15 Jul 2017

Motorway effects study reveals new flower species

8:35 am on 15 July 2017

Botanists may have discovered a new native flower species in Auckland, the Transport Agency says.

The small pale pink flower of the Oakley Creek geranium.

The small pale pink flower of the Oakley Creek geranium. Photo: NZ Transport Agency

The small pale pink flower blooming along Oakley Creek in Waterview is believed to be a previously unidentified native species of geranium.

The agency said the 'Oakley Creek geranium' was discovered during a study into the new Waterview Connection's ecological footprint.

Ecologist Kathryn Longstaff, who is involved in the project, said it was possible the geranium found its way here from Australia - or that it was a variant of one of New Zealand's few indigenous geraniums.

She said the newly-discovered geranium had leaf stem hairs that lay flat, rather than upright, and that was a rare and exciting find.

The Waterview Connection project had been working to restore Oakley Creek and its banks were now lined with native plants, the agency said.