Dr Elizabeth Edgar - eminent New Zealand Flora Writer has passed away
Dr Elizabeth Edgar, passed away on 1 January 2019. She was in her 90th year. Dr Edgar was the co-author of three New Zealand Flora Volumes, working with the late Dr Lucy Moore on Volume II (published 1970) of the series, the late Mr Arthur Healy on Volume III (published 1980), and in 2000 with the late Dr Henry Connor on Volume V. The last Flora volume finally saw Elizabeth as the senior author. The late Henry Connor would never have allowed it to be otherwise.
Notably Volume V was completed in Henry and Elizabeth’s retirements, and, unusually for the New Zealand Flora series, appeared in two editions. The first in 2000 and the second in 2010.
Elizabeth was a person who shunned the ‘limelight’, electing to just get on with it, quietly, without fan fare. She tackled the ‘tricky’ monocotyledonous genera, notably the Cyperaceae and Juncaceae, before shifting to the New Zealand grasses. Although her taxonomic work was exemplary she was also widely respected as a Greek and Latin scholar, and an exceptionally skilled nomenclaturist.
Elizabeth contribution to the New Zealand Flora is honoured with three species - Carex edgariae, Juncus edgariae and Libertia edgariae.
‘Kua hinga te Totara i te wao nui a Tane’.
Peter J. de Lange
Posted: 8 January 2019