Growing Te Papa’s Plant Collection

Te Papa’s collection of c. 250 000 dried plant specimens grows by about 2000 a year. In part this is from donations, but principally it is from collections made by Te Papa’s Botany staff and associates.

Fern specimen in Te Papa’s botany collection. © Te Papa.

More of Te Papa’s Botany collection on Collections Online.

Some of our fieldtrips target particular species that we are researching, but we also undertake two general collecting trips each year.

1) We participate in the annual four day John Child Bryophyte Workshop, collecting mosses, lichens, and ferns.

2) We have a three or four day field-trip in the Wairarapa, collecting seed plants, ferns, mosses, and liverworts.

2009 John Child Bryophyte Workshop.

The 2009 Wairarapa field-trip was to the Lake Onoke area.

The 2010 Wairarapa trip was to the Pongaroa area. I’ll blog about it soon.

Pongaroa - northern Wairarapa (or southern Hawke’s Bay). Photo by Jean-Claude Stahl. © Te Papa.

Why have so many plant specimens? The aim is to represent the morphological variation and distribution of all plants in New Zealand. Even collectively, New Zealand’s herbaria (dried plant collections) are still a long way from that goal.

The network of New Zealand herbaria.

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