Posts tagged with botany

A few Chilean plants

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  • Michay, Berberis darwinii (Berberdicaceae). While beautiful in its native Chile, it is an invasive pest in New Zealand. Photo © Heidi M. Meudt.
  • Notro, or Chilean fire bush, Embothrium coccineum (Proteaceae). Photo © Heidi M. Meudt.
  • Gaultheria sp. (Ericaceae). Photo © Heidi M. Meudt.

During a recent family holiday to central and southern Chile, I was able to do a bit of botanising. In addition to several plants endemic to Chile, we also saw several with a Pacific connection. First stop was a day trip to the National Botanic Gardens at Viña del Mar to check out some native… Read more »

Does every spider orchid in New Zealand have its fungus gnat?

Flowers of the native Spider orchid Nematoceras trilobum.

Te Papa’s Curator of Botany, Carlos Lehnebach, has just been awarded a Marsden Fast-Start grant for three years to answer this intriguing question. Spider Orchids are a group of terrestrial orchids that are usually found on forest floors and road banks. Their flowers are small and dull in colour, and it has been suggested that… 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 »

Te Papa in Botanical Bulletin

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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 »