South Island Botany Field Trip: native plants from the high country

In late 2014, Te Papa Botany Staff embarked on a 11 day field trip from Otago to North Canterbury.  We collected specimens, images and DNA samples of native forget-me-nots (Myosotis spp.) and New Zealand hebes (Veronica spp.). See the first blog in this series for the detailed itinerary.

Along the way, other native (and naturalised) species were also collected for Te Papa’s herbarium.  All collections are now available on Te Papa Collection Online. Below are some  highlights of native plants seen, some of which were also collected.

Old Man Range, Otago, New Zealand. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Old Man Range, Otago, New Zealand. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Our botanising started in Otago (the Old Man, Dunstan and Hector Ranges) where we included local botanist Mike Thorsen along for the ride. Mike was able to point out many plants that are unique to the challenging Central Otago habitat and we also encountered many more widespread sub-alpine species. Displayed below are: a native dandelion – found throught New Zealand; a ‘wood rush’ – endemic to the South Island of NZ and a Leptinella – endemic to Otago, NZ.

native dandelion, Taraxacum magellanicum Sch.Bip. (SP103855). Collected 09 Dec 2014, New Zealand, Central Otago, Old Man Range. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

native dandelion, Taraxacum magellanicum Sch.Bip. (SP103855). Collected 09 Dec 2014, New Zealand, Central Otago, Old Man Range. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

angiosperms, Luzula ulophylla (Buchenau) Cockayne & Laing, (SP103857). Collected 10 Dec 2014, New Zealand, Central Otago, Dunstan Mountains. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Luzula ulophylla (Buchenau) Cockayne & Laing, (SP103857). Collected 10 Dec 2014, New Zealand, Central Otago, Dunstan Mountains. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

angiosperms, Leptinella albida (D.G.Lloyd) D.G.Lloyd & C.J.Webb, (SP103859). Collected 10 Dec 2014, New Zealand, Central Otago, Dunstan Mountains. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

angiosperms, Leptinella albida (D.G.Lloyd) D.G.Lloyd & C.J.Webb, (SP103859). Collected 10 Dec 2014, New Zealand, Central Otago, Dunstan Mountains. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

In the Hector Ranges in the Southern Lakes district, I was delighted to see the scrambling species of native Fuchsia, which I had not sighted in the wild before.

Hector Range, Lake Wakatipu , Southern Lakes. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Hector Range, Lake Wakatipu , Southern Lakes. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

angiosperms, Fuchsia perscandens Cockayne & Allan, (SP103861). Collected 12 Dec 2014, New Zealand, Southern Lakes, Hector Range, Lake Wakitipu. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

angiosperms, Fuchsia perscandens Cockayne & Allan, (SP103861). Collected 12 Dec 2014, New Zealand, Southern Lakes, Hector Range, Lake Wakitipu. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Our last stop was Mount St Patrick in North Canterbury. This is another botanically rich area where I sighted many species I had not seen before, inlcuding Notothlaspi rosulatum and Ranunculus haastii.

Heidi Meudt and Mount St Patrick, North Canterbury, New Zealand. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Heidi Meudt and Mount St Patrick, North Canterbury, New Zealand. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Notothlaspi rosulatum. New Zealand, Canterbury, Clarence River, Mount St Patrick. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Notothlaspi rosulatum. New Zealand, Canterbury, Clarence River, Mount St Patrick. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Ranunculus haastii. New Zealand, Canterbury, Clarence River, Mount St Patrick. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Ranunculus haastii. New Zealand, Canterbury, Clarence River, Mount St Patrick. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Leptinella sp. New Zealand, Canterbury, Clarence River, Mount St Patrick. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Leptinella sp. New Zealand, Canterbury, Clarence River, Mount St Patrick. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

angiosperms, Gaultheria crassa Allan, (SP103886). Collected 17 Dec 2014, New Zealand, Marlborough, Clarence River, Mount St Patrick. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

angiosperms, Gaultheria crassa Allan, (SP103886). Collected 17 Dec 2014, New Zealand, Marlborough, Clarence River, Mount St Patrick. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Thanks to the Department of Conservation, landowners and our volunteers, who supported us and helped make our field work possible.

Related blogs:

South Island Botany Field Trip – Te Papa Botanists in Action!

South Island Botany Field Trip – weedy highlights

 

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