Wild Plants in Auckland

Alan Esler

‘Line drawings of 322 species of wild plants, both native and introduced, accompanied by an engaging and knowledgeable text.’ – NZ Herald


Wild plants may be as simple as a weedy patch in a garden or as complex as native forest in a bushy gully. A large proportion of Auckland’s living landscape is made up of urban plants growing without intentional human aid. Every kind of plant is different, in its form, its requirements and tolerances, its life history and its influence on other plants.

In words, and in exquisite line drawings and colour photographs, this fascinating and approachable book by an expert in the field tells the story of 322 species that grow wild in New Zealand’s largest city.



Dr Alan Esler is a well-known forensic botanist, known to many as the ‘Cannabis man’ after his enormously precise, illustrated pamphlet on cannabis identification was plagiarised by a US Drug Enforcement Agency. After lecturing for many years at Massey University, he was appointed in 1969 as the DSIR Regional Botanist at the Mt Albert Research Centre, where he remained for over 20 years, the acknowledged expert on weed identification and forensic botany in the Auckland area. He holds the Police Crest, in recognition of his services to police. He has been described as a natural teacher with artistic instincts and contagious enthusiasm and has produced a great variety of popular illustrated pamphlets.


September 2004, 250 x 194 mm, 224 pages, illustrations
Paperback, ISBN 9781869403294, $49.99