Oranjestad- Botanist Dr. Franklin S. Axelrod has published a book on the plants on Sint Eustatius called ‘A Systematic Vademecum to the Vascular Plants of Sint Eustatius’.
Vascular plants have a circulatory system for nutrients and water. They include trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses and ferns. Dr. Axelrod, who works at the University of Puerto Rico, has visited Statia many times to collect and identify plants. This book is the result of his work.
In total Axelrod identified more than thousand specimen. Some plants are native, some invasive and some endemic, which means they grow only on Statia and nowhere else. The book also contains information of plants that grew on Statia in the past, but are no longer found here.
The book contains an inventory consisting of the Latin names, and some common names, for the plants of Statia. It is not easy to read, but the material in it is important for researchers, such as botanists and ecologists and others who wish to know more about the vegetation on Statia.
“With this book scientists from all over the world can find information about the beautiful flowers and trees Statia has to offer”, says Axelrod. Some of the plants he collected are now in the collections in the herbaria of the University of Puerto Rico, of the New York Botanical Garden, and of Naturalis in Leiden . By constant research on these plants scientists can get an understanding of the presence or absence of specific plants on Statia.
Sint Eustatius National Parks Foundation (STENAPA) has assisted Axelrod through the years with his work from 2009 to 2014. The book is available from the Botanical Research of Texas Press: www.britpress.org.