Ferns in Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific
Ferns are so prominent in Aotearoa New Zealand, we even wear them on our sporting uniforms. From botany research to citizen science, pressed-fern books of the 1800s to collecting All Blacks and tourism memorabilia, our collectors and curators spend a lot of time with ferns.
A new species of fern for New Zealand, Asplenium lepidotum
Finding and naming new species is a core part of the job for Te Papa’s scientists. More than 2500 animal and plant species have been named by museum staff since 1865, including the fern Asplenium lepidotum, as Botany Curator Leon Perrie explains.
Fern “Blue books”
We have several copies of the so-called “blue books” of New Zealand ferns. These were produced by Herbert Dobbie and Eric Craig in the late nineteenth century and were made by a process akin to blueprinting, described by Dobbie himself as “a simple form of photography or nature printing” employing light-sensitive iron salts, most commonly on paper.