New Zealand’s plant of the year lives in wetlands

19 December 2011

New Zealanders have voted for a giant restio, Sporadanthus ferrugineus, as their plant of the year.  True to form, press reporting on this failed to include an image, so the one below has been sourced and referenced:

Sporadanthus ferrugineus. Peter Johnson. 'Wetlands', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 25-Sep-11 URL: http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/wetlands/4/2

Sporadanthus ferrugineus is found mainly in peat bogs, especially domed peat bogs.

New Zealand has lakes of legendary clarity, that is you can see really deep down into them, as far as 63 meters (!) in the case of Blue Lake.

Blue Lake is characterised by blue-violet hues seen only in the very clearest natural waters. It is highly unusual in its geological and hydrological setting, being apparently spring-fed from neighbouring glacial Lake Constance. Almost all suspended particles appear to be filtered from the water as it passes through landslide debris that forms a dam between the two lakes – which probably accounts for its extreme visual clarity.

The theoretical visibility in distilled water is about 80 metres, as estimated from the best available instrumental measurements in the laboratory so Blue Lake is a close approach to optically pure water.

The Department of Conservation would ask that the waters are respected and that people don’t wash themselves or their clothes or dishes in the lake.

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