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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.




The adventive flora, as distinct from the native (indigenous) and the cultivated plant floras, consists of all plant species which are not native of New Zealand and grow spontaneously outside of cultivation; examples of adventive species are wheat growing along a railway track, gorse in a pasture, or hemlock in a pasture. It is a significant flora, not only because some of its members play an important role in the vegetation by forming distinct communities alone or with native species, but also because it contains the majority of our most troublesome weeds. There are now few landscapes at lower altitudes in which adventive species are not prominent; some species are so widely distributed and are in such harmony with their adopted countryside as to have every appearance of their being natives here, and are sometimes mistaken for them.


Arthur John Healy, M.AGR.SC., Assistant Director, Botanical Division, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Lincoln, Canterbury.