Relationships and naming of New Zealand flowering plants

Te Papa researchers: Lara Shepherd and Leon Perrie

We are using genetics to understand the relationships of the following flowering plant genera in New Zealand: Aciphylla, Alseuosmia, Juncus, Pseudopanax, Schoenus and Sophora.

We combine our genetic results with morphological analyses and field surveys to revise the taxonomies of these groups, understand the distributions of their species and make recommendations on their conservation status.

Lyperobius barbarae on the floral inflorescence of an Aciphylla dobsonii. Photo by Lara Shepherd. Te Papa

Leon Perrie collecting specimens in field. Photo by Lara Shepherd. Te Papa

Main collaborators: Paul Champion (NIWA) for Juncus; Peter de Lange (Unitec) and Andrew Townsend (Department of Conservation) for Alseuosmia; David Glenny (Manaaki Whenua) for Aciphylla; Peter Heenan (Manaaki Whenua) and Min Liao (Chinese Academy of Sciences) for Sophora.

Funding: Linnean Society of London (for Alseuosmia)

Representative publications:

Shepherd LD, Heenan PB. 2022. Phylogenomic analyses reveal a history of hybridisation and introgression between Sophora sect. Edwardsia (Fabaceae) species in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 60: 113-133.

Shepherd LD, Enright P, Perrie LR. 2021. Evidence for the recognition of Schoenus caespitans as a separate species from Schoenus apogon. New Zealand Journal of Botany 59: 217-228.

Shepherd LD, de Lange PJ, Townsend A, Perrie LR. 2020. A biological and ecological review of the endemic New Zealand genus Alseuosmia (toropapa; Alseuosmiaceae). New Zealand Journal of Botany 58: 2-18.

Liao M, Shepherd LD, Zhang J-Y, Feng Y, Mattapha S, Zhang L-B, Gao X-F, Xu B. 2023. Phylogeny, biogeography, and character evolution of the genus Sophora sl (Fabaceae, Papilionoideae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution: 107731.