Te Papa’s Bush City is currently graced by a good display of sprays of the white, bell-like flowers of Jovellana sinclairii. If you’re visiting, you can see them beside the waterfall, on the lower track. Jovellana sinclairii is not a common plant in the wild. You’re most likely to find this large herb beside streams… Read more »
Posts categorized as Biodiversity
This past Saturday (1 December 2012), we had a special request from a group of visitors who were going to be in Wellington for a weekend. They wished to come in and talk to some of the curators and see the collection. This is relatively common but what was slightly unusual about the group was… Read more »
The botanically-inclined may find something of interest in the just-published Wellington Botanical Society Bulletin. Number 54 includes: the uses of some common native plants. notes on the propagation of native plants. accounts of the diatoms and bryophytes recorded during the 2011 bioblitz on Mana Island. the use of names in botany. detailed accounts of the… Read more »
I’ve recently learnt that the introduced Azolla pinnata (ferny azolla) has been found in the Wellington region. I’m interested in its distribution and would be grateful for help in looking for more. Azolla plants are fairly easy to spot: look for a red plant covering still bodies of water. Azolla are ferns, believe it or… Read more »
Dr Lara Shepherd, who’s been working with us on genetics research since January 2012 has just been awarded a prestigious Rutherford Fellowship. Only 10 fellowships are awarded each year, with a total of $8 m granted. The fellowships are awarded on the basis of the excellence of the candidates work as well as the research… Read more »
Where would you go to find a new species? Perhaps somewhere remote and little-visited, especially if it is ecologically unusual – New Caledonia maybe… Well, instead, how about inside Te Papa’s collections, because that’s where I first discovered a new species of Gleichenia tangle fern. A lot of biodiversity remains to be documented, particularly amongst… Read more »
The Spade-toothed whale Mesoplodon traversii, is now known from 5 specimens, three of which are housed at Te Papa. With only one of these specimens a complete skeleton, the species is as rare as they come – even among beaked whales – the most elusive of all the world’s whales. Whales are special taonga, particularly for… Read more »
Even in this well-informed age it’s surprising how much we still don’t know about the natural world – especially the oceans! All whales must come to the surface to breathe, despite this the Spade-tooth whale Mesoplodon traversii (Gray, 1874), an animal over 5m in length, has never been see alive, and until 31 December 2010 no one… Read more »
You’ll never have seen anything like these New Caledonia ferns in New Zealand, unless you’ve been to a very interesting garden (which I’d love an invitation to!). These are photos from my recent fern collecting trip.
A lot of New Caledonian species belong to fern genera that also occur in New Zealand. Some look very similar to New Zealand species, whereas others are quite different! Here’s a few from my recent trip.