The Meaning of Trees explores the history, use and significance of New Zealand’s native plant species. Here you will find information about the role plants have played throughout history, and how they have been used for medicine, food, shelter, science and spirituality. The goal of the website is to show that plants are not just as creatures that share our landscape but are active players in our history and lives.
How to use this website
Find out detailed information on a particular native tree or plant.
Learn how it has been used and viewed throughout history.
This section explores key people and groups that have shaped our interaction with plants.
Learn how the native flora have influenced human and evolutionary history.
Explores which native plants are edible and which make the best teas and beers.
Who am I?
Robert Vennell is the author of The Meaning of Trees, a history of New Zealand’s plants and people. He works as a Collection Manager in the Natural Science department at Auckland Museum – Tāmaki Paenga Hira, collecting and preparing specimens for the natural science galleries. His background is in ecology and he has spent many hours wandering through the bush studying wild pigs and their impact on native flora and fauna.
Find out more about the author of Meaning of Trees Robert Vennell
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