Back in July, I attended the 2012 Botany Conference, which was held in Columbus, OH, USA, and later this month, I will attend the “Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology” meeting of the German Botanical Society (DBG) in Mainz, Germany. Why so much international travel, you may ask, and why is it important to Te Papa and… Read more »
Posts categorized as Plants
Today, two rare species of forget-me-nots have been added to the Flora of New Zealand. These new species were discovered during an expedition I led to Kahurangi National Park, one of the hotspot for forget-me-nots diversity in New Zealand. These new species, Myosotis chaffeyorum (Chaffey’s Forget-me-not) and Myosotis mooreana (Moore’s forget-me-not) are described and illustrated in an article published today… Read more »
When we think about about orchids we usually think about tropical islands or unexplored jungle-covered mountains in distant lands. This is not always the case, and many orchids are also found in temperate and cold regions of the world. Some orchids have even reached the Subantarctic islands where, not so long ago, two orchid species were discovered…. Read more »
On Saturday I joined the Wellington Botanical Society’s field trip to Wright Hill in Karori, Wellington. Wellington city would not be my first choice of locality for fern spotting, but we still found plenty to keep me interested. The filmy ferns Hymenophyllum flexuosum and Trichomanes endlicherianum are always pleasing finds. Although widespread, they are not… Read more »
I recently had an enquiry from someone who noticed during the middle of the night that their pile of split firewood was emitting a faint glow. What could cause this?! Apparently there are fungi that grow in rotting wood that can emit light through luminescence. The phenomenon is sometimes called “foxfire”. I’ve never noticed this… Read more »
This year I went on several field trips to collect native forget-me-nots (genus Myosotis). With my research on native plantains now finished, my current research focus is now to figure out how many native species of forget-me-nots we have in New Zealand, revise their taxonomy, understand their evolutionary history, and amend their conservation status. Te… Read more »
Which vegetables do you think have charisma? In Tuesday night’s television programme Radar Across The Pacific, comedian Te Radar was given “fiddle fern” to eat. He seemed to be impressed by it, describing it as having charisma. Te Radar was eating the young, unfurling fronds of a fern. These still-coiled fronds are variously called croziers… Read more »
Here are a few, token animal photos to finish this account of our fieldwork. Other blog posts about our West Coast fern fieldwork cover: What we were doing. Where we went. Sticherus (umbrella ferns). New, problematic, and interesting species. Favourite photos.
Victoria University Emeritus Professor Phil Garnock-Jones and I have just described a new species of native plantain, Plantago udicola. The name udicola means “dwelling or living in damp places” and is in reference to the types of sites the new species is usually found in. Of the 200 or so species of Plantago worldwide, there… Read more »
These are some of my favourite fern photos from our fieldwork on the South Island’s West Coast. Other blog posts about our West Coast fern fieldwork cover: What we were doing. Where we went. Sticherus (umbrella ferns). New, problematic, and interesting species. Animal miscellany.