Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution,
Institute of Molecular BioSciences
Dr. Peter Lockhart (AWCMEE),
Title – The Castle Hill buttercup: Ranunculus crithmifolius sub. paucifolius
The Castle Hill buttercup, Ranunculus crithmifolius sub. paucifolius is one of New
Zealand's rarest plants. It is regarded under World Conservation Union (IUCN) criteria
as a critically endangered species due to its restricted distribution and small population.
It is found only in the McCaskill reserve at Kura Tawhiti in North Canterbury, and the
entire population totals less than two hundred plants. The principal objective of my
research is to understand the origin and nature of the buttercup. How unique is this
buttercup? Botanists have long argued this point. My research, which uses DNA sequencing
nd fingerprinting studies, will hopefully answer this question.