Carex kirkii s.l. Petrie (Carex section Inversae Kük., Cyperaceae). Two new rare species from the Eastern South Island of New Zealand.
Kerry FordRoom 3: Drama Theatre
Kerry A. Ford (Allan Herbarium, Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua).
Carex section Inversae in New Zealand is composed of 11 species and is found in a variety of habitats, including, moraine outwash surfaces, grasslands, and alpine herbfield. While assessing herbarium specimens for a new flora of Carex subgenus Vignea, including the three varieties of Carex kirkii, it became apparent that many specimens did not match the types in the latter. Field survey was initiated to collect samples, specifically the two varieties described by George Kükenthal in 1909 which have rarely been collected, C. kirkii var. elatior and C. kirkii var. membranacea. A PCO analysis of morphology suggests the former is a hybrid between C. kirkii var. membranacea and C. trachycarpa Cheeseman. Secondly, comparison of specimens to types suggests that Carex kirkii var. membranacea is the correct name to apply to plants in montane areas of Western Nelson, Canterbury and Otago and should be raised to specific rank. Thirdly one new species is described, from moraine outwash surfaces of the eastern South Island, first collected by Thomas Cheeseman in 1893 in the Clarence Valley, Marlborough and overlooked for 130 years. This new species is assessed as critically rare in the New Zealand Threat Classification and C. kirkii var. membranacea is assessed as Nationally Vulnerable.