Posts tagged with Captain James Cook

Transit of Venus Botany

Today is the transit of Venus, when that planet passes in front of the sun. Hopefully the bad weather blanketing much of New Zealand doesn’t preclude at least some people from observing the event. Observing the transit was one of Captain Cook’s primary objectives for the Endeavour expedition, and this was done in Tahiti in… Read more »

‘Pacific princess’ – one painting, so many stories

MP Charles Chauvel at the blessing for Poedua.

The blessing for the painting of Poedua (Poetua), a princess from the Society Islands, by John Webber (1751-1793) was a much needed bright spot at Te Papa last week – a week when New Zealand reeled from news of the Pike River mining disaster. This remarkable painting, recently purchased by Te Papa, has lots of stories to tell… Read more »

Kohekohe, one of the funkiest trees in town!

Fruits of Kohekohe (Dysoxylum spectabile). Photo by C.A. Lehnebach (c) Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

There are four reasons that make kohekohe (Dysoxylum spectabile) one of the funkiest trees in town     First, unlike many other trees, Kohekohe flowers sprout from the trunk and branches. This feature is known as cauliflory and it’s believed to be an adaptation to pollination and seed dispersal by animals that can’t fly or insects living at the ground level.    Second,… Read more »