Harvard University began its involvement with topical botany in Cuba in 1899 in the wake of a meeting between Edwin Atkins (1850–1926), owner of the Soledad Plantation in Cuba and Harvard Professors Oakes Ames and George Goodale, which established The Harvard Botanic Station for Tropical Research and Sugar Cane Investigation.
Have you read this?
Wilson’s Kagoshima : Tracing the Footsteps of a Plant Hunter
by Tomoko Furui
Ernest Henry Wilson, legendary Plant Hunter, arrived in Kagoshima, Japan just after the historic volcanic eruption in 1914. This new book by Tomoko Furui (Wilson’s Yakushima: Memories of the Past), traces Wilson’s steps throughout the island with narrative summaries, historic Wilson photographs, current landscape and specimen photographs, and lists of collected plants.
Landscape preservation of the forests of Kagoshima has enabled important portions of the unique natural landscape to endure to this day. However, influences (both natural and man-made) can impact adversely the trees of the island. Furui goes on to explain the importance of Wilson’s legacy, “Wilson came to speak frequently of concerns about the influence that environmental destruction has on human life. The term global warming was not born yet, but he had already discerned the crisis of the earth by the increase of carbon dioxide 100 years ago . . . that Wilson’s photographs and words have resurfaced at this turning point of 100 years is no accident. Reflecting on his work in these critical times requires this generation to heed his warning bell.”
Wilson’s Kagoshima is included in our New Books List for July 20, 2016.