Some time ago now, the Te Papa Science team completed the process of collecting, identifying and storing terrestrial plants from a low-stature plant community on Wellington’s South Coast. Over 100 species of seed plant, ferns, lichens, moss, liverwort and seaweed were collected. This total comprised approximately 69 indigenous and 33 naturalised plant species.
This Te Papa Collections Online narrative provides a broad overview of the area. The Te Papa terrestrial plant community narrative ties these plant specimens together and provides a useful online resource for managers and educators, or for anyone with an interest in New Zealand coastal plants. This vouchered collection can also be used to gauge plant community changes over time.
The Wellington City Council Parks team have been controlling naturalised plants in this reserve for some time, including karo (Pittosporum crassifolium), Gazania rigens, marram (Amophila arenaria) and pigs ear (Cotyledon orbiculata).
Dr Leon Perrie, Curator Botany at Te Papa, outlined the impact of karo spread in coastal plant communities in his blog post about restoration in New Zealand.
The highlight for me during this project was the ability to visit the same place numerous times over a flowering season. The high frequency of visits enabled us to collect the best flowering material possible and capture some great images. This is a luxury not usually afforded on a one off collecting trip, where often only a subset of target species are flowering. Four of my favorite images follow.
Another highlight from this collecting site is the fact we were able to collect terrestrial and marine plants in the same area.
The first blog about this project provides more detail about the area and project objectives.
I hope you enjoy exploring Wellington’s South Coast via the internet.
Thank you to all the Te Papa staff who took part and made this project possible.
Other posts in this series:
Botany Collection Narratives (Part 4): Expedition Snares Islands
Botany Collection Narratives – (Part 2) Lindauer, Algae Nova-Zelandicae Exsiccatae
Botany Collection Narratives – (Part 1) Recent Botany Donations