In late 2014, Te Papa Botany Staff embarked on a 11 day field trip from Otago to North Canterbury. We collected specimens, images and DNA samples of native forget-me-nots (Myosotis spp.) and New Zealand hebes (Veronica spp.). See the first blog in this series for the detailed itinerary.
Along the way, other native (and naturalised) species were also collected for Te Papa’s herbarium. All collections are now available on Te Papa Collection Online. Below are some highlights of native plants seen, some of which were also collected.
Our botanising started in Otago (the Old Man, Dunstan and Hector Ranges) where we included local botanist Mike Thorsen along for the ride. Mike was able to point out many plants that are unique to the challenging Central Otago habitat and we also encountered many more widespread sub-alpine species. Displayed below are: a native dandelion – found throught New Zealand; a ‘wood rush’ – endemic to the South Island of NZ and a Leptinella – endemic to Otago, NZ.
In the Hector Ranges in the Southern Lakes district, I was delighted to see the scrambling species of native Fuchsia, which I had not sighted in the wild before.
Our last stop was Mount St Patrick in North Canterbury. This is another botanically rich area where I sighted many species I had not seen before, inlcuding Notothlaspi rosulatum and Ranunculus haastii.
Thanks to the Department of Conservation, landowners and our volunteers, who supported us and helped make our field work possible.