Bart Cox and Jasmine Gibbins spent their summer researching native orchids at Te Papa. Bart and Jasmine are part of a group of seven students from Victoria University of Wellington that were awarded a Summer Research Scholarship co-funded by Te Papa and Victoria University of Wellington. Bart’s research focused on a threatenedRead more

Orchids are one of the top five plant groups with conservation issues in New Zealand. Unlike many other endangered or uncommon plants, propagation of native orchids from seed for conservation has not been attempted in New Zealand before. With the help of funding from the Otari Wilton’s Bush Trust, theRead more

Today, two rare species of forget-me-nots have been added to the Flora of New Zealand. These new species were discovered during an expedition I led to Kahurangi National Park, one of the hotspot for forget-me-nots diversity in New Zealand. These new species, Myosotis chaffeyorum (Chaffey’s Forget-me-not) and Myosotis mooreana (Moore’s forget-me-not) are described and illustratedRead more

When we think about about orchids we usually think about tropical islands or unexplored jungle-covered mountains in distant lands. This is not always the case, and many orchids are also found in temperate and cold regions of the world. Some orchids have even reached the Subantarctic islands where, not so long ago,Read more

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 livingRead more

Habitat of a native New Zealand hooked grass. Photo by C.A. Lehnebach (c) Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Did you know that Hook Grasses can control water loss by folding up their leaves? Contrary to their common name,  Hook Grasses are not grasses but Sedges and they belong to the family Cyperaceae.  Sedges are commonly found in wet or poorly drained habitats. Hook Grasses, however, can be found in a much greater diversity of habitats.Read more

Tramping in New Zealand forests can be an enjoyable and very relaxing activity. However, if your legs are hairy, it could be a painful and very annoying experience. Camouflaged among ferns and ground orchids, hook grasses are waiting, ready to clasp to the hairs or clothing of any unwary tramper.Read more