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New Zealand Plants and their Story


page iii


This little book is based on a series of ten articles written by me for the Lyttelton Times, Dunedin Evening Star, and Auckland Star, wnich appeared during trie months of April and May, 1907. To the above journals I here tender my hearty thanks for permission to reproduce those parts of the original articles that seemed suitable.

The text as it now appears has been changed in no small degree—much has been rewritten and amplified, and several additional chapters have been added, parts of two being founded on a paper I published originally in the Young Man's Magazine; while Chapter IX, dealing with introduced plants, is altogether new.

As for the book itself, it is the first attempt to deal with the plant-life of the New Zealand biological region as a whole on ecological lines. The subject is purposely treated in the most elementary manner; technicalities are studiously avoided as far as possible, the scientific names of the plants excepted, as the use of these is obviously unavoidable.

In the chapter dealing with the cultivation of New Zealand plants special reference is made to school gardens, for the guidance of such teachers as may use this book.

The subject-matter is, in part, the outcome of my delightful wanderings for many years over the length and breadth of the Dominion, studying the while the plants as they grow naturally; but, on the other hand, I owe much to the writings of my predecessors and page ivcontemporaries, especially those of Sir Joseph Hooker, F.R.S., the late Mr. T. Kirk, F.L.S., and my friend Mr. T. F. Cheeseman, F.L.S., F.Z.S.

Besides the photographs taken personally, a few were generously given by Messrs. J. Crosby-Smith, F.L.S., W. C. Davies, M. C. Gudex, M.A., F. G. Gibbs, M.A., J. J. Collins, A. Hamilton, and W. H. Field, M.P., and to these gentlemen my sincere thanks are due. I am also much indebted to Mr. W. C. Kensington, I.S.O., for permission to make use of any photographs published in my reports on botanical survey to the Department of Lands and Survey; and to the Philosophical Institute of Canterbury for the use of three photographs from the important work just issued by that body on the Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand. My friend Professor C. Chilton, M.A., D.Sc, has most generously assisted me in revising the proofs, and I thank him most sincerely.

The book is published under the auspices of the Department of Education, and I gladly take this opportunity of thanking the Hon. G. Fowlds, Minister of Education, for having arranged for the publication of the work. My thanks are likewise due to Mr. W. E. Spencer, M.A., M.Sc, of the Education Department, who has rendered valuable assistance in various ways. Finally, it gives me much pleasure to express my obligations to the Government Printer, Mr. John Mackay, and to the photographic branch of his Department.

                                                                     L. C.

Christchurch, 15th August, 1910.