Sunday, 12 June 2011

Jovellana

Jovellana sinclairii

Jovellana sinclairii is one of our prettiest New Zealand native plants, but it's not well known.  The picture above was taken with a flatbed scanner, so it looks a little unnatural, but it shows the detail of the flowers.  Here's J. sinclairii au naturel on a roadside bank at Tiniroto on the east coast of the North Island:
Jovellana sinclairii, Tiniroto

We have two species here; the other one is J. repens, which is much smaller:
Jovellana repens, from Akatarawa, Wellington
Jovellanas seem quite easy to grow.  I have both species in pots, and they flower well.  I'm hoping to plant them out in a shady spot soon.   Other species of Jovellana are native to South America.  They're closely related to the amazing slipper flowers, Calceolaria, also South American.   Jovellana and Calceolaria are nowadays classified in the small family Calceolariaceae.
Calceolaria tripartita, Wellington

C. tripartita seems to be becoming more common as a minor weed around Wellington; this one was on a roadside bank opposite the Botanic Gardens.

In 2009 Geoff Davidson, Peter de Lange, and I described a new species of Veronica from just north of Auckland, calling it Veronica jovellanoides because of its resemblance to Jovellana repens.
Veronica jovellanoides.


Reference.
Davidson, G. R.; de Lange, P. J.; Garnock-Jones, P. J.  2009: Two additional indigenous species of Veronica (Plantaginaceae) from northern New Zealand: V. jovellanoides, a new and highly endangered species, and V. plebeia R.Br.  New Zealand Journal of Botany 47: 271–279.

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