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 nativesRead more

Aside from ferns, my main research interest is the group of trees known as Pseudopanax, for which I collaborate with Lara Shepherd from the Allan Wilson Centre. Blog posts on ferns Blog posts on Pseudopanax Pseudopanax includes the lancewoods and five-fingers. Several of the species are popular in cultivation, includingRead more

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

Field-work is one of the best aspects of working as a Natural Environment curator at Te Papa. I get to spend about three weeks a year in the field collecting plant specimens. I’ve recently returned from ten days field-work in the South Island, collecting samples for our research on lancewoodRead more