Motorway effects study reveals new flower species

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

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.