Two Te Papa botanists recently spent a week collecting ferns on Lord Howe Island. They were adeptly guided by Lord Howe Island museum curator Ian Hutton and joined by Daniel Ohlsen from the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria. The natural history of Lord Howe Island was introduced in an earlier blog
Pat was a stalwart of the museum, beginning in 1977. He was a curator of botany and expert on New Zealand ferns. But he was so much more, including curating Te Papa’s stamp collection, and at various times managing the natural history team and the museum’s acquisitions process. Significantly, he was a role-model, mentor, and friend to many. This blog is a tribute to his wide-ranging contributions to Te Papa and its people.
Exotic species that spread into the wild are one of the pressures impacting the uniquely special biodiversity of Aotearoa New Zealand. Biosecurity measures are intended to mitigate this. But one aspect of the country’s biosecurity was recently criticised as patchy, limited, passive, and serendipitous. Curator of Botany Leon Perrie and
Two Te Papa botanists recently spent a week collecting ferns on Lord Howe Island. They were adeptly guided by Lord Howe Island museum curator Ian Hutton and joined by Daniel Ohlsen from the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria. Lord Howe Island is a nature-lovers’ paradise with much of the island protected in reserve and mammal pests recently eradicated. Our fern findings will be detailed in a future blog post but here Lara Shepherd and Leon Perrie discuss the natural history of Lord Howe Island and introduce some of its flowering plants.
Three Te Papa botanists recently visited Norfolk Island together with colleagues from the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria. Their purpose was to collect ferns for research. Curator of Botany Leon Perrie introduces the significance of Norfolk Island’s ferns. Our research programme investigating the relationships and naming of Aotearoa New Zealand’s ferns
The large-leaved Aciphylla speargrasses or taramea are difficult plants to collect. Their rigid leaves are tipped in a sharp point and the bracts on their flower spikes are similarly ferocious. These defences are thought to have evolved to avoid browsing by moa, but they also work against botanists! Consequently, speargrasses are under‑represented in plant collections (herbaria). Te Papa Research Scientist Lara Shepherd and Botany Curator Leon Perrie describe how they approached sampling speargrasses on their recent collecting trip.
Sun, rain, hail, mist and snow – Research Scientist Lara Shepherd and Botany Curator Leon Perrie encountered them all over an epic six-week plant collecting trip late in 2022. Their aim was to collect Aciphylla speargrasses for a research project to determine the number of species. Here is an overview
Aotearoa New Zealand has a plethora of weird and wonderful plants. The ferociously spiky speargrasses are some of our most distinctive plants and an iconic feature of New Zealand’s high-country, especially when flowering. Te Papa Research Scientist Lara Shepherd and Botany Curator Leon Perrie recently embarked on a new project
Why is a specimen of New Zealand’s indigenous carrot on display at Te Papa for the next few months? Curator of Botany Leon Perrie explains. Among the most significant plant specimens in our care are collections made in 1769-1770 from Aotearoa New Zealand by botanists Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander.