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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


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.