Launch — August 2021
At last, it is almost here! In August 2021, we will launch the Saunders Field Guide to Gladioli of South Africa. Three years after Rod and Rachel’s tragic deaths, and just in time for the 2021 spring and summer flowering season, the book offers a photographic account of all known gladioli in South Africa, with descriptions of plants, their locations and distributions, ecologies, pollinators, and red data listings. It is a major contribution to botanical knowledge and a testament to Rod and Rachel’s work.
We wish to record our deepest gratitude to the many donors who made the book’s publication possible, and to all those who, either directly or indirectly, have supported this work. In particular, I wish to thank Pippa Parker, Natalie Bell, Gillian Black and the team at Struik Nature, who took on the challenge of producing a posthumous book with graceful and gentle awareness of the context; Matt Wolfe, who patiently compiled the photograph archive from backups on computers and hard drives; Andy Hackland, who helped complete the first draft of the descriptions; Ondine Schrick for her wholehearted support; Personal Trust, for establishing the Saunders Gladiolus Trust; John Manning for his generous responses to email queries and his attentive engagement with the book; and the University of Cape Town for granting me sabbatical to work on this project in 2020.
There will be a launch in August 2021. It will be virtual; we will keep you posted here. There also will be short articles about Rod and Rachel’s search in the Struik Nature Magazine (August edition) and about the making of the book in the December edition of the Veld and Flora. Meanwhile, to whet your appetite, here is a hint of what it looks like.
— Prof. Fiona Ross