New Zealand’s plants have a bit of a reputation for pronounced promiscuity. There is supposedly a high rate of hybridisation, or individuals of one species breeding with individuals of a different species. I’m not entirely sure that this reputation is nationally deserved. Nevertheless, a striking example of hybridisation occurs inRead more

Jim Barr and Mary Barr asked a good question about digitisation priorities in their blog. There are 3 parts to digitising Te Papa’s Collection. Information about the artwork or object – information about all the art collection was released on Collections Online last year Photography – do we have a digital photograph? CopyrightRead more

A new website from the Ministry of Education features images from Te Papa’s collection. He Reo Kōmanawa: Images to Inspire Teaching and Learning Te Reo Māori is a digital resource for Te Reo Māori teachers and learners. The website includes a framework for designing sequences of teaching and learning tasks forRead more

  The other night we hung the two McCahons we bought last year – Scared and Mondrian’s last chrysanthemum. They’ve gone up in Toi Te Papa. In the mid-1970s Colin McCahon did a lot of paintings on a thick high quality paper called Steinbach. Legend has it that McCahon’s dealerRead more

Rita Angus: An Artist’s Life by Jill Trevelyan and published by Te Papa Press, is a finalist in the biography  category of this year’s Montana Book Awards. The winner will be announced on Monday 27 July 2009.  Best of luck Jill!  But wait, there’s more… Rita Angus: An Artist’s Life is alsoRead more

Collections Online now features more images of artworks from Te Papa’s Collection. In the past six weeks over 200 more images have been uploaded for you to view. But have you ever wondered about how we get these images online? One of the main challenges for Te Papa is copyright.Read more

An infestation of a giant horsetail, Equisetum hyemale, has been found near Levin. It was spotted by eagle-eyed Department of Conservation staff. They gave us a specimen for Te Papa’s herbarium collection of dried plants.   No horsetail species occur naturally in New Zealand, but several have been purposefully orRead more

One of my previous posts discussed a recent study on New Zealand’s only endemic spider regarded as dangerous to people, the katipo. I thought readers might be interested to learn a little more about what’s behind the bad reputation of katipo and its’ close relatives. As I said then, katipoRead more

Most hen & chickens ferns in cultivation are the false hen & chickens fern, Asplenium ×lucrosum, rather than Asplenium bulbiferum.  The two are easily distinguished. Asplenium ×lucrosum is a sterile hybrid between Asplenium bulbiferum and Asplenium dimorphum.  The “×” preceding “lucrosum” indicates it is a hybrid. The two parent speciesRead more

The spread of swine flu around the world has been dominating the media lately. Hopefully it won’t turn into a pandemic like the one that swept through New Zealand in late 1918. Originating in the northern hemisphere, this strain of the ‘flu killed an estimated 8251 New Zealanders over a period ofRead more

To the left is a war memorial that I discovered in Nelson. It is on the grounds of St Marys Catholic Church in Manuka Street. I don’t know anything about this memorial and it’s not listed on the register of war memorials on NZHistory.net.nz. Any information about it would be gratefully recieved. ItRead more