State Herbarium botanist honoured

Kunzea toelkenii

A new species of New Zealand kānuka genus Kunzea was named after State Herbarium Hon. Associate Dr Hellmut ToelkenPeter de Lange, botanist at the New Zealand Department of Conservation, published the results of a 15-year study examining Kunzea ericoides, a taxon that was thought to be shared between New Zealand and Australia.  De Lange examined the plants with traditional herbarium studies, hybridisation, molecular and ecological studies.  It turned out that K. ericoides does not occur in Australia, and that there are actually ten different species in New Zealand, seven of which were newly described in his revision, among them Kunzea toelkenii de Lange.  Hellmut Toelken is joint author of four of the new species and combinations in the paper, and was acknowledged by Peter de Lange for his long-standing research interest in Kunzea and his contributions to the taxonomy of the genus.