Gully fern, also called pākauroharoha and Pneumatopteris pennigera, is one of the most common ferns in New Zealand.  You’ll have almost certainly seen it if you’ve ever walked in a New Zealand forest.  It occurs from the north of the North Island to the south of the South Island (althoughRead more

Identifying a kowhai plant using observation, Photographer: Te Papa, © Te Papa

Throughout 2015, young children from three Wellington regional Early Childhood Centres (ECE) have been thinking and working as scientists as part of the ‘It’s a Bugs Life’ partnership project with Te Papa Education. In celebration of the mahi (work), their teachers and educators from Te Papa arranged for the children to come and meet with more experienced scientistsRead more

A highlight of my recent South Island fieldwork was helping to survey the last remaining New Zealand population of the liverwort Petalophyllum preissii.  It’s a distinctive looking plant, a bit like a little lettuce, and about the size of a fingernail. Seeing it was special because I likely won’t have theRead 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

Increasing plant populations through propagation is one way to help threatened species.  Last week, Wellington City Council biodiversity staff collected cuttings and seed from several plant populations in the Te Kopahou area on the coast south of Wellington.  I tagged along. The targeted species Spectacular, steep habitat Wellington’s south coastRead 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

I gave a talk on “Understanding and valuing our plants” at the recent open day of Otari-Wilton’s Bush in Wellington. I’m very interested in why New Zealand’s native species might be valued. I am hoping you can help me think about that – I welcome your input; see below. AsRead more

I gave a talk on “Understanding and valuing our plants” at the recent open day of Otari-Wilton’s Bush in Wellington. I’m very interested in why New Zealand’s native species might be valued. I am hoping you can help me think about that – I welcome your input; look out forRead more

Interesting and useful observations of life’s diversity can be made pretty much anywhere, anytime, and by anyone. Last January, I joined the Wellington Botanical Society’s exploration of the area around Nelson Lakes. One of our day trips was to the Rainbow Ski Field. Some of us clambered up to the mainRead 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

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