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An annotated list of groups of wild hybrids in the New Zealand flora


, : An annotated list of groups of wild hybrids in the New Zealand flora. Ann Botany 48(189): 1-55

This list is presented in the persuasion that it is of much more than local interest, as showing the conditions prevailing in a flora long isolated and now coming more and more under the influence of man. The importance of the findings for all branches of botanical study, especially taxonomy, is stressed. Of the 491 groups listed, 396 are considered as established beyond reasonable doubt. Of these, 6 are intergeneric crosses, the remainder being distributed among 45 families and 92 genera, involving 478 spp., or over 20% of the flora as at present delimited. Were genera with only 1 sp. and extremely rare spp. excluded the % would be over 25. The need for giving full weight to the phenomena of epharmony in field studies is stressed, and the desirability of further genetic study is recognized; but it is emphasized that sound field study can establish the fact of wild hybridism in the majority of cases. Very many of the groups are extremely polymorphic, and show considerable fertility in the hybrid progeny. In 7 cases crosses are known between exotic and indigenous spp. while over 50 of the spp. recognized by Cheeseman are now known to be based on hybrid material. In certain groups characters not observed in the parents appear in the progeny, and in certain swarms (i.e., actual field occurrences of hybrid populations), especially in Hebe and Leptospermum, the parents appear to be swamped by the offspring. Large genera especially rich in hybrid groups are Acaena, Aciphylla, Asplenium, Carex, Celmisia, Coprosma, Dracophyllum, Epilobium, Gentiana, Hebe, Olearia, Ranunculus, Un-cinia. Hybrids appear to be comparatively rare in the Cruciferae, and more or less sterile in Rubus. Taking the classes (a) endemic [CHI] endemic, (b) endemic [CHI] wide, (c) wide [CHI] wide: 32% of the theoretically possible groups are known in (a), 5% in (b), and 13% in (c). (The wides form about 20% of the flora.) Classified according to life forms there are 178 groups of hybrids between herbs, 37 between semi-woody plants, 116 between shrubs, 27 between trees, 24 between shrubs and trees, 2 between hemi-parasites, 6 between lianes, 3 between lianes and shrubs, 3 between semi-woody plants and shrubs. Examples of especially striking groupa are Podocarpus hallii X nivalis (tall tree [CHI] depressed shrub), Cordyline australis X pumilio (tall tuft-tree [CHI] stemless tuft-plant), Fuchsia excorlicata X perscandens spreading tree [CHI] liane), Hebe astoni X buxijolia (compressed shrub [CHI] leafy shrub), Helichrysum glomeratum X belli-dioides (bushy shrub [CHI] semi-woody mat-plant), Raoulia. bryoides X Leucogenes grandiceps (dense cushion shrub [CHI] open semi-woody plant).

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