Thomas Cheeseman (1846-1923), who moved to New Zealand in childhood, was a figure of vital importance for the study of the natural history of New Zealand. Appointed curator of the newly founded Auckland Museum in 1874, he built up its natural history collections on collecting trips, and published over 100 books and papers on botanical, zoological, and ethnographical subjects - work of importance not only for botanists but for the development of agriculture in New Zealand, and for an understanding of the native ecology of the country. He was commissioned by the government to replace Hooker's now outdated 1864 New Zealand Flora, when Thomas Kirk died before completing such a handbook. Building on his local studies, he published this two-volume work, which contained descriptions of 1,551 flowering plants, 20 pines, and 156 ferns and fern allies, in 1906. He was awarded the Gold Medal of the Linnaean Society in 1923.
Cambridge Library Collection - Botany and Horticulture
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