genuine and authentic the collected publications of William Colenso



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[54] (The quantity of Potatoes exported from Auckland in 1863, was 508 tons, value, £3,233.246 It is believed, that this falling off is mainly owing (apart from the war,) to much too little attention being given to tillage; which noble and necessary occupation is neither followed nor encouraged as it should be. At present, this Island is greatly too dependent on foreign countries for Grain; which is now being brought not only from Australia and Chili, but even from California and England! It is hoped, that this growing evil may be clearly and timely discerned, and put a stop to; or, the consequences resulting therefrom may, some day, be unexpectedly and highly disastrous to the whole Island.

32. It is also believed, that a future generation will derive great advantages from the extensive cultivation of certain plants which cannot be successfully cultivated in the open air in Great Britain, some of which have been already naturalized in this Island;—such as, the Vine, the Mulberry, the Castor-oil plant (Ricinus communis,) the Olive (Olea Europæa,) the Cochineal Cactus, (Opuntia, sp.,) the Tobacco, and the Maize;—the last both for the sake of its spathes and leaves for Paper-making, (for which it seems admirably adapted,) as well as for its grain. The Northern parts of this Island,—especially the warm climate and rich volcanic soils north of the Thames,—will, doubtless, produce Wine and Oil in abundance, and, perhaps, Silk; as the climate is well known to be suited to the Mulberry; and the European Olive might be advantageously grafted upon the several indigenous Olives of the island. Further: it is not improbable, that Cochineal, Cinchona, and Coffee, may also be successfully cultivated in the warm climate of the Northern districts; seeing these two last mentioned plants have very near Botanical relations in the many species of the genus Coprosma, everywhere common and flourishing among us. Those parts of the Island possessing Limestone soils, and, at the same time, not below the necessary isotherm, seem admirably adapted for raising Tobacco; a plant, which, like Clover and Lucerne, requires a deal of Lime in the soil to bring it to perfection; its ashes containing more than 20 per cent. of Lime and Magnesia Salts.—While the more equable and temperate climate and rich alluvial soils of the Southern parts of the Island, will also continue to produce and export as heretofore, all British Grain, and Fruits, and Edible Roots, very abundantly.—

“Hic segetes, illic veniunt felicius uvæ;
Arborei fetus alibi, atque injussa virescunt Gramina.”—
Virg. Georg. l. i. 247 [55]

Notes.

Par. 6. Note, a.—Hoheria populnea: the Botanist Allan Cunningham, (who first visited this North Island of New Zealand in 1826, and who created this genus,) was an accurate and enthusiastic observer of Nature; he thus characteristically and truly notices the beauty of this tree, in drawing up its generic character, (published in 1836,) — “Arbuscula, spectabilis, sempervirens et maxime ornata in sylvis naturalibus iis.”— Ann. Nat. Hist., vol. iii. p. 319.

Par. 8. Note, b. I had also drawn a third division, or classification, of many of the plants of the North Island, according to its geognostic formation; but I have been obliged to abandon it, chiefly through want of space. No doubt, hereafter, it will be both interesting and useful to show the geognostic habitats of the various species,— whether on Clay or Alluvial Soils,—on Limestone, Sandstone (Palæozoic,) or Volcanic formations, &c. I feel assured, that much more attention is absolutely needful to this branch of the science than has hitherto been given it, as a necessary step towards the solving of the great problem concerning the Distribution of Plants. I remember well (in 1845) being forcibly struck with seeing certain Bay-of-Islands plants, (e. g. Metrosideros scandens, Gaultheria antipoda, Cordyline stricta, Lindsæa linearis, Lycopodium volubile, &c.) on the clayey hills near Wellington.—Plants, which I had not before seen south of the Thames. I may also mention that, in 1844, Dr. Hooker published (in the “London Journal of Botany,” vol. III,) the names, &c., of a Collection of 123 Plants made in the neighbourhood of Wellington by a visitor, of which number only 2, or perhaps 3, were not identical with the Bay of Islands plants. Hence arose a suspicion, that the North Island of New Zealand possessed but few species, seeing that the same plants were collected in latitudes so far apart. But the fact is, that the same geologic features obtain on those hills, as at the Bay of Islands, although but rarely intermediate. And many of those species (as far as I know,) are not elsewhere found between 36° South and Cook’s Straits.

Par. 12. (i.) Note, c. The Pohutukawa (Metrosideros tomentosa) is truly a littoral plant; and yet (in 1841,) I detected it growing on the Sandstone rocks of the high



Value in Money, of Grain, (Wheat, Barley, Oats, Maize, and Flour,) and of Potatoes, exported annually from the Provinces of the North Island of New Zealand, for the 10 years ending 1862.

Value in Money, of Grain, (Wheat, Barley, Oats, Maize, and Flour,) and of Potatoes, exported annually from the Provinces of the North Island of New Zealand, for the 10 years ending 1862.





Auckland.


Taranaki.

Wellington and Hawke’s Bay.

Years.

Grain, &c.

Potatoes.

Grain, &c.

Potatoes.

Grain, &c.

Potatoes.




£

s.

d.

£

s.

d.

£

s.

d.




s.

d.

£

s.

d.

£

s.

d.

1853

12,495

0

0

18,489

15

0

2,456

10

0

3,078

0

0

1,175

1

9

3,667

0

6

1854

27,589

3

8

35,255

10

0

5,181

16

6

5,076

10

0

6,607

11

6

16,137

13

0

1855

61,194

2

6

44,496

10

0

3,007

0

0

15,168

19

0

5,706

17

0

17,686

9

0

1856

12,934

6

0

11,133

0

0

..

..

..

1,200

0

0

5,889

0

0

1,349

0

0

1857

17,884

19

0

8,136

0

0

274

0

0

1,582

0

0

2,575

10

0

6,552

0

0

1858

5,859

14

0

13,043

0

0

552

2

6

4,350

0

0

623

0

0

4,393

0

0

1859

5,087

0

0

6,568

0

0

525

0

0

2,819

0

0

2,643

0

0

240

0

0

1860

1,013

0

0

7,562

0

0

61

0

0

278

0

0

1,228

0

0

2,720

0

0

1861

174

0

0

1,760

0

0

..

..

..

..

..

..

68

0

0

150

0

0

1862

60

0

0

7,445

0

0

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

1,942

0

0

Totals £

144,291

5

2

153,888

15

0

12,057

9

0

33,552

9

0

26,516

0

3

54,837

2

6





inland lake Waikare, about 70 miles from the sea; and I find, from Dieffenbach, (vol. i. p. 384,) that he too had observed it growing on the trachytic cliffs of the inland lake Tarawera, (1075 feet alt., apud Hochstetter) at about the same distance from the sea.

Par. 12. (ii.) Note, d. The Karaka (Corynocarpus lævigata) is naturally a coast plant; but it is sometimes found growing in the interior, in clumps or singly,—particularly in the more Northern parts, and on the shores of lake Taupo,—where it has been planted as a fruit-bearing tree by the New-Zealanders.

Par. 13. (iii.) Note, e. “Fagus fusca has not been seen north of Poverty Bay.” In 1839, however, I visited a small isolated wood of Fagus at the head of Whangarei Bay, but failed in getting any fruiting specimens. That plant, from its vernation, is believed, by the writer, to be a different species, or, at all events, a marked variety. (Vide, “London Journal of Botany,” vol. III., p. 20.,) The same tree grows also near Kaitaia Mission Station, North of 35o South. By the Northern Natives, it is called Hutu.

Par. 16. Note, f, Dr. Sparmann seems scarcely to have been done justice to; no New Zealand plant bears his name. G. Forster, however, in his “Voyage round the World, (vol. i. p. 67, 4to. ed., speaking of his father and himself, while collecting specimens at the Cape, on their voyage out with Captain Cook,) says— “Our abundant harvest gave us the greatest apprehensions that with all our efforts, we alone would be unequal to the task of collecting, describing, drawing, and preserving (all at the same time) such multitudes of species, in countries where every one we gathered would in all probability be a nondescript. It was therefore of the utmost importance, if we meant not to neglect any branch of natural knowledge, to endeavour to find an assistant well qualified to go hand and hand with us in our undertakings. We were fortunate enough [56] to meet with a man of science, Dr. Sparmann, at this place; who after studying under the father of Botany, the great Sir Charles Linne, had made a voyage to China, and another to the Cape, in pursuit of knowledge. The idea of gathering the treasures of nature in countries hitherto unknown to Europe, filled his mind so entirely, that he immediately engaged to accompany us on our circumnavigation; in the course of which I am proud to say, we have found him an enthusiast in his science, well versed in medical knowledge, and endowed with a heart capable of the warmest feelings, and worthy of a philosopher.” And, the father, J. R. Forster, in the preface to his classic “Genera Plantarum,” (among much laudatory language) also says— “Sparmannus plantas describebat, Filius easdem delineabat.—Verum dum Sparmannus plantas accuratius examinaret, filius et ego sæpe in consilium vocati in commune consulebamus, &c.” It is hoped, that future Botanical describers and nomenclators of New Zealand plants will remember this. No man can read G. Forster’s “Voyage,” or the “Observations” and Botanical works published by his father, J. R. Forster, without perceiving how much they (we?) were indebted to Dr Sparmann; who also did so much at the Cape for the advancement of Natural Science. His memory has been justly commemorated by Thunberg, in the South-African genus, Sparmannia,—a genus very closely allied to the New Zealand Entelea.

Par. 19. Note, g. “Phormium is only found in New Zealand and Norfolk Island.” Since writing the above I have seen the following in an Auckland paper, (New Zealander, Sept. 2, 1864)— “Australian Phormium Tenax.—The Pastoral Times of the 13th inst. says,—Large quantities of this plant have been found growing in the mallee scrub on the Lachlan plains. The flax is three or four feet high, and from one inch to two broad. It is stronger in its fibres than the New Zealand flax, and would seem to be exempt from the oily (sic) properties which render the New Zealand flax so difficult to convert into useful purposes. It is believed that by the aid of the small steamers running up our rivers, we shall be enabled to collect vast quantities of the article. Some specimens have already been forwarded to Melbourne for the purpose of being tested.” I have great doubts, however, of its being Botanically correct.

Par. 23. (iii.) Note, h. This chewing of the fresh gum resin of the Kauri pine by the New Zealanders, explains the error made by Forster, (from Crozet, Voyage de M. Marion) who had named the Mangrove (Avicennia officinalis, L.) A. resinifera; believing, that the gum chewed by the Natives had been obtained from that tree! Forster says, “Gummi ex hac arbore exsudans forte idem est, quo barbari Novæ Zelandiæ homines vescuntur, ut patet e diaris navarchi gallici Crozet.” This error has been since repeatedly printed; and, strange to say, more recently by Lindley (who even improves upon it) in his noble “Vegetable Kingdom,” where (p. 665,) speaking of the Mangrove, he says,— “It exudes a kind of green aromatic resin, which furnishes a miserable food to the barbarous natives of New Zealand.” (!)

Par. 30, (i.) Note, i. Such is the demand for sarsaparilla, and the limited area where it grows, that (as is well known,) it is greatly adulterated. The true Sarsaparilla is obtained from Smilax Sarsaparilla, but several distinct species are used, known in commerce as producing the Peruvian, Brazilian, Lisbon, and Jamaica Sarsaparillas,—and, perhaps, really but little inferior. Another kind, Smilax glycyphylla, has also of late years been introduced into medical use from New Holland; while the roots of 3 sedges, (Carex arenaria, hirta, and intermedia,) are collected to make German Sarsaparilla! The New Zealand plant (Rhipogonum parviflorum,) is not only very nearly allied to the genus Smilax, but was by its first discoverers, Banks and Solander, and subsequently by Forster, classed under that genus—from which it only slightly differs. From its having been successfully (privately) used in New Zealand, and from its natural affinity, it is confidently hoped, it will prove a useful and valuable article of export; at all events, a far better substitute for the true Sarsaparilla than the 3 German Carices. [57]

P.S.—The writer of this Essay wishes to return his best thanks to those few gentlemen who so kindly and promptly responded to his appeal to them. He would most particularly



A Table Shewing the relative strength, weight, &c., of some of the most useful woods indigenous to the North Island of New Zealand.248

Name of Plant, or Wood.




Stiffness.

Strength.

Toughness.

Weight per cubic foot.

Specific Gravity

Botanical Name.

Maori Name.































lbs. oz.




Dammara australis

Kauri

90

99

102

25 3

.403

“ “ (best specimen)













26 13

.429

Podocarpus Totara

Totara

49

61

57

39 5

.629

Podocarpus dacrydioides

Kahikatea

54

68

85

31 1

.497

Dacrydium cupressinum

Rimu

90

81

95

34 6

.560

Podocarpus spicata

Mataii

73

67

61







Podocarpus ferruginea

Miro










48 4

.772

Phyllocladus trichomanoides

Tanekaha

98

103

134

36 7

.583

Vitex littoralis

Puriri

100

100

100

52 5

.837

Leptospermum scoparium

Manuka










57 9

.921

Metrosideros tomentosa

Pohutukawa

126

109

94

52 2

.834

Metrosideros robusta

Rata

89

103

138







Edwardsia grandiflora

Kowhai










43 13

.701

Weinmannia racemosa

Towai










43 6

.674

Weinmannia sylvicola

Tawhero

93

96

99







Dysoxylum spectabile

Kohekohe

81

72

60







Tetranthera calicaris

Tangeao

89

119

160







Knightia excelsa

Rewarewa

54

60

85

53 15

.683

Olea Cunninghamii

Maire raunui










34 5

.549

Nesodaphne Tawa

Tawa










35 4

.564

Nesodaphne Tarairi

Taraire










35 12

.572

Dodonæa viscosa

Ake










63 3

1.011

Myrsine australis

Tipau

78

92

103








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