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Trip Report – Manganui Station, Western Wairarapa

Trip Report – 3 December 2016 :   Manganui Station, Western Wairarapa

This trip was planned to last two days, with an overnight stop at Sunita’s Ocean Beach bach, but floods and ‘quake damage prevented our botanising Mukamuka Stream.

We thank Neville Davies, Manganui Station Partnership Ltd, for permission to botanise the property, Pat Enright for an extensive plant list, Mick Parsons for lending us his 4WD ute, and Sunita Singh and Gavin Dench for doing an inspection of the ford the day before the trip, and use of their 4WD vehicle on the day.

Although the lower part of the property has several small wetlands with interesting plants, e.g., Gratiola sexdentata, Gunnera monoica, G. prorepens, (red and yellow fruit-forms), Ranunculus amphitrichus, rushes and sedges, we concentrated on the upper forested areas, that are also interesting botanically.

Botrychium biforme

Botrychium biforme.   Photo: Sunita Singh.

We parked by a grove of cabbage trees, each branching c. 2m above the ground.   One is ‘root-sharing’ with a 45cm d.b.h. Griselinia lucida / puka.   Another huge cabbage tree on a river-terrace paddock was host to another large puka, and a Pennantia corymbosa / kaikomako in full flower.

The property’s upper reaches include mature podocarp and Alectryon excelsum / titoki forest on the upper stream terrace.   We admired two mature totara, one c. 1.4m d.b.h., and c. 8m high before branching.   Parsley fern / Botrychium biforme, thrives on the ground in good light under this canopy.   We saw the filmy ferns Hymenophyllum cupressiforme and H. minimum.   Metrosideros diffusa / white rata and M. perforata / clinging rata vines are rampant climbers on tree trunks, and the orchid, Drymoanthus adversus was seen as windfall, and on hosts such as Syzygium maire / swamp maire.

Beyond the upper terrace, Fuscospora solandri / black beech, F. truncata / hard beech and Weinmannia racemosa / kamahi forest dominates, on the Rimutaka Range foothills.   We saw three Nestegis montana / narrowleaved maire trees in the beech canopy, and a small patch of Anaphalioides trinervis in full flower on the stream bank.   Other plants we saw in flower included rangiora / Brachyglottis repanda, cabbage tree / Cordyline australis, niniao / Helichrysum lanceolatum, rewarewa / Knightia excelsa, and kamahi / Weinmannia racemosa.   Also seen:
•   the rarely-seen fungus, Aseroe rubra / stinkhorn, with white stalk, red reducing radiating arms, and black inner centre when viewed from above.
•   a shining cuckoo seen close up.

Follow this link for photos by Leon Perrie.

Participants : Eleanor Burton, Gavin Dench, Bryan Halliday, Chris Hopkins (co-leader / scribe), Chris Horne, Pat McLean, Barbara Mitcalfe, Leon Perrie, Lara Shepherd, Sunita Singh (co-leader), Julia White.


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