I was recently surprised to find my plant of Aupouri coastal five-finger (Pseudopanax lessonii) swarming with flies. The flies were attracted to the flowers presumably by a feed of nectar on what was a hot, summer day. I could see at least three fly species, plus a bumblebee. Pollination is not a role we often… Read more »
Posts written by Leon Perrie
The Mana Bioblitz is currently on. A Bioblitz is a count of all the species in an area. I recently visited Mana Island with Antony, one of Te Papa’s Botany Collection Managers, to contribute to the botanical cause.
It is not just people crossing the ditch – a little New Zealand fern has also emigrated to Australia, and not just once but twice. This is the first known case amongst ferns or seed plants of the same species dispersing twice across the Tasman Sea. Hooker’s spleenwort fern, or Asplenium hookerianum, is a close… Read more »
Last December, three Te Papa botanists attended the 2010 John Child Bryophyte and Lichen Workshop, held in Riverton. This is one of the principal ways we acquire new plant specimens. We are still processing the specimens we collected during the 2010 Workshop. Identification of these small plants can take some time, usually requiring microscopic examination…. Read more »
This is looking toward some podocarp trees (rimu and kahikatea) towering above the canopy, in Rangiwahia Scenic Reserve (western flanks of the Ruahine Ranges). Need a clue? There is something out of its usual position. You’ll probably have to look closely. Another clue – top centre. Answer: several tens of metres above the ground, reaching… Read more »
If you get into the hills these summer holidays, you’ll find many plants are in flower. Many of New Zealand’s flowers aren’t particularly showy. But pay them closer investigation and many will reward you with a subtle beauty. Here’s a selection from my just completed field-work throughout the South Island, where my pursuit of Gleichenia tangle-ferns… Read more »
Pohutukawa are presently flowering strongly in many parts of the country, including the trees planted around Te Papa. What does this tell us about the weather? National Radio’s Morning Report investigates. Because of its often spectacular summer flowering, pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa) is regarded as New Zealand’s own indigenous Christmas tree. I don’t know for sure… Read more »
Do you live in the Wellington region, want to have native plants in your garden, but don’t know what to choose? Then the Greater Wellington Regional Council has produced just what you need: the Wellington Regional Native Plant Guide. I attended the recent launch of the revised 2010 edition. Wellington Regional Native Plant Guide. Lists… Read more »
Ferns now feature on the Science Learning Hub. Ferns at the Science Learning Hub. You can find out more about: What exactly is a fern? How ferns are identified and classified. The origins of New Zealand’s ferns. The role of a botany curator. The hen and chickens fern. And a whole lot more… Te Papa… Read more »
Despite my previous post, Queensland’s rainforests were far from entirely unpleasant. The below caught me eye (and of course there were lots of interesting ferns too!). New Zealand’s king fern.