Posts categorized as Plants

How many plants are in New Zealand?

  • The fork fern Tmesipteris tannensis is indigenous to New Zealand, being present here without human intervention. Moreover, it is endemic, being indigenous to New Zealand and nowhere else in the world. About 45% of the indigenous ferns and 80% of the indigenous seed plants are endemic to New Zealand. Photo Leon Perrie CC BY-NC.
  • Stereocaulon ramulosum is a common New Zealand-indigenous lichen. I suspect few New Zealanders would know it, which is symptomatic of the attention given to lichens, even though they contribute significant biomass to many ecological communities. Photo Leon Perrie CC BY-NC.
  • African club moss (Selaginella kraussiana) is an introduced lycophyte (and not a moss). It is very invasive, even into relatively undisturbed indigenous forests. It carpets the ground, suppressing the regeneration of indigenous plants. WELT P026410. Photo Leon Perrie. © Te Papa CC BY-NC-ND.
  • Anyone visiting New Zealand’s coast is likely to have seen Neptune’s necklace (Hormosira banksii). It is a very common, indigenous brown seaweed. But many New Zealand seaweeds are only poorly known. Photo Leon Perrie CC BY-NC.

I gave a talk on “Understanding and valuing our plants” at the recent open day of Otari-Wilton’s Bush in Wellington. I’m very interested in why New Zealand’s native species might be valued. I am hoping you can help me think about that – I welcome your input; look out for an upcoming blog post. But… Read more »

Celebration of personal milestones in the Botany collection

Peter Beveridge using a hand lens to examine a bryophyte specimen, amongst subalpine vegetation.

Collections are at the heart of a museum. A museum’s exhibitions and research are built from its collections. The significance of collections means it is important to acknowledge those who have contributed. Te Papa’s Botany collection of plant specimens has recently seen notable milestones for two of its biggest contributors: Research Fellow Patrick Brownsey and… Read more »

Ko te whānau o Matariki: Matariki Education Resource 2015 – Part 3

Orion and the Milky Way by jpstanley, https://www.flickr.com/photos/79297308@N00/16179230263

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this resource, we were introduced to Matariki and her six daughters – learning how each star plays her own special part in preparing the environments of Papatūānuku for the New Year. In this final section, we will be introducing three of Matariki’s cousins: Puanga/Puaka, Pūtātara and Hine-takurua. Papatūānuku has entrusted these whetū kanapa (bright stars)… Read more »

Botany Collection Narratives (Part 4): Expedition Snares Islands

Caption: A new moss record for the Snares Islands - Tayloria purpurascens! Te papa collection item M041684. On the right you can see the leafy gametophyte (gamete plant). And on the left, the stalk-like structure is the sporophyte (spore plant) which develops from female reproductive organs on the gametophyte. (Field of view c. 4cm)

Back in December 2013, four Te Papa Scientists ventured into the deep south on a 15 day expedition to the Snares Islands. Some of you may remember earlier Snares blog posts and you tube videos from this excursion. In order to provide a quick reference resource on Snares Islands botany I recently completed some Expedition Snares… Read more »

Te Papa botanical research at Otari-Wilton’s Bush

Bench-Otari-Botanic-Garden

For many years, Te Papa botanists have included Otari-Wilton’s Bush collections in their research. Otari Native Botanic Garden and Wilton’s Bush Reserve is a special place in Wellington–“the only public botanic garden in New Zealand dedicated solely to native plants”. This makes it an important educational and research resource for the city’s inhabitants. Over two days… Read more »

Ko te whānau o Matariki: Matariki Education Resource 2015 – Part 1

Storyboard 2015, Photography: Te Papa, © Te Papa

During the coldest time each year the Matariki star cluster comes rising up for the first time in the eastern sky. This occurrence marks the beginning of an important time of year – the Māori New Year. This is a time for coming together with whānau (family) to think about the past year, plan for the future,… Read more »

Te Papa Botany researchers study genome size in hebes

Te Papa Botany researchers Heidi Meudt, Jessie Prebble and Phil Garnock-Jones have recently co-authored a new paper in the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society on the genus Veronica, which includes northern speedwells and New Zealand and Australian hebes. This paper is the first major publication from Heidi’s research stay in Oldenburg, Germany as an Alexander von… Read more »

Botany Collection Narratives (Part 3): Image highlights from Hue te Taka (Moa Point) Narrative

  • Angiosperms, Selliera radicans Cav. collected 20 Feb 2012, Hue te Taka Peninsula (Moa Point). New Zealand. Field Collection, 2011. Te Papa. SP090307.
  • Scarlet pimpernel, Anagallis arvensis L. subsp. arvensis var. arvensis, collected 29 Sep 2011, South Coast, Hue te Taka Peniinsula (Moa Point), North end. New Zealand. Field Collection, 2011. Te Papa. SP090329.
  • Sarcocornia quinqueflora (Bunge ex Ung.-Sternb.) A.J.Scott, collected 20 Feb 2012, Hue te Taka Peninsula (Moa Point). New Zealand. Field Collection, 2011. Te Papa. SP094153.
  • SP094156 - ph4 resized

Some time ago now, the Te Papa Science team completed the process of collecting, identifying and storing terrestrial plants from a low-stature plant community on Wellington’s South Coast.  Over 100 species of seed plant, ferns, lichens, moss, liverwort and seaweed were collected.  This total comprised approximately 69 indigenous and 33 naturalised plant species. This Te Papa Collections… Read more »