Primitiae Florae Novae Zelandiae [First Fruits of the Flora of New Zealand]





Botany Department, University of Otago




The Swedish naturalist, Daniel Charles Solander (1733-1782), accompanied Joseph Banks aboard Captain Cook’s HMS Endeavour on the first Pacific expedition of 1768 to 1771. On his return to England, Solander helped Banks collate what is now known as Banks’ Florilegium. While at Teoneroa (Poverty Bay) he and Banks gathered almost 60 plant species, including the now familiar trees and shrubs: karaka, ngaio, kowhai (Sophora tetraptera), koromiko, and flax (Phormium tenax). An important part of Solander’s legacy is his manuscripts, 20 of which are in the British Museum. This copy is from his unpublished Primitiae Florae Novae Zelandiae [1770], the first documented list of the flora of New Zealand. Solander used Linnaeus’ binomial classification system (the Latin two-word tags) to classify the plants.


Cabinet 1 Solander 1.jpg


Daniel Solander, “Primitiae Florae Novae Zelandiae [First Fruits of the Flora of New Zealand],” | OUR Heritage, accessed May 31, 2024,