Posts written by Leon Perrie

Big travels for little ferns

Lindsaea trichomanoides. (c) Leon Perrie.

Lindsaea are small dainty ferns that are easily overlooked. Three species are indigenous to New Zealand. Recent DNA-based research (Lehtonen et al. 2010) implies that each got here independently; i.e., there were three separate dispersal events. This is because the three species in New Zealand are each more closely related to an overseas species than… Read more »

Fat pigs and beech trees

Left: Nothofagus solandri leaves with flower buds. Right: close up of open flowers. (c) Leon Perrie

Dave Kelly (University of Canterbury) recently talked to the Wellington Botanical Society about mast seeding. Mast seeding is where individuals of a plant species synchronously produce unusually large seed crops every few years. There is often no regular cycle. New Zealand is a world centre for mast seeding (and research on mast seeding). Some New… Read more »

Botany Fieldtrip Wairarapa 2010: Day 4

Horsetail, Equisetum arvense. Photo by Jean-Claude Stahl. © Te Papa.

Our final collecting day. We packed up and began heading from home. We spent about an hour alongside the road in the gorge of the Owahanga River. Peter was pleased to add several new mosses, including some that have a liking for calcareous substrates. We were disappointed to find the invasive horsetail Equisetum arvense well… Read more »

Botany Fieldtrip Wairarapa 2010: Day 3

  • Back at base, Leon and Barry press the bigger specimens between newspaper and cardboard. Pat, in the background, checks his notes. Photo by Jean-Claude Stahl. © Te Papa.
  • Peter and Pat look for mosses on rocks outside the forest. Photo by Jean-Claude Stahl. © Te Papa.
  • Jean-Claude took photographs of most of the bigger plants that we collected. These will go on Te Papa’s Collections Online website. Photo by Leon Perrie. © Te Papa.
  • The divaricating shrub Raukaua anomalus was common at all of the forested sites we visited. Photo by Jean-Claude Stahl. © Te Papa.

On day three we collected from another QEII National Trust site inland from Akitio. Diverse habitats kept us busy, with the canopy ranging from black beech (Nothofagus solandri) on ridges through hillside tawa (Beilschmiedia tawa) to creek-lined pukatea (Laurelia novae-zelandiae).  Collections Online specimens from Wairarapa 2009 trip. Growing Te Papa’s plant collection. Botany Fieldtrip Wairarapa… Read more »

Botany Fieldtrip Wairarapa 2010: Day 2

  • The moss collectors processing their specimens back at base. Additional lighting is needed to see many of the diagnostic features of these small plants. Photo by Jean-Claude Stahl. © Te Papa.
  • Looking eastwood towards the end of the day. Photo by Jean-Claude Stahl. © Te Papa.
  • Mountain cabbage tree, Cordyline indivisa. Photo by Jean-Claude Stahl. © Te Papa.
  • Craspedia flower head, Nertera, and Euphrasia. Photos by Jean-Claude Stahl. © Te Papa.

Day two comprised a visit to a covenanted reserve on the eastern scarp of the Puketoi Range, arranged by QEII National Trust representative for Tararua, Bill Wallace. QEII National Trust website. We collected about 60 species of vascular plants and a similar number of bryophytes (mosses & liverworts).  Amongst our haul was the first confirmed… Read more »

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

Ourisia_Taranaki

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 »