While exploring the subalpine flora around the Otira Valley during the field trip at the end of the Australian Systematic Botany Society 2010 Conference I recently attended, I came across some plants that I have studied in the past, as well as others that I’m about to begin researching. After
Te Papa’s Curator of Botany, Carlos Lehnebach, has just been awarded a Marsden Fast-Start grant for three years to answer this intriguing question. Spider Orchids are a group of terrestrial orchids that are usually found on forest floors and road banks. Their flowers are small and dull in colour, and
We have just described a new species of Tmesipteris fork fern. Fork ferns are odd looking and only distantly related to other ferns. We now recognise five species in New Zealand. There are only about 15 species around the world, with Australasia their strong-hold. The new species has been named
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.
I was out last week with Tim Park from the regional council looking for Pseudopanax hybrids between lancewood and coastal five-finger near Porirua. Coastal five-finger and the hybrids are weeds in the Wellington region. Previous post on lancewood and coastal five-finger hybridisation. We spotted a couple of other weedy natives
My name is Jessie Prebble and I am the current (2009) recipient of the Te Papa MSc Scholarship in Molecular Systematics. I’m studying at Victoria University, looking at the evolution of the plant genus Wahlenbergia in New Zealand and Australia. I’m using various molecular techniques to try to determine how
No, it is not Christmas already. (Fortunately the year hasn’t passed by that quickly.) But this pohutukawa on Wellington’s waterfront, opposite Frank Kitts Park, seems to think so. It has been spluttering into flower over the last few weeks. The pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa) is New Zealand’s ‘Christmas tree’, its bursting