John Dawson being awarded the Allan Mere by Anthony Wright, President of the New Zealand Botanical Society. Photo: Lara Shepherd

Retired Wellington botanist Dr John Dawson was presented the Allan Mere today. This award, administered by the New Zealand Botanical Society, recognises botanists who have made an outstanding contribution to New Zealand botany.Read more

Group photo at the International Boraginales Conference, just outside the Nees Institute, University of Bonn, Germany, where it was held. Sept 2016.

My name is Heidi Meudt and I’m a Research Scientist in Botany at Te Papa, currently doing taxonomic research on New Zealand’s native forget-me-nots. As part of my job, I occasionally attend scientific conferences in New Zealand and overseas. I’ve blogged before about some of the reasons that international conferences are importantRead more

Now that springtime is upon us in New Zealand, many plants are starting to flower, producing pollen. Many of us have a negative association with pollen due to its role in causing allergies [PDF, 172KB]. But not all pollen causes allergies, and pollen is of course extremely important to the biology andRead more

Botany Collection Store: Te Papa has 300 000 botany specimens. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2015.

Today is World Science Day for Peace and Development, but science is happening at Te Papa every day . In addition to research being conducted within Te Papa, each year we also loan hundreds of science collection specimens to researchers all around the world. Researchers study our specimens to improve our collectiveRead more

Tim Park, Wellington City Council Biodiversity Officer. Standing next to some well established wharangi (Melicope ternata) plantings on Mount Victoria. Image: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa.

I recently tagged along with Wellington City Council’s Environment Partnership Leader, Tim Park to visit some native re-vegetation sites in Wellington’s town belt. Why is Wellington City planting native plants? Wellington City Council has a policy of replacing pine forest with native plantings in the town belt as pine treesRead more

A moss piglet specimen: Macrobiotus snaresensis Horning, Schuster and Grigarick, 1978, collected 10 Oct 1972, North Promontory, Snares Island., New Zealand. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (AT.000010)

Today is World Habitat Day and this week is World Space Week. I’m observing both of these events by databasing bryophyte (moss and liverwort) botany specimens which are habitat for space travellers.Read more

Peter Beveridge using a hand lens to examine a bryophyte specimen, amongst subalpine vegetation.

Collections are at the heart of a museum. A museum’s exhibitions and research are built from its collections. The significance of collections means it is important to acknowledge those who have contributed. Te Papa’s Botany collection of plant specimens has recently seen notable milestones for two of its biggest contributors:Read more

For many years, Te Papa botanists have included Otari-Wilton’s Bush collections in their research. Otari Native Botanic Garden and Wilton’s Bush Reserve is a special place in Wellington it’s “the only public botanic garden in New Zealand dedicated solely to native plants”. This makes it an important educational and research resourceRead more

Angiosperms, Samolus repens (J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.) Pers. collected 20 Feb 2012, Hue te Taka Peninsula (Moa Point). New Zealand. Field Collection, 2011. Te Papa. SP094157.

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 plantRead more