Pukekura Park - its ecology and history - Friends of Pukekura Park New Plymouth Inc.

Orchids and Pukekura Park

George Fuller

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George Fuller’s love affair with Pukekura Park began in 1964 when nurseryman Fred Parker donated his orchid collection to the Park, conditional on the employment of George to care for it! By 1966 George had progressed to become Curator of Pukekura and Brooklands…

The spectacular Indonesian orchid species with its multiple trailing flower spikes featured on the back cover of this Newsletter has a distinctive Pukekura history. George Fuller introduced it to the Pukekura Park orchid collection in April 1986 directly from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in a plant swap. It was imported as Coelogyne dayana. However, recent botanical research has discovered that it had been identified in northern Borneo 20 years prior to it being named in 1882 after John Day, a prominent English orchid collector and botanical artist. This revelation has led to an official change of nomenclature to Coelogyne pulverula. The literal translation of pulverula, “as if dusted with powder”, refers to the mass of delicate flowers on each of many spikes. The Pukekura plant photographed by George Fuller in February 2004 (back cover) has 17 trailing flower spikes up to 1.45m in length with each carrying up to 50 flowers. Such vigour bears testimony to the expertise of the staff in the Fernery and Display Houses who tend the orchid collection. This unique photo of Coelogyne pulverula ‘Cutie’ has been requested for publication by the Australian Orchid Review and will once again associate George Fuller, recently elected Patron of the Orchid Council of New Zealand, with the Pukekura Park orchid collection.

Reproduced from The Newsletter of the Friends of Pukekura Park 2(2) (October 2007)

Historically the Pukekura Park orchid collection has flourished under the care of George Fuller, and present-day Fernery and Display House staff continue in that tradition to produce vigorous orchids such as the photographed Coelogyne pulverula with its 17 trailing flower spikes. Originally purchased by George in 1986 at a Kew Gardens plant swap, the Indonesian beauty has undergone a name change. Once named Coelogyne dayana after John Day, prominent English orchid collector, the orchid is now officially called by its original name given 20 years earlier when identified in northern Borneo as Coelogyne pulverula ‘Cutie’.

History, Pukekura Park, orchid collection, Fred Parker, George Fuller, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Indonesian orchid, Coelogyne dayana, Coelogyne pulverula, 'Cutie', Australian Orchid Review, Patron, Orchid Council of New Zealand, Borneo, John Day, fernery, display house.

George Fuller, orchids and Pukekura Park

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