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Botanical Discovery in New Zealand: The Resident Botanists


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Post-Primary School Bulletin Vol. 5 No. 2 The Visiting Botanists described the work of the most outstanding botanists who visited New Zealand as members of exploring expeditions. These men —Banks, Solander, the Forsters, d'Urville, Hooker—collected, preserved, classified, and described a substantial number of the coastal and lowland plants; but they were able to remain in New Zealand only a short time and could not go far from the sea coast in search of specimens. Later botanists living and working in this country were to have the excitement of exploring botanically the inland regions as well as the coast, and of relating what they found to the places where they found them.

Among the many resident botanists three men—William Colenso, Thomas Cheeseman, and Leonard Cockayne—stand out. Others, such as Kirk, Petrie, Laing, Thomson, Buchanan, Armstrong, made notable contributions to the botanical literature of New Zealand, but these three were outstanding in their capacity for work and for introducing new ideas.