Past Events

Field Trip on Saturday 13th of July 2024, 09:00 AM (2 days ago)

Contact: Gretchen

A day trip to explore the tracks around Ben Rudds Hut. This land is owned by OTMC and is now a QEII covenant. In the past few years, the club has been doing weed control and planting. Check out the OTMC website for interesting history of the site. This trip is along well maintained tracks but there will be mud and ~200m of elevation gain/loss. Good footwear required and dress for all weather types. Meet at Botany Department car park at 9am and return time 2pm. Contact Gretchen 021 065 8497

Social Event on Wednesday 10th of July 2024, 05:20 PM (5 days ago)

Contact: Jo

Come along to our mid-winter botanical gathering. If you like, bring a plant or a book to swap. Show off your latest photos or drawings. Or tell your best botanical find story. Drinks and nibbles provided (gold coin donation).

Field Trip on Saturday 15th of June 2024, 10:00 AM (1 month ago)

Contact: Angela

A nice sheltered walk for a winter morning on a well-formed track through local native bush. Meet at the carpark end of Frasers Road (off Kaikorai Valley Rd) at 10am. We’ll plan to make our way along Kaikorai Stream for an hour or so (perhaps 1km), and then turn back to reach the carpark by noon. The more adventurous among us may decide to do the full 4km loop up to Dalziel Rd and back; others might like to regroup at local Cableways Bar & Bistro for lunch or snacks. Bring good walking shoes, water and a snack, and clothing for the weather. Sunday will be an alternative day in case of bad weather. Contact Angela Brandt ( | 021 121 5657

Talk / Seminar on Wednesday 12th of June 2024, 05:20 PM (1 month ago)

Contact: Jo

Speaker: Aimee Pritchard

How canopy type and management techniques influence plant composition is a globally debated topic with varying points of view. Understanding these influences is important for the future of native regeneration and forest management techniques in Aotearoa New Zealand. This talk encompasses non-vascular and vascular plant diversity in forests and how they are influenced by canopy type, management regimes, and various environmental factors.

Field Trip on Saturday 18th of May 2024, 08:00 AM (1 month ago)

Contact: Gretchen Brownstein | | 0210658497

Leaders: John Barkla / Gretchen Brownstein.

On this trip to the far south we will visit both public and private reserves to see the diversity of plants and vegetation along the south coast, including coastal forests, coastal turfs, coastal cliffs, estuaries and sand dunes. The local QEII reps will lead us around some of the hidden gems of the area. We will be doing a series of shorts walks (between 5min to 1 hour at various sites) depending on site, so there will interesting plants to see for all levels of fitness. Come prepared to be flexible, with good walking shoes, warm clothing, food, and water. Limited accommodation at Slope Point is availble on the Saturday night. Travel 200km (one-way). Please contact Gretchen to book a place on the trip.

Social Event on Wednesday 8th of May 2024, 05:30 PM (2 months ago)

Contact: Gretchen Brownstein | | 0210658497

We will have our AGM and then announce the winners of the photo competition. The photographic competition is a popular and eagerly anticipated event for anyone interested in botanical photography. Enter your best photos and learn what makes a good photograph and how to improve your photographic skills from our panel of expert judges. Your photographs may be chosen for the BSO Calendar so this is your opportunity to have one month of fame. Start organising your entries now and don’t wait until the last minute.

Field Trip on Saturday 13th of April 2024, 09:00 AM (3 months ago)

Contact: Jo Sinclair |

A short trail of Sycamore trees exploding in a lichen and bryophyte community, with a scattered native understory will lead us to Mount Stuart Tunnel. The tunnel was built around 1875 and is 442 metres long. The cool damp air may require warm clothing. If we turn the torches off, we might be rewarded with a glow worm show. The entrance of the tunnel walls are coated in hornworts, liverworts, moss and ferns. Having a hand lens and head torch on this trip is highly recommended. This is a short walk (~1km return) on well- formed tracks. Meet at the Botany Department carpark 9am. Returning to Dunedin by 2pm.

Talk / Seminar on Wednesday 10th of April 2024, 05:20 PM (3 months ago)

Contact: Gretchen Brownstein | | 0210658497

Speaker: On Lee Lau. Chatham Island/Rēkohu/Wharekauri on the eastern edge of Zealandia is home to a high proportion of New Zealand's endemic flora and fauna. Join On Lee for a talk about encountering this flora and fauna in some special sites over the past few years while visiting the island to support freshwater fish research with Otago Uni. On Lee comes from a botany background in the Americas and has gained an appreciation for birds and bugs while working at Tūhura Otago Museum for the past 10 years. The talk will include a virtual visit to some of the island's rākau momori in kōpi groves, including the 2023 Winner for Rākau o te tau/Tree of the Year NZ Aotearoa.

Talk / Seminar on Wednesday 13th of March 2024, 05:20 PM (4 months ago)

Contact: Gretchen Brownstein | | 0210658497

Postponed due to illness - no talk tonight

Speaker: Jess Paull. In ages bygone, gymnosperms were at the height of their diversity. In the modern age, many face extinction due to the looming threat of climate change. What can this group (and others) tell us about our past and our future?

Field Trip on Saturday 9th of March 2024, 09:00 AM (4 months ago)

Contact: Lydia Metcalfe | 027 726 5556

Lydia is leading a climb up Hikaroroa. This 616m mountain 11km inland from Waikouaiti has special ecological significance. Expect stunning plants, expansive views, and a steep climb. This trip will be an adventure, requiring a bit of grunt and surefooted-ness. Bring a lunch and plenty of water. Meet at the Botany Dept carpark 9am, returning late afternoon. Contact Lydia for further details 027 726 5556.

Field Trip on Saturday 24th of February 2024, 09:00 AM (4 months ago)

Contact: Gretchen Brownstein | | 0210658497

The tarns and peat bogs with associated moss field, sedgeland and shrub communities on the flat plateau of Swampy Summit are of regional and national significance. Along with all the interesting plant communities, the views from the top are pretty good. This trip is along well maintained tracks but there will be mud and 350m of elevation gain/loss. Good footwear and lunch a must. And dress for all weather types. Meet at Botany Department car park at 9am and return time 4pm. Contact Gretchen 021 065 8497.

Talk / Seminar on Wednesday 14th of February 2024, 05:20 PM (5 months ago)

Contact: Gretchen Brownstein | | 0210658497

Speaker: Bradley Curnow.

My presentation on Western Australian wildflowers is a low-key photographic ramble through a tiny fraction of Australians largest state. Amongst other places I start in Perth at the King’s botanic garden then travel to John Forrest national park on the Darling escarpment. We head north to Newman and into the outback at Southern cross and Kalgoorlie. On the south coast we visit Esperance and a Banksia speciosa forest and the superb Cape la Grande national park. I also have a section of orchid photos.

Field Trip on Saturday 11th of November 2023, 07:30 AM (8 months ago)

Contact: Gretchen Brownstein | | 0210658497

This is an adventurous trip to the Lenz Reserve at Tautuku in the Catlins. We will follow local experts along trapline routes through mixed old growth and regenerating podocarp forest. There is potential for exciting plant sightings. This trip requires a high level of fitness; we will be covering up to 10km of very rough routes through dense forest. Bring tramping boots, wet weather gear, lunch, water, and first aid kit. Contact Gretchen Brownstein ( Meet at Botany Carpark 7:30am to carpool (drive time: 2hrs one way, ~300kms return trip). Return 7pm.

Talk / Seminar on Wednesday 8th of November 2023, 05:20 PM (8 months ago)

Contact: Lydia Turley

Mushroom-forming fungi are important components of ecosystems. We can observe mushrooms, but the rest of the fungus is not so easy to observe. How much information can we extract from collections of mushrooms? What can genetic data tell us? Come hear about some of the challenges in studying fungi and how maths can help.

Field Trip on Saturday 14th of October 2023, 09:00 AM (9 months ago)

Contact: Gretchen Brownstein | | 0210658497

The location for our October field trip this Saturday has changed. We will be exploring the lichen and fungi at Burns Reserve.

The 87 hectares of coastal podocarp forest which makes up this reserve, lies on the flanks of Signal Hill high above Ravensbourne, Maia, Burkes and St Leonards. Though established in 1907 by residents concerned at the amount of deforestation on the West Harbour Hills, the Reserve had, until recently, been largely forgotten. We did a trip last autumn for the Easter Orchids, this time we will be looking for lichens and fungi.

Meet at Botany Department carpark at 9am. Good walking shoes a must, uneven tracks and a few short hills. Return 1pm.