Posts written by Leon Perrie

Botany Fieldtrip Wairarapa 2010: Day 1

Roadside collecting. Photo by Jean-Claude Stahl. © Te Papa.

This year’s Wairarapa plant collecting trip was to the Pongaroa area. Day 1 started with packing up Te Papa’s 4WD. Then the long drive to our Akitio accommodation. We made a few stops along the way, targeting places that looked to have a diverse array of weeds and/or be promising for mosses. We followed a… Read more »

Growing Te Papa’s Plant Collection

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

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. More of Te Papa’s Botany collection on Collections Online. Some of our fieldtrips target particular species that we are… Read more »

New Fork Fern

Banks Peninsula fork fern, Tmesipteris horomaka. Photo by Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.

We have just described a new species of Tmesipteris fork fern. Fork ferns are odd looking and only distantly related to other ferns. We now recognise five species in New Zealand. There are only about 15 species around the world, with Australasia their strong-hold. The new species has been named Tmesipteris horomaka. It is only… Read more »

Te Papa in Botanical Bulletin


A new issue of the Wellington Botanical Society Bulletin has just been published. Included are three articles by Te Papa staff: • Curator Carlos Lehnebach describes his research on Uncinia hook-sedges. • Research Scientist Heidi Meudt writes about her study of Ourisia (native foxgloves). • I have co-authored an article illustrating, differentiating, and mapping each… Read more »

Australian cousins

  • 6.  Photo by Leon Perrie, Curator. © Museum of New Zealand.
  • 5.  Photo by Leon Perrie, Curator. © Museum of New Zealand.
  • 4.  Photo by Leon Perrie, Curator. © Museum of New Zealand.
  • 3.  Photo by Leon Perrie, Curator. © Museum of New Zealand.

During my recent visit to Victoria’s Alpine National Park in Australia, I was interested to see a number of familiar plants amongst the unfamiliar gum trees. Searching Victoria’s Alpine National Park for Asplenium hookerianum. Do you recognise any of these? A harder one to finish off. Answers: 1. Acaena novae-zelandiae, bidibidi, piripiri.  A species indigenous to… Read more »

Identifying Asplenium hookerianum in Victoria

  • Asplenium gracillimum (a hen & chickens fern), Alpine National Park, Victoria. Photo by Leon Perrie, Curator. © Museum of New Zealand.
  • Polystichum proliferum (mother shield fern), Toolangi, Victoria. Photo by Leon Perrie. © Leon Perrie, Wellington.
  • Asplenium hookerianum (left top and middle) and Asplenium flabellifolium, Alpine National Park, Victoria. Photo by Leon Perrie, Curator. © Museum of New Zealand.
  • Asplenium flabellifolium (necklace spleenwort), Northern Territory, Australia. Photo by Leon Perrie. © Leon Perrie, Wellington.

From our search in Victoria’s Alpine National Park, we suspect the rare Asplenium hookerianum (Hooker’s spleenwort) is actually much more common there than previously recognised. But more searching is needed to confirm this.  Searching for Asplenium hookerianum in Victoria’s Alpine National Park.  Asplenium hookerianum can be distinguished from the other ferns it occurs with in… Read more »

Searching for a rare Australian fern

Asplenium hookerianum (Hooker’s spleenwort), Alpine National Park, Victoria.  Photo by Leon Perrie, Curator. © Museum of New Zealand.

While visiting family in Melbourne, I took the opportunity to go fern hunting. Asplenium hookerianum is a rare fern in Australia.  With Melbourne University’s Daniel Ohlsen and Mike Bayly, we went searching for the two populations recorded from Victoria’s Alpine National Park. How to recognise Asplenium hookerianum in Victoria. We were successful, relocating the known… Read more »

Baby ferns

Baby ferns. Photo by Leon Perrie. © Leon Perrie, Wellington.

A spot in my garden is being colonised by baby ferns. The toppling of a gum tree last year created bare ground. After a few months, this has now been smothered by little ferns, the biggest only a few cm long. Baby ferns are difficult to identify, but I suspect these are water fern (Histiopteris… Read more »

Hybrid hunt turns up more weedy natives

Meryta sinclairii, puka.  Self-sown saplings near Porirua.  Photo by Leon Perrie, Curator. © Te Papa.

I was out last week with Tim Park from the regional council looking for Pseudopanax hybrids between lancewood and coastal five-finger near Porirua.    Coastal five-finger and the hybrids are weeds in the Wellington region. Previous post on lancewood and coastal five-finger hybridisation. We spotted a couple of other weedy natives – New Zealand species that… Read more »

King of ferns

  • Angiopteris evecta, Sydney Botanic Gardens. Photo by Leon Perrie.
  • Bracts at the base of the fronds of king fern. Photo by Leon Perrie. © Leon Perrie.
  • Reproductive structures of king fern, on undersides of fronds. Photo by Leon Perrie. © Leon Perrie.
  • King Fern Gully, Pukekura Park. Photo by Leon Perrie.

I was recently in New Plymouth, where I took the opportunity to visit Pukekura Park. Aside from its lovely cricket ground, the Park is of course notable for its plants. Pukekura Park website. One of the botanical highlights for me was king fern, probably best seen at the Park in the appropriately named King Fern… Read more »