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Marguerite Crookes

Botanist (1898-1991)

Founder of the Auckland Natural History Club, Marguerite Crookes was just 28 when she published her best known work, Plant Life in Maoriland: A Botanist’s Note Book. This contained a series of articles on native plants she had written for newspapers. Most of Crookes’ work was out of the realm of scientific publishing, but in 1949 she published a paper on New Zealand ferns in the Transactions of the Royal Society Te Aparāngi. This work was Crookes’ most important contribution to botanical science. In 1951 she published a revised and edited fourth edition of the book New Zealand Ferns, with a fifth edition in 1952 and a sixth in 1963. Botany was for Crookes perhaps more of an art than a science, and, as a result, she could communicate her views to everyone – it was once said that it was the way that she pleaded for the preservation of one of the last swamps in Auckland that won the case.1

References:

1. ‘NZBotSoc No 58 Dec 1999 - Nzbotsoc-1999-58.Pdf’, accessed 18 September 2017, http://www.nzbotanicalsociety.org.nz/newsletter/nzbotsoc-1999-58.pdf.

This profile is part of the series 150 Women in 150 Words that celebrates women’s contributions to expanding knowledge in New Zealand, running as part of our 150th Anniversary.