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group, far from any mainland, contain genera and species peculiar to
itself, (among many which are con-generic with others in the nearest,
though far off land,) and thereby constitute a Botanical centre, or region?
Were all existing species created at once? or, are species still being
created? or, has such creation ceased? and, if so, when? Are all the
so-called generic or specific destinctions really such? Has a species a
power of evolution and metamorphosis per se; which, the factors,time,
suitable soils, and climate, being given, knows no bounds? Have there
been in past æreas any potent occult elemental causes at work, differing
only in intensity combination and constancy from what now are, through
which sub-varieties, varieties and species were the more readily evolved?
May not a plant be outwardly distinct, yet chemically the same? May
a plant be almost entirely outwardly the same with another, and yet
chemically distinct? May not Nature educe, under the most favorable
circumstances, from two genera slightly differing fertile plants forming
new genera more divergent? and may not such (again crossed by Nature)
produce plants still more widely differing? Why, among several species
of any given endemic genus ( e. g. Coprosma, Dracophyllum, Veronica,)
should some species be of robust and vigorous growth and development,
and common everywhere; other species of weakly growth and develop-
ment, and comparatively scarce? are some of these forms older than
others? and, if so, which are seniors? Are not the more robust and
vigorous ones, through their own progressive increase, likely to extirpate
the weaker ones? - - - - Such are some of the thoughts which
must often arise in the intelligent Botanist's mind, especially when
contemplating new or old forms in far off insular situations.


3. But, laying aside the ideal and theoretical, and coming to the
practical and real :—how does the vegetation of this Northern Island of
New Zealand appear when seen for the first time? What is its peculiar
aspect? The answer will mainly depend on two things : (1.) the place
whence the newly-arrived beholder last came; and (2.) the place in New
Zealand where he lands ;—not forgetting his expectations,—as the eye
ever sees what the mind brings. If he last left the shores of Great
Britain,—then the recollection of her verdant fields, may cause the
brown fern-clad hills and dark-green forests of New Zealand to appear
the more gloomy and sad; if his last landscapes were either South African
or Australian, then their glaucous sea-green hue and arid apperance,

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