Plantago moorei Rahn, Holotype at RNG

Detail of shoot tip of Plantago moorei Rahn from Holotype

The herbarium at Reading University has a large collection of plants from Tierra Del Fuego and the Falkland Islands collected by Professor David Moore quite early in his research career. Among these is a tiny plant collected in 1964 and described as a new species in his honour in 1984. Resulting from a recent request for information on this species, this blog includes an image of the Holotype of Plantago moorei held at RNG (which incorporates RU). The plant was collected in mid-Summer and has numerous very small flowers.  The species is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red list.

Arriving in Port Stanley by boat. Christ Church Cathedral visible on the right.

Plantago moorei Rahn, Nordic J. Bot. 4(5): 624. 1984. Type. Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur. Islas Malvinas, Port Stephens, 30/01/1964, D.M. Moore 729

Holotype of Plantago moorei Rahn held at RNG (incorporates RU)

To see the plant growing have a look at: Plantago moorei growing in the Falkland Islands (Photo by Kew UKOT team). You can read more about the plant on Kew’s PotWO site.

As well as herbarium collections RNG holds David moore’s collection books and photos of plants and places he visited in the Falkland Islands.

From his 1963/64 Falklands photo album you quckly get a feel for life on the island and the windswept heaths, bogs and rocky areas that are so rich in vegetation. Port Stanley and surrounding areas look quite desolate in the monochrome prints. Some of these photos were later reporduced in David Moore’s ‘The Vascular Flora of the Falkland Islands’ published in 1968 by the British Antarctic Survey and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

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You can read more about David Moore on Wikipedia.

About Alastair Culham

A professional botanist and biologist with an interest in promoting biological knowledge and awareness to all.
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