Posts categorized as Pseudopanax

Practical conservation

  • The Manawatu Botanical Society, plus neighbour, strategising beforehand. Photo Graham Pritchard.
  • Pseudopanax ferox & botsoccers
  • Viv McGlynn. Photo Graham Pritchard.
  • The juvenile leaves of the Taihape population are a comparatively dark colour. This might be unique to the population. Photo Leon Perrie.

I first got into studying biodiversity because I wanted New Zealand’s plants and animals to be looked after better.  New Zealand’s indigenous biodiversity is not in great shape. A lot of my research at Te Papa – describing new species, distinguishing and mapping different species, and determining how populations and species are related to one another… Read more »

Creating a buzz

Flies, possibly including Helophilus and Calliphora, swarming on the flowers of Aupouri coastal five-finger. (c) Leon Perrie

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 »

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 »

Hybrid hunt turns up more weedy natives

Meryta sinclairii, puka.  Self-sown saplings near Porirua.  Photo by Leon Perrie, Curator. © Te Papa.

I was out last week with Tim Park from the regional council looking for Pseudopanax hybrids between lancewood and coastal five-finger near Porirua.    Coastal five-finger and the hybrids are weeds in the Wellington region. Previous post on lancewood and coastal five-finger hybridisation. We spotted a couple of other weedy natives – New Zealand species that… Read more »

Public talk on Pseudopanax

Five finger, whauwhaupaku, Pseudopanax arboreus.  Photo by Leon Perrie. (c) Leon Perrie, Wellington.

I’ll be joining Lara Shepherd (Allan Wilson Centre, Massey University) to give a talk on Pseudopanax Monday night (21 September 2009) in Wellington. We’ll begin by discussing each of the species: how to identify them and where to see them.  Then we’ll cover the results of our research projects that have looked at hybridisation between… Read more »

DNA-fingerprinting fierce lancewood

  • The four principal genetic groups detected by microsatellite DNA-fingerprinting in fierce lancewood are indicated by different colours. The small grey circles are populations that we haven’t sampled, but which are represented by specimens in the herbarium collections of Te Papa, Auckland Museum, and Landcare Research.
  • The four principal genetic groups detected by microsatellite DNA-fingerprinting in fierce lancewood are indicated by different colours. The small grey circles are populations that we haven’t sampled, but which are represented by specimens in the herbarium collections of Te Papa, Auckland Museum, and Landcare Research.
  • The four principal genetic groups detected by microsatellite DNA-fingerprinting in fierce lancewood are indicated by different colours. The small grey circles are populations that we haven’t sampled, but which are represented by specimens in the herbarium collections of Te Papa, Auckland Museum, and Landcare Research.
  • At each different kind of microsatellite, each individual has two copies, one inherited from its mother and the other from its father. The two copies in an individual can be the same or different lengths. This is a figure of one particular kind of microsatellite for two individuals. In the upper individual, the two copies are of different lengths: length 129, which is quite uncommon, and length 135 which is common and widespread. In the lower individual, the two copies are both of length 135, which is why there is only one large peak.

Aside from ferns, my main research interest is the group of trees known as Pseudopanax, for which I collaborate with Lara Shepherd from the Allan Wilson Centre. Blog posts on ferns Blog posts on Pseudopanax Pseudopanax includes the lancewoods and five-fingers. Several of the species are popular in cultivation, including fierce lancewood (Pseudopanax ferox). This… Read more »

Our promiscuous Pseudopanax plants

  • Distribution maps for (A) lancewood, (B) coastal five-finger, and (C) their hybrids. Circles indicate natural distributions, and were compiled using data from the AK (Auckland Museum), CHR (Landcare Research), NZFRI (Scion), and WELT (Te Papa) herbaria. Squares for coastal five-finger and the hybrids indicate their ‘weedy’ distribution, this being a preliminary assessment based on my observations.
  • Maps_Sep08
  • Distribution maps for (A) lancewood, (B) coastal five-finger, and (C) their hybrids. Circles indicate natural distributions, and were compiled using data from the AK (Auckland Museum), CHR (Landcare Research), NZFRI (Scion), and WELT (Te Papa) herbaria. Squares for coastal five-finger and the hybrids indicate their ‘weedy’ distribution, this being a preliminary assessment based on my observations.
  • Coastal five-finger, houpara, Pseudopanax lessonii. Photo by Leon Perrie. (c) Leon Perrie, Wellington.

New Zealand’s plants have a bit of a reputation for pronounced promiscuity. There is supposedly a high rate of hybridisation, or individuals of one species breeding with individuals of a different species. I’m not entirely sure that this reputation is nationally deserved. Nevertheless, a striking example of hybridisation occurs in Pseudopanax, which is one of… Read more »

We have DNA

  • Pseudopanax macintyrei.
  • Pseudopanax macintyrei.
  • Adult tree of fierce lancewood, Pseudopanax ferox.
  • DNA of Pseudopanax on agarose gel after electrophoresis

The first step after collecting samples for genetic analyses is to extract the DNA. Lara and I do this for lancewood and five-finger plants (Pseudopanax) by: freezing a small piece of leaf tissue in liquid nitrogen (-196 degrees C !) and grinding it as finely as possible. adding a detergent to release the DNA from… Read more »

Lancewood hunting

  • pseudopanax_ferox_juvenile2
  • pseudopanax_ferox_juvenile1
  • pseudopanax_ferox_juvenile_leaf1
  • tepapa4wd2

Field-work is one of the best aspects of working as a Natural Environment curator at Te Papa. I get to spend about three weeks a year in the field collecting plant specimens. I’ve recently returned from ten days field-work in the South Island, collecting samples for our research on lancewood (horoeka, Pseudopanax crassifolius) and fierce… Read more »