The Ferns and Fern Allies of New Zealand




Special Collections


Melbourne: George Robertson


Otago Boys’ High School Science master George Malcolm Thomson (1848-1933) was an enthusiastic botanist. He wrote numerous scientific papers and articles on plants such as the violas (and their self-fertilization capabilities) and orchids. In 1891 he wrote an introductory book on botany for New Zealand high schools, and in 1922 his magnum opus appeared: The Naturalisation of Plants and Animals in New Zealand, in which he described over 1,200 introduced species. In 1882, he capitalised on the fern craze (Pteridomania) and produced one of the first succinct and useful accounts of ferns in New Zealand, describing some 145 species. Thomson was also a prime mover in establishing a marine research station, which was eventually housed at Portobello on the Otago Peninsula. This particular copy of Ferns and Fern Allies was owned by John Buchanan.


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George M. Thomson, “The Ferns and Fern Allies of New Zealand,” | OUR Heritage, accessed July 21, 2024,