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Forget the General Election – the most important vote of the year is here!

It’s a Green issue, of National interest, but not Labour intensive; it’s the annual election of New Zealand’s favourite plant – but none of these candidates will be kissing babies to get votes.

Voting begins 11th November via the New Zealand Plant Conservation Network’s website to choose New Zealand’s premier plant, and to gauge public opinion about what Kiwis love most about their native plants.

Past candidates have been chosen for a wide range of reasons including good looks, where they come from or who they associate with. Some have even smelled nice!

Myosotidium hortensia - Chatham Island forget-me-not

Previous winners include pohutukawa, Cook’s scurvy grass, pingao and willowherb. Last year it was a close race between beauty and the beast, with the Chatham Island forget-me-not beating the killer tree nettle in the last few days of voting.

“In a country where we are strongly connected to nature the native plant election is a great way for people to express their love of the flora” says Network President Philippa Crisp.

“Surprisingly, iconic plants such as the silver fern rarely feature in the top 10 as people have much closer associations with other native plants, either from the garden, their childhood or their travels around the country. With more than 2350 different species to choose from – this vote is definitely not a two-horse race” says Crisp.

New Zealanders are invited to vote for their favourite native plant via the Plant Conservation Network’s simple on-line system on www.nzpcn.org.nz. Voting closes at midday on Saturday 17 December 2011, with the results announced on Monday 19 December.

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