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 the
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 coast
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 main
The mining on Denniston has been given the go-ahead by the Environment Court. Radio New Zealand report on the approval of the Bathurst Escarpment mine. The mine application covers just over one square kilometre. According to a report by the Department of Conservation, there are within that area at least
The Escarpment Mine on the Denniston Plateau has been tentatively approved by the Environment Court, subject to suitable mitigation plans. One of the issues that may be under consideration is what to do about the site’s population of the Sticherus tener umbrella fern. Scoop news report: “…tentative nod for Denniston
Te Papa’s botanists made several significant finds during their explorations accompanying the recent Bryophyte and Lichen Workshop. Led by Research Associate Peter Beveridge and Research Fellow Patrick Brownsey, the moss Dicranoweisia spenceri was found in some abundance at the site we investigated within Tongariro National Park. This is great news
The rare, tetraploid maidenhair spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes subsp. quadrivalens) has only recently been rediscovered in New Zealand. Several people have contacted me with possible additional sightings. As described by the Scoop website, Jack Ritchie had a maidenhair spleenwort self-sow on a rock used to construct a water feature in his
The maidenhair spleenwort is a spleenwort fern (Asplenium) that (supposedly) looks like a maidenhair fern (Adiantum, see below). The 600 or so of the world’s spleenworts are characterised by having their reproductive structures in lines away from the margins of their fronds’ undersides. Two maidenhair spleenworts occur in New Zealand.