Meetings | Field Trips


Monday 6 August 2018 at 7:30 pm. Upper Riccarton Library meeting room, 71 Main South Road, Riccarton. Speaker: Jeremy Rolfe (Department of Conservation, Wellington). Topic: Latest 2018 threat rankings for New Zealand plant species. Jeremy will speak about the latest changes in the threat rankings of NZ plant species and explain the rationale behind them. The Department of Conservation recently published a new assessment of the conservation status of indigenous vascular plants that had been undertaken by the NZ Threat Classification expert panel for vascular plants. This update includes an additional 205 taxa and unnamed entities that have not been previously assessed, and significant changes to the assessment of several taxa since 2012. All but one indigenous Myrtaceae species, including kanuka and manuka, are ranked as Threatened given the imminent threat of myrtle rust. The most abundant and widespread form of manuka was assessed as At Risk. For the first time matagouri is listed as an At Risk-Declining species. Hear about these changes and other recent developments in the New Zealand Threat Classification System.

Reference to Threat publication:

It is important that we understand the rationale behind the listing of plants that are otherwise common in Canterbury, such as kanuka, manuka, matagouri, pygmy mistletoes, Coprosma virescens, Linum monogynum common scabweed Raoulia australis, and Juncus distegus. A whole suite of eastern South Island species have moved to a higher threat rank – Carmichaelia nana, C. corrugata, and Canterbury pink broom C. torulosa, the montane basin sedge Carex albula, woolly woodrush Luzula ulophylla, montane basin wheatgrass Anthosachne falcis, red gravelly river margin sedge Carex buchananii, dry grassland bindweed Convolvulus verecundus, and button daisy Leptinella serrulata. Wetland rushes Juncus caespiticus and J. distegus are now listed as At Risk. Most of these deteriorating rankings can be attributed to habitat loss. 


Saturday 11 August. A beginner’s guide to the Coprosma species in the Port Hills forests and shrublands. We are also on the hunt for an old BOTSOC record of Coprosma rugosa somewhere Cass Peak.
Where to meet: Meet Meet at 9 am on Malcolm Avenue on the corner opposite the Z petrol station, 23 Colombo Street, Thorrington.
Suitability: Moderate. We will drive between sites, popping out to walk about 50 m on formed tracks. However, it is likely that we will scramble up Gibraltar Rock and hunt around in steep, rocky scrub.
Cost: $4 petrol reimbursement to drivers (10c/km paid to drivers).
What to bring: Lunch, drink, warm clothes, hat, raincoat, sturdy footwear, petrol money. Be prepared for the usual range of weather at this time of year.
Trip leader/s: Alice Shanks. Contact or phone 027 3661246 if you intend to come along so I can let you know if the trip is cancelled.


MEETING. Monday 3 September 7:30 pm. Upper Riccarton Library. Speaker: Yuriy Malakhov (Botanical Society student grant recipient). Topic: Benthic microalgae of the Estuary.

FIELD TRIP. Saturday 8 September.  Tai Tapu in the spring: the Chaffey kowhai garden, Rocklands forest restoration, and Joyce floodplain forest garden.

MEETING. Monday 1 October. Speaker: Hermann Frank. Topic: The lizard fauna of South Canterbury limestone and the vegetation they inhabit.

FIELD TRIP. Saturday 6 October. Tiromoana Bush, Kate Valley.

MEETING. Monday 5 November. Speaker: Dr Jamie Wood (Manaaki Whenua Researcher, Ecosystems and Global Change). Topic: NZ birds and the fungi they eat.

SPRING CAMP. Friday 16 November – Sunday 18 November. Conway River, North Canterbury. This year’s spring camp will be based around the Conway River about 7km west (inland) from Ferniehurst, North Canterbury. We intend to look at the 89 ha Ngaroma Scenic Reserve (mixed podocarps, beech, & kanuka), the 14 ha Waingaro QEII covenant (mixed podocarps & beech), a 25 ha limestone outcrop (who knows?), and (for those who missed it in 2015) the 20 ha remnant of mature podocarp forest on Ferniehurst (near-primary podocarp forest on a river terrace). Accommodation (booked for the nights of Thursday 15th, Friday 16th & Saturday 17th Nov) will be based at the Waingaro Farm cottage. All our botanical venues involve old-growth bush, growing on fertile soils under the abundant Hundalee Hills rainfall. Further details will be included in newsletters to follow. If you wish to attend, please contact Miles or Gillian Giller on (03) 313-5315.


The Society holds monthly evening meetings, usually on the first Monday of each month. Meetings start at 7.30 pm. We organise a speaker and follow the meeting with an informal supper and chat.

Upper Riccarton libraryClick here to open larger mapEvening meetings are held in a community meeting room at the Upper Riccarton Library, 71 Main South Road, Upper Riccarton. The meeting room is just through the main library doors (on your left). Entry to the library closes at 8 pm but you can exit after this time by pushing the green button next to the door. Parking is available in front of the library.

Information for speakers
The meeting room has a data projector (and cable) but you need to bring your own laptop or advise the meeting organiser that they need to bring one. Please check that your laptop is able to connect to an external projector.

Field trips are usually held on the Saturday following the evening meeting. Trips in the winter months are to places closer to Christchurch and in the warmer months we take advantage of the longer daylight hours to venture further afield.

In January we have a week-long summer camp and visit places which are too far to access from Christchurch for a day trip. We book affordable accommodation and make daily excursions from this point.

In spring we often have a long weekend camp over Show Weekend in November.

Occasionally we hold workshops on specific topics.

The AGM is held on the first Saturday after Queen’s Birthday weekend. After the AGM we have a speaker, followed by a shared finger food lunch.