I have received great support and encouragement over the years from
Chief Forestry Officers Mr James and Mr Andrews. Many other members of
the Forestry Department have also been very supportive.
will mention five other individuals without whom this work would not have been completed.
I write about each below in no special order.
Richard A. Howard
wrote the 'Flora of the Lesser
Antilles : Leeward and
Windward Islands' , checked the identification of my early
collections and was very encouraging in his long, typed letters.
Fournet, author of 'Flore illustrée des phanérogames de
de Martinique', responded promptly to many emails and images using his
tremendous knowledge both in the field and in the herbarium. His flora
has also proved invaluable to me.
collaboration with Franklin
, long-time curator of the herbarium
at the University of Rio Pedras Puerto Rico, began about 5 years ago
when I received a little welcome funding to collect grasses, sedges and
what I suspected were first Saint Lucian records and sent duplicates
over to him. He quickly identified the grasses and sedges,
which I was not competent to do and these form the basis of
grass and sedge collections in our local herbarium at the Forestry
Department. Since then I have built up a substantial collection
both here and in Puerto Rico - the Puerta Rican collection is
very important because it provides the validation for the 300
or so first Saint Lucian collections I have made. In addition
identifications from the earlier collection have been corrected and all
names brought up to date. Thousands of emails have been
exchanged and I have visited San Juan twice. I
believe that my plant albums have a
sound taxonomic base and this has been made possible by the great
knowledge, skill and hard work of Frank. He and his wife were very
hospitable to me when I stayed with them; like me
they seem to run a small guest house but unlike me, they
give you the bill!
I met Melvin Smith (here
relaxing on his farm)
11 years ago
when he was 19. Since then we have made over 600 field trips to all
parts of the island. He has such great field skills
that we have been able to frequently go off trail and make a
multiple trips to all parts of the Gimie range and deep into the many
Choiseul ravines. In addition he has an excellent eye for
Many of the first collections we made were actually
spotted by him. Along the way he has learned to recognize most of the
plants of Saint Lucia.
Last but not least, my business partner Henry Augustin
has supported this project by covering for me on my frequent absences
in the field and during the enormous amount of time spent on the
afterwards. In addition it is the guest house that has
provided the financial support needed for such a project. His
has been essential. Luckily for me he has a great love of plants and
gardening although a childhood spent helping on the family farm on the
forest edge has put him off bush walking for ever!