Author(s): Murdoch Riley & John Salmon
New Zealand's flowering plants have evolved over 80 million years of isolation. Only in the last 1000 years or so has man impacted on the country's unique flora (and fauna), destroying stands of trees that existed in Gondwanaland times, as well as some of the flowering plants that began their colonisation's after then. Our flowers and berries may lack the brilliance and colours of tropical forests of the Pacific, but there is an amazing diversity hidden away amongst the foliage of the trees, in meadows and on roadside banks. They may be small in size, and so unassuming as to escape notice, but exquisite in their variety of colours and forms.