3 - 12 January 2013: Zimbabwe flora team plus Meg Coates Palgrave botanise in the Nyanga area.
24 - 29 December 2012: The Zimbabwe flora team (Mark, Bart and Petra) visit Hippo Pools in the Umfurudzi Safari Area.
June 2012: The Disqus commenting facility added to the home page and all the species pages on the Zimbabwe site.
24 January 2012: Some of the Google Maps used on the site upgraded to the version 3 API. Enhancements include the removal of overprinting in cases where there were multiple records with the same position and the introduction of maps for planted plants. See for example the map of planted specimens of Spathodea campanulata.
22 September 2011: After 4 months of work by Mark on the site's software, we are pleased to announce that we now have a facility for the three main authors to add information directly to the site online.
We expect this will have 3 hugely beneficial effects:
Other technical changes made:
As at 22 September 2011, we have 8,482 images for 2,565 species, an increase of 40 species over the March figure, of which 2,504 are native or naturalised and 61 are purely cultivated.
29 May 2011: Preparing the site to upload the May 2011 update. Apart from some behind-the-scenes programming changes and the front-page story, there have been no changes to the site since the March update.
6 March 2011: Preparing the site to upload the March 2011 update. We now have 8,049 images for 2,525 species, an increase of 12 species over the December figure, of which 2,465 are native or naturalised and 60 are purely cultivated.
5 March 2011: All the site front page stories from December 2009 to date have been added to the archive page.
2 March 2011: A biography of Alan Percy-Lancaster (1944-1995), kindly written by his daughter Annabel Graham, has been added to the site.
10 February 2011: Preparing the site to upload the February 2011 update. We now have 7,883 images for 2,513 species, an increase of 30 species over the December figure, of which 2,452 are native or naturalised and 61 are purely cultivated.
Great progress has been made in adding images with 448 new images added to the site.
5 February 2011: Google Custom Search engine added to the search page. This searches both the Mozambique and Zimbabwe flora websites.
4 February 2011: Added links from our individual species pages to the African Plant Database. Shortly we hope to see links back from the APD to our pages. In the process of exchanging data, a number of errors in the spelling of names and authorities and taxonomic changes were detected and these corrections will be made in due course.
16 December 2010 - 20 January 2011: Bart and Petra back in Zimbabwe. Together with Cathy Sharp they made a journey to the E Highlands recording and photographing plants. Later, in January, Bart, Petra and Mark paid a 5-day visit to a very wet and muddy Mana Pools. New images and new records will in due course be appearing on this website.
26 December 2010: Preparing the site to upload the December 2010 update. We now have 7,435 images for 2,483 species, an increase of 18 species over the October figure, of which 2,425 are native or naturalised and 58 are purely cultivated.
31 October 2010: Preparing the site to upload the October 2010 update. We now have 7,312 images for 2,465 species, an increase of 8 species over the August figure, of which 2,407 are native or naturalised and 58 are purely cultivated.
23 October 2010: New location added for Mozambique, the Morumbodzi Falls near Mt Gorongosa.
25 September 2010: An account, written by Bart and Petra, of the first 3 days of our expedition to Hwange NP in January 2010 has been added.
6 August 2010: Preparing the site to upload the August 2010 update. We now have 7,253 images for 2,457 species, an increase of 42 species over the June figure, of which 2,400 are native or naturalised and 57 are purely cultivated.
13 June 2010: An amendment made to the site search facility so that if a genus name is searched for and found, a list of all the species belonging to that genus is shown. This should enable users to reach particular species more quickly.
6 June 2010: Preparing the site to upload the June 2010 update. We now have 7,011 images for 2,415 species, an increase of 40 species over the April figure, of which 2,360 are native or naturalised and 55 are purely cultivated.
9 May 2010: We have added Earth view to all the Google Maps on the site. This enables the position of plant records to be viewed in 3D.
For example, have a look at the records from Ngomakurira, a rocky mountain to the north of Harare. Click on the EARTH option in the top right of the map. Then, zoom in and using the map controls one can move right round the mountain to see the positions of the records in 3D.
If you have not downloaded a recent version of Google Earth, your browser will ask you to instal a plug-in to enable you to use this option.
26 - 30 April 2010: I (Mark), together with Chris Chapano, Tom Mueller and Meg Coates Palgrave, all from Zimbabwe, attended the 19th Aetfat (Association pour l'Étude de la Taxonomie de la Flore d'Afrique Tropicale) Congress in Antananarivo, Madagascar.
14 April 2010: Another update of the site (April 2010). We now have images for 2,375 species, (an increase of 12 over the February figure) of which 2,320 are native or naturalised and 55 are purely cultivated.
2-11 April 2010: Work expanding the 'location' pages of the site to allow multiple location codes for a particular record. 5 new locations adde, namely for Outward Bound and Tessa's Pool, the Corner, Bridal Veil Falls (all 3 are in the Chimanimani area) plus Harare and the Vumba. Also, correcting certain programming and database errors.
1 April 2010: Thanks to a lot of hard work on capturing data by Bart, the checklist of the plants and ferns of Chirinda Forest has now been added to the site as Checklist no. 4. About 500 new records have been added in total and we now have excellent coverage of Chirinda Forest.
6 February 2010: Another update of the site (February 2010). We now have images for 2,363 species, (an increase of 83 over the December figure) of which 2,308 are native or naturalised and 55 are purely cultivated.
5, 6 and 13 December 2009: Preparing the site to upload a long-overdue update (December 2009). The lead story is a review of the new book, Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area. We now have images for 2,280 species, (an increase of 25 over the August figure) of which 2,230 are native or naturalised and 50 are purely cultivated.
27 October 2009: Two more utilities introduced using Google Maps:
24 October 2009: The page displaying all records for a species using Google maps has been modified so it will plot both UTM records and records made in latitude and longitude format. See for example the map for Tridax procumbens.
22 October 2009: A new map utility added for each person which plots the Quarter Degree Squares in which that person has made records. See for example, the map for Norman Chase which shows that he mainly collected in the Eastern districts.
12 October 2009: The links page of the site updated and considerably expanded.
8 October 2009: Work on the maps displaying the Quarter Degree Squares:
17 September 2009: Vernacular names displayed on the Zimbabwe site limited to Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Shangaan, Shona and Tonga names.
15 August 2009: Preparing the site to upload the August 2009 update. The lead story is the discovery of Limnobium laevigatum at Lake Chivero. We now have images for 2,255 species, (an increase of 105 over the July figure) of which 2,209 are native or naturalised and 46 are purely cultivated.
7 August 2009: Added a new unidentified plants section of the site showing images of plants we have been unable to identify.
24 July 2009: A programming change to the site: in cases where we display images of herbarium specimens, the location details have been repaced by the code for the herbarium in which the specimen was photographed. See for example the species Barleria molensis.
12 July 2009: The July 2009 update of the site, after a gap of 5 months, caused mainly by difficulties in accessing the internet. We now have images for 2,150 species, of which 2,108 are native or naturalised and 42 are purely cultivated.
2 June 2009: As of today, we now have images for 2,093 species, of which 2,052 are native or naturalised and 41 are purely cultivated.
30 May 2009: Details of the records made by Helen Pickering at and near the Victoria Falls have been added to the site. Many of the species recorded are of great interest and are new to the site. Some of the images have been added already and the rest will be added in the near future.
27 May 2009: The facility to display all the images for a particular genus, which was first added on 9 August 2008, has now been extended to show ALL the images, regardless of whether they are of herbarium specimens or of living plants. See, for example, the genus Helichrysum and follow the new link to all images for that genus.
Similar utilities have been added to each family page and also to each of the cultivated family and genus pages. See, for example, all the images of cultivated Verbenaceae.
25 May 2009: On the list of dates page, a facility has been added so that a user can click on a particular date to view the records made on that date.
2 - 10 May 2009: A few hundred old records made by me (MAH), mostly in the late 1980's, added. These are almost all from Harare and the Mukuvisi Woodlands in particular.
7-9 March 2009: A new facility added which incorporates records from other checklists of plants. See the new checklists page. In this approach, records from other checklists are included within our plant records, while allowing a link back from each record to details of the checklist and also enabling full lists to be constructed.
28 February 2009: Various programming changes to the site:
3 February 2009: Preparing the February 2009 version of the site for uploading. At this stage we have images for 1,966 native/ naturalised species and for 40 purely cultivated species (total of 2,006). At last we have reached 2,000!
27 January 2009: A Review of Henning S. Heide-Jørgensen's book Parasitic Flowering Plants by Mark Hyde has been added to the site.
6-8 January 2009: A short visit of the temporarily reunited Zimbabwe flora team (Mark, Bart and Petra) to Kariba to stay with Cathy Sharp. Two days of intense botanising.
4 January 2009: Preparing a new version of the site for uploading. At this stage we have images for 1,892 native/ naturalised species and for 38 purely cultivated species (total of 1,930). We have still not quite reached 2,000!
2 December 2008: The blog has been taken down. This has not been adding value and further thought about it is necessary and so temporarily I've removed it.
11 November 2008: A link added to the West African Plants website from each species page.
2 November 2008: A new version of the site created and uploaded. At this stage we have images for 1,833 native/ naturalised species and for 37 purely cultivated species. Slow progress towards 2,000!
6-7 September 2008: Adding records for the Mukuvisi Woodland. A new program written to display an individual literature item. See for example the link to A checklist of Zimbabwean grasses by Christopher Chapano. This adds little value at present but may be extended in future.
30 August 2008: A complete set of sample herbarium specimens added for the genus Emilia. I think this concept is a useful addition to the site; it is certainly better than leaving the species blank and it may possibly help with identification.
9-12 August 2008: Heroes' weekend. A very productive 4 days of work on the site, as may be seen by the preceding entries on this page.
11 August 2008: Another idea, borrowed from Bart, has been implemented today, namely to give more literature references for each species. As an example, see the page for Berkheya radula and scroll down to the Literature section. These references are particularly helpful when searching for additional information about a species and specifically whether there are any pictures.
Another example, that of a cultivated species this time, is Ageratum houstonianum.
Although the necessary software changes have been made, there is an enormous amount of work to be done in capturing these references.
10 August 2008: Further development to the glossary. Up to now this has been a simple HTML file; now the terms and definitions, which currently number 841, have been added to the database. Furthermore, an individual page has been created for each term to allow for further explanation and images. Content is limited at present, but as an example, see the page for actinomorphic.
10 August 2008: Bart's offline website has for a long time displayed a selection of thumbnail images on each family page. This brightens up the pages and often conveys quickly the general appearance of the family. I have now added this feature to the online site. For the larger families, 5 random images have been added. As an example, see the Rutaceae and for the cultivated plants the Euphorbiaceae.
9 August 2008: Facility added to display all the images for a particular genus. Two links have been added to each genus page; one to photographs of living plants and a separate link to pictures of herbarium specimens. A nice example of the former is the genus Leucas, this link gives the living plant images and of the latter, Petra's photos of the herbarium specimens of Blechnum.
3 August 2008: With effect from today, the method of recording plant positions has been changed from the UTM system based on the ARC 1950 datum to a latitude and longitude system based on the WGS 84 datum. This makes it easier to plot the positions on Google Maps. Further details are given in Note 8.
2 August 2008: Addition of a new page which displays on Google Maps the position of the Locations we have created. Hovering over each marker shows the location name and provides a link to the location page.
27 July 2008: Changes and corrections made to the Recently updated species and Recently updated cultivated species pages. The last image for each species is now displayed rather than the first; these tend to be more close-up images and these look better as thumbnails.
25 July 2008: Resuming work on the site after a long break in the UK. Added more detailed information about the content for each family on the List of Families page.
28 May 2008: Preparing to upload the latest version of the site. Currently we have images for 1,743 native/naturalised species, plus a further 34 purely cultivated species.
1 May 2008: Various additions made:
26-27 Apr 2008: Work restoring my laptop, following the collapse of the hard drive 2 weeks ago. Hopefully, work on the site can resume from now on.
1 Apr 2008: Work changing the way the site handles altitudes so they can be manipulated.
14 Mar 2008: A new version of the site uploaded today. Currently we have images for 1,663 native/naturalised species, plus a further 29 purely cultivated species.
24 Feb 2008: Links added from each individual family, genus and species page to a number of external databases:
22 Feb 2008: Nearly a month of no work on the site, largely because of pressure of work. We have 1,658 native/naturalised species on the site but there are many more to come, which Bart has worked on.
20 Jan 2008: Tree Society outing to the Mukuvisi Woodland. In the evening, various programming changes to the program which displays records from a particular location were made in order to increase the detail displayed. See for example records for the Mukuvisi Woodland location itself.
9 Jan 2008: Routine work correcting programming errors and making minor changes to improve the site.
22 Dec 2007 - 2 Jan 2008: Expedition to Tuli in the remote south of the country, taking in the Matobo Hills and Bulawayo on the way. Further details to follow on the site about this interesting journey.
15 Dec 2007: A new version of the site prepared for upload - after a gap, again, of about 3 months.
1 Dec 2007: Resuming work on the site after nearly a month's break, caused by a 2-week visit to S Africa and severely reduced power supplies in Zimbabwe.
31 Oct 2007: A new utility added which enables the user to search for the records from any place. To see this in action, go to the main Utilities page and scroll down to the section headed Search for a particular place name. Enter any place name in the search box (e.g. 'gweru') to see if any records from that place are in our database.
30 Oct 2007: A grass specimen collected at Mana Pools (Zimbabwe, division N) by Ian Riddell turns out to be Cenchrus biflorus. However, it is not a first for the Northern division as there already is a record by Z Mahlangu from N in SRGH. An interesting find, nevertheless.
26 Sep 2007: A day at the Herbarium identifying past collections; photographs of the new species identified will eventually appear on the site. We also discovered that the determination of Kyllinga pumila was an error and I have removed it from the site.
11 Sep 2007: Ndundu Lodge burns down from an out-of-control fire starting in the chimney.
9 Sep 2007: A new version of the site prepared for upload - the first for about 3 months. Currently we have images for 1594 species plus a further 25 for purely cultivated species, i.e. 1619 in all.
1-8 Sep 2007: Bart and Petra in Harare; we made several visits to the Herbarium and named a significant number of specimens.
24-31 Aug 2007: Steady work adding old personal (MAH) plant records, mainly grass records from Harare in the 1980s.
11-14 Aug 2007: Long weekend (Heroes' Days); 90 generic descriptions added to the Poaceae; all of the Zimbabwean genera now done.
4 Aug 2007: A biography of Frank Swynnerton, kindly written by Rawdon Goodier has been added to the site.
2 Aug 2007: The web hosting company, on whose servers this site runs, yesterday upgraded its operating system, Apache, PHP and MySQL. No action was required by me and all seems to be running normally after the upgrade.
19 Jul 2007: The species of the Asclepiadaceae brought up to date from a list kindly supplied by David Goyder of Kew.
The facility to create a checklist for each family has been added to the List of families page. See the column on the right. Clicking on the link produces a list of all the species within a particular family. A further change is that each genus and lower taxon is presented as a link to the main account so that the checklist page is effectively another way of entering the site.
Similarly, a program has been written to create a checklist for each of the cultivated plant families. See the List of cultivated plant families.
24 Jun 2007: Three new utilities written to display the (a) records, (b) collections and (c) images made by a particular person.
20 Jun 2007: Correction of various programming errors. Style and colours of the Cultivated plants pages made consistent.
19 Jun 2007: The latest version of the Zimbabwe site dated 17 June 2007, launched. Fairly major changes have been made to allow the new Mozambican site to co-exist and prevent duplication of content.
9 Jun 2007: A new program added to display the 25 most popularly viewed species. For the first month added, namely May 2007, almost all are woody species - mainly trees or in a few cases, climbers.
28 May - 8 June 2007: Little time for site development and work - a quiet period.
12 May 2007: Endemic and/or Red Data list codes added to the list of species which appears under each genus. See, for example, the genus Aloe.
5 May 2007: A new utility added which produces a list of recorders together with the number of records from each.
25 Apr 2007: A new program to list those species with multiple spot-characters has been added.
Previously it had been possible by following each link on the spot-characters page to list those species possessing just one spot-character. Now it is possible to list those species possessing any combination of spot-characters.
It is a further step towards making the identification of plants easier.
At present, the main limitation is that data is not nearly complete enough.
20 Apr 2007: Two minor program changes:
13 Apr 2007: The species name search now produces results sorted by genus and species names; previously the order of the results was less helpful.
11 Apr 2007: A new utility has been created which generates a random species.
Each species generated will have some content in the form of at least one image.
Try refreshing the page to see the which new species appear.
9 Apr 2007: A new concept, similar to locations, has been added to the site, namely what I have called outings. This provides a slot for information about a particular trip or expedition.
We now have 1537 native and naturalised species plus a further 17 cultivated species and 3 Mozambican specials.
6 Apr 2007: Publication of Rawdon's Chimanimani Journals for the period 1956 - 1959.
Addition of some unusual plants from the Chimanimani Mts, kindly provided by Rawdon Goodier: Calomeria africana, Hibiscus burtt-davyi, Plectranthus chimanimaniensis, Restio quartziticola and Protea enervis.
4-9 Apr 2007: (Easter) Work on a new section of the site to showcase special plants from Mozambique. Bart is now working in Gorongosa, Mozambique for the Carr Foundation and is photographing and recording some interesting species from that country which do not occur in Zimbabwe.
I should add that we are not considering tackling the whole flora of that country.
3 Apr 2007: Further work on the cultivated plants section of the site:
9-11 Mar 2007: Addition of numerous vernacular plant names. We now have 2074 vernacular species names. This utility provides a complete list of the names.
4 Mar 2007: Various items were completed today in preparation for a new upload in the next few days:
Now with 1477 native and naturalised species plus a further 14 cultivated species.
14 Feb 2007: A number of fern families have been written up by Petra Ballings and were given to me today. These include the Aspleniaceae with the large number of species of Asplenium. Included are descriptions and records, together with photographs, either from the wild or from the National Herbarium.
13-14 Jan 2007: A busy weekend of work on the site, with new content added, especially in Senecio.
11 Jan 2007: Visit to the Herbarium. A synopsis of all the Senecio species in Zimbabwe was produced.
6-7 Jan 2007: Visit to the Vumba: 6 Jan: Maonza area and 7 Jan: Cloudlands Forest and Chinziwa mountain. On the grassland slopes of the latter we found Senecio gazensis, new to us.
1 January 2007: The utility which extracts the total number of species for which we have an image has been updated to provide more detailed information. The revised version may be found here.
Added the ability to generate a list of records for a specific location from within each location page. See the 'View list of records' link on the Cleveland Dam location page.
23-25 Dec 2006: Further work mainly on the spot-characters section of the site, especially adding more content. A new program added as a link off the species page to show the spot characters. See this example for Argemone mexicana. In addition, some further new species added.
15 Dec 2006: A day spent working on Google Maps and Phpcoord so that all the records with grid references are now plotted automatically on Google Maps and slightly more detailed information about each record is provided when the marker is clicked. The work done is described in more detail in a blog entry.
8 Dec 2006: Added a link from each species page to a search on Google images. I saw that Kew had done this on its world checklist pages.
23-24 Nov 2006: Work in progress on calculating latitudes and longitudes from the UTM coordinates. The program used is Phpcoord, written by J. Stott.
18 Nov 2006: The References page, which used to contain all the literature referred to in compiling the site and which was a static HTML file, has been replaced by a new dynamically generated file. The individual references are now fully contained within the database.
In addition, the species page has been redesigned as follows:
17 Nov 2006: Pages of butterfly species have been created which link to plant species eaten by the butterfly larvae. The butterfly images have been taken by Bart and are a striking addition to the site. As an example, see Clausena anisata and follow the link to Papilio ophidicephalus chirinda, which is the Emperor swallowtail, or go directly to the Emperor swallowtail page.
11 Nov 2006: Up to now, various abbreviations such as 'lf' for 'leaf' and 'infl.' for 'inflorescence' have been used on the site. These save very little space and can create confusion; they have therefore all been removed and replaced with the full versions.
10 Nov 2006: The list of photographers utility has been improved to allow the table of results to be sorted.
4 Nov 2006: The search facility on the site has been substantially improved. The user can now search for any Latin or vernacular plant names, whether accepted names or not. In view of its increased usefulness the search box has been moved onto the home page.
30 Oct 2006: The facility to plot the plant records using Google Maps was made public. So far the only species with a reasonable number of records with latitude and longitude is Harpachne schimperi. See the Google Maps page for further information.
21-22 Oct 2006: Work begun on incorporating records from the Tree Society mapping project. So far, records added only to Albizia. In addition, Bart has produced some new base maps (showing altitude, geology and rainfall); these are in colour and are of much better quality than the old maps. These are now live on the site as well.
8 Oct 2006: Visit to Christon Bank. Still early in the year but a number of interesting finds there and on the way.
7 Oct 2006: Steady addition of species and content. Reached 1400 species with images.
23-25 September 2006: Visit to the Vumba:
16-17 September 2006: Two more botanical trips with Bart:
11-15 August 2006: Tree Society long weekend at Nyanga:
16 July 2006: Work on spot-characters part of the site.
1-13 July 2006: Mostly work on the underlying site software; less work on botanical aspects.
29 June 2006: Simple favicon added.
25 June 2006: BBClone, a more sophisticated traffic statistics program installed.
12 June 2006: New version (2 June) of the site uploaded after over 2 months of being unable to do so because of poor internet connections. Reached 1279 species. Pictures by Darrel Plowes being added to the site.
6-7 May 2006: Visit to National Herbarium on 6 May and to Cleveland Dam with Bart on 7 May. The ability to create "notes" (i.e. short articles which are not related to particular taxa or which are related but are long) has been added to the site.
18 March - 4 April 2006: Steady addition of content. Now 1221 species have images.
16-17 March 2006: Introduction of a separate table about herbaria relevant to Zimbabwe. Display pages changed to allow for herbaria and collectors.
12, 14 March 2006: Introduction of a separate table for collectors as opposed to recorders, so that collector data can be analysed.
11 March 2006: 1179 species now have images.
10 March 2006: Visit to SRGH. Some records extracted.
4 - 5 March 2006: Further work on the map creation program: the error with the rainfall map displaying grey images corrected; records of planted species no longer displayed. Numerous new records and some species added.
10 February 2006: Mostly adding content.
27 January 2006: An error corrected: our image of Persicaria lapathifolia is in fact Persicaria senegalensis.
21 - 22 January 2006: Miscellaneous work adding species and correcting errors. Work on an extension to include unidentified species.
13 - 16 January 2006: Visit of Bart and Petra to Harare.
6 - 9 January 2006: Short but intense visit to the Vumba.
4 January 2006: Latest version of the site including all the recent changes uploaded. As the front page is rather heavy in images and database calls, the most recently updated species page has been separated off.
25-28, 31 December 2005: Further work on the site.
23, 24 December 2005: Program written to plot the Quarter Degree Squares for a particular species.
19-22 December 2005: Further work on the site: on (1) the new cultivated plants section and (2) data capture (basically adding synonyms and information about red data and endemics to the database) and (3) work on displaying spot character information. We intend to launch (1) and (3) in early January, 2006.
17 December 2005: The program has been extended to display information about the people who have contributed to the study of the Zimbabwe flora. So far, as a trial only, some information has been added about Frederick Eyles. The information is of the briefest sort - merely as a proof of concept. Initially, this extension is only accessible through the Recorder field on the display of records. Have a look at Oxytenanthera abyssinica and click on the link to F. Eyles, which is in bold.
Once again, this is a development in beta only which we hope to extend in future.
2-15 December 2005: Intermittent programming work adding an extension to display information about cultivated plants. The idea is to use the same database to hold information but to present it in a different part of the site using different PHP programs. This part of the site is not yet ready for release but I hope to launch it in early 2006.
26 November 2005: Programming changes made, namely details of major taxa (e.g. if Spermatophyta etc.) added to the family pages. Information as to whether a specimen is planted or not now printed out on each of the species display pages. Further locations defined and added.
17 - 21 November 2005: Visit to Harare by Bart and Petra.
12-13 November 2005: Routine work on the site adding more content; now up to 875 genera and 1065 species.
17- 24 October 2005: Visit to Vumba by MAH.
14-16 October 2005: Visit to World's View, Nyanga (MAH only). Total species: 988.
9 October 2005: Tree Society visit to Domboshawa; walked in the Sacred forest. Very hot and dry.
1 October 2005: Continuing work: 966 species with images.
25 September 2005: Home page revised so that it displays (together with thumbnail images) the 5 most recently modified species. A species count, which will be automatically updated, has also been added.
24 September 2005: Visit to Blatherwick Avenue, Mukuvisi Woodland. Some new photographs and records added to the site. Now, 936 species have images.
10 - 11 September 2005: Further species and images added. 50% of the genera now have a description and 901 species have images.
12 August - 4 September 2005: Addition of more content. Now, 860 spp. with images.
10-11 August 2005: Some programming changes made: (1) the presence of an image (as well as a description) is indicated against each species name on the genus page, (2) the species records can now be sorted by altitude and (3) displaying a particular image on the species page can be switched off. 760 spp. with images.
6-9 August 2005: Heroes public holidays. Large number of additions to the site.
4 August 2005: Bart and I visited the Herbarium; some very good progress in naming plant specimens.
24 July 2005: Continuing steady addition of genera and species.
11-12 July 2005: Visit to Herbarium: first 5 names achieved for Chlorophytum (obviously not an easy genus). Bob Drummond helped us with two unknowns: Ardisiandra wettsteinii and Argyrolobium tuberosum.
10 July 2005: Visit of Bart and Petra to Harare. We visited Hillside Park - a very cold day, generally grey with some rain at midday, so different to most botanising in this country.
23 June 2005: Grid references are now being displayed except for the family Orchidaceae.
17 June 2005: MSN search facility added to the Search this site page. Since moving to a dynamic site using query strings, Google is now indexing the site very badly. Two or three days ago I put up an xml sitemap using the new Google sitemaps facility but so far this has made no difference. However, MSN's indexing of the site is deep and thorough and is giving very good results.
29 April - 13 June 2005: Further regular updating and addition of species to the site.
24-28 April 2005: Visit (by MAH, BW, PW-B and others) to islands in the Zambezi River at Katombora on a field trip organised by Environment Africa. Although the locality is in Zambia, photographs and other information will be used on this site.
23 April 2005: Tree Society outing to Charmwood; records added.
14-23 April 2005: Further work, making numerous corrections, changes and additions.
2 April 2005: Database version launched.
29-31 March 2005: Further work adding data to the site and preparing to launch the new database version.
25-28 March 2005: Easter weekend: much work on transferring data to the new database-driven version of the site and also adding new species. I plan to upload the new database version of the site on 31 March 2005.
20 March 2005: Tree Society outing to Mukuvisi Woodland (Blatherwick Avenue). A few new species photographed and added.
8 - 11 March 2005: Visit of Bart and Petra to Harare:
2 March 2005: After much labour and trial and error, I now have a working version of the database site up on the server. It seems slow, but the internet was very slow today. However, all the programs seem to be working correctly. Further work in the evening adding more data to the database and making minor consequential changes to the programs.
1 March 2005: Details of the discovery of a possibly new orchid for Zimbabwe, Disperis cooperi, added to the site.
28 February 2005 and 1 March 2005: Work with Unix, MySQL monitor and SSH to work out how to upload, unzip and restore a .sql file.
11 - 15 February 2005: Second visit to the Eastern Highlands:
6 February 2005: Further work: minor corrections and changes; development of the site.
29 January - 1 February 2005: Visit to the Eastern Highlands:
22-23 January 2005: Further development of the site. Programs written to display a single record on a page and to display a key to species and (with thanks to Andrew) to extract a sorted list of records from a particular QDS.
19 January 2005: Various small changes: an item about the Sabonet Zimbabwe checklist added to News, the mis-spelling of Digitalis as Digitaria corrected, the description of the Proteaceae amended to allow for the dissected leaves of Grevillea, the description of the genus Bidens corrected to state that the heads are usually radiate and a family description for Hemerocallidaceae added.
1-18 January 2005: A bit of a gap, in which a lot of effort went into the database version of the site. Further photographic visits with Bart to Cleveland Dam (including Haka Game Park) on 12 Jan, Borrowdale Common on 13 Jan, the Great Dyke (specifically the Mtoroshanga Pass) to see the endemics on 14 Jan and Domboshawa (including a visit to the Sun Ray vlei) on 16 Jan. The result of all these expeditions will appear eventually on this site.
28 December 2004: Downloaded and installed a new Apache/PHP/MySQL distribution today, known as WAMP5. Version numbers are: Apache 1.3.33, PHP 5.0.3 and MySQL 4.1.8. The reason for this change is that these are closer to (actually in advance of) the versions actually running on Pair Networks.
22-27 December 2004: For some time, I have been unhappy with the underlying structure of the site.
In the current site, the appearance is controlled by a single CSS file. This nicely separates the appearance from the content and allows site-wide changes to such things as font sizes to be made easily.
The speciesdata part of the site is fundamentally a database application. Ideally the data should be fed into templates so that a site-wide change to the content and the way it is presented can easily be made without the need to change hundreds of individual pages.
However, this is not really true of the present site, although the speciesdata pages are partly created from templates.
Over these six days of leave and public holidays, I have created a database system using PHP and MySQL which hopefully will overcome the problems outlined above.
However, because of the need for further testing and the work involved in adding the data, it will be a little while before the new site appears publically.
7 December 2004: Not very much done on the site during the last month because of other commitments. Another visit by Bart and Petra to Harare at the end of November and again in early December with productive visits to Greystone Park NR and Cleveland Dam. Changes made to the menu structure to make it more user-friendly.
7 November 2004: Another visit by Bart to Harare and we had a weekend of active photography and plant collecting at Cleveland Dam and Borrowdale Common. This evening, seven new species added to the site:
2 November 2004: Macfadyena unguis-cati added.
31 October 2004: A lot of work on the spot character pages, but this is not yet ready to upload.
26 October 2004: Work on Anacardiaceae. Because of confusion in the literature as to what is native and what is cultivated, I have included cultivated genera and species but with a different background colour.
24 October 2004: All families now "done", apart from Hemerocallidaceae (I lack FZ 12(3)!). No doubt there will be corrections and changes to be made in future.
19 and 23 October 2004: 10 new families added.
18 October 2004: A minor change made to the home page. A new photograph added, that of Albizia tanganyicensis.
6 October 2004: 10 new families added.
2 October 2004: Further species, genera and families added.
23-29 September 2004: Further visit of Wurstens; visits to Mukuvisi, Cleveland Dam and Lake Chivero - a total of 65 new species photographed. Further species added to the site: Combretum platypetalum, Albizia tanganyicensis, Gnidia kraussiana and Dichrostachys cinerea.
14-15 September 2004: Three new genera added to Lamiaceae, namely Plectranthus, Pycnostachys and Tetradenia. Also, Catharanthus and Myrothamnus.
13 September 2004: As an experiment, the first cultivated plant has been added, Distictis buccinatoria.
11,12 September 2004: New additions: Drymaria cordata, Euphorbia peplus, tirucalli and Strychnos cocculoides. Record for division E added to Euphorbia peplus.
10 September 2004: 17 further family descriptions added.
9 September 2004: A number of corrections made, mostly of a minor sort.
8 September 2004: New additions made: Asteraceae (Emilia brachycephala), Droseraceae (Drosera indica) and Poaceae (Danthoniopsis pruinosa).
6 September 2004: More work on the spot characters pages, specifically on the list of trees. Nothing ready to upload yet. New species added: Turneraceae (Tricliceras longepedunculatum).
4 September 2004: New additions made: Asteraceae (Bidens formosa and Cineraria), Capparaceae (Cleome hirta), Lamiaceae (Aeollanthus ukamensis), Periplocaceae (Cryptolepis cryptolepidioides) and various changes and corrections made to other families and genera.
30 August 2004: Trichodesma ambacense added. Further species of Helichrysum added to make 7 in total.
29 August 2004: Cyrtanthus sanguineus added. A start made on the Zingiberaceae.
28 August 2004: Two errors corrected in checklist v. 1.2, namely: the genus Centratherum added to the Asteraceae and the spelling of "Forrsk." corrected to "Forssk." in Satureja imbricata.
27-9 August 2004: Further joint work (BW and MAH) "in the field" around Harare: Greystone park, Cleveland Dam and Borrowdale Common.
19-23 August 2004: Visit to Vumba by MAH to work on adding additional species. Many new species photographs taken by BW.
6-11 August 2004 (Heroes' Weekend): Solid work adding new family and genus descriptions and many images of species, inlcuding the following: Abrus precatorius, Cadaba kirkii, Calotropis procera, Englerophytum magalismontanum, Gazania krebsiana, Swartzia madagascariensis, Taraxacum sp. agg.
3 August 2004: Generic descriptions added for 6 Acanthaceae genera.
31 July and 1 August 2004: New family descriptions added (still mostly without images): Clusiaceae, Convolvulaceae, Dipterocarpaceae, Ericaceae, Lamiaceae, Lentibulariaceae, Myricaceae, Myrsinaceae, Onagraceae, Salicaceae, Scrophulariaceae, Turneraceae, Verbenaceae, Violaceae. Work on Passifloraceae and the genera Adenia and Passiflora in particular.
26 July 2004: Changes to the titles of pages in the speciesdata section to better reflect their content and to provide better clarity in search engine output.
25 July 2004: Work adding species to the Caesalpinioideae.
20-24 July 2004: Bart and Petra visited from the Vumba. A visit made to Cleveland Dam and 23 new species photographed.
11 July 2004: The glossary of botanical terms uploaded. Various new family descriptions added, even where no images are yet available.
10 July 2004: Error in title tag discovered in the image and species files and corrected.
9 July 2004: Work in progress on the family Rubiaceae.
6 July 2004: Various changes and corrections. Scolopia zeyheri and Mondia whitei added.
29 June 2004: Work on the spot-characters list.
23 June 2004: Version 1.2 checklist completed and uploaded.
21 June 2004: The references page considerably extended.
18 June 2004: Combined site finally released!
4-17 June 2004: Further frequent work on combining the site and creating the version 1.2 checklist. Site uploaded to Pair Networks and about to be restored on 18 June 2004.
31 May, 3 June: Routine work making html changes to v.1.2 checklist and speciesdata files. Ongoing efforts to get the domain name moved - still not quite there.
28 May 2004: Some pictures from the Eastern Highlands Symposium added.
27 May 2004: Details of two local checklists added.
23, 25 May 2004: Further work combining the two sites and working on version 1.2 of the checklist.
21 May 2004: Serious work begins combining the two sites.
18 May 2004: Work begun on moving the domain name zimbabweflora.co.zw to pair.com and combining the two sites.
12-15 May 2004: Following discussions with Bart and Petra Wursten (in Harare), we have decided to combine the two parts of the site into one under the zimbabweflora name. Many pictures taken at the Mukuvisi Woodlands, Domboshawa and Greystone Park Nature Reserve.
8 May 2004: Work on Solanum mauritianum and Vernonia myriantha.
27, 28, 29, 30 April, 1, 2 and 4 May 2004: Further work on adding families.
24,25 April 2004: Asteraceae added.
22 April 2004: Work on adding Acalypha chirindica, Bridelia cathartica, Boehmeria macrophylla, Tridactyle tricuspis.
21 April 2004: Work on Oxalidacae, bringing the pages up to date and adding Biophytum abyssinicum.
(Easter) 7,8,9,10, 11 and 12 April 2004: Further work adding images and pages e.g. Asteraceae, Orchidaceae, Sapotaceae. Further work on the glossary and spot characters.
9 April 2004: A minor site update. A reference to the new FZ 5(3) added to the News page. An image of Eulophia zeyheri added to the index page. Most work at present is being done on the speciesdata section on markhyde.com.
20 March 2004: A site update. News of Bob Drummond's 80th birthday party, progress on my collaboration with Bart Wursten in adding images of the Zimbabwean flora and a correction to an error in the Smilacaceae.
21 February 2004: Reference to the development site added to the home page.
7 February 2004: Review of existing and future content of the site. Menu reworked to allow for expansion. Space added for a news page, local checklists, cultivated plants and a glossary. Correction of PHP error. Developments since 10 January 2004 uploaded to the zimbabweflora.co.zw site.
3 and 4 February 2004: Minor corrections to the site.
31 January and 1 February 2004: Further work on conversion to PHP (still not complete). I have added greater complexity and standardisation to the "speciesfiles" directory, namely adding a family and genus directories, each of which contain information about the various taxa.
21,24 January 2004: Further work on conversion to PHP and setting up version 1.2.
19 January 2004: Beginning work on version 1.2 of the checklist. The links to the images will be moved from 1.0 to 1.2 and there will be changes to the directories containing the images. Initial work on conversion to PHP.
17 January 2004: Further trial pages added to the genus Oxalis, namely:
10 January 2004: Home page modified. Some minor style changes. A trial "images" page added for Oxalis corniculata.
6 January 2004: Met Bart and Petra Wursten again at a Botanic Garden Walk and we agreed to collaborate on producing an online flora.
29 October 2003: Various small changes: 2 minor spelling mistakes corrected in the acknowledgments file; link to the BFA site added; error in distribution (NCWES) for Dopatrium junceum (Scrophulariaceae) corrected; changes to print style sheet to make text size smaller and left-justify the species names.
28 October 2003: Statistical analysis of the flora added.
20 September 2003: Two links added.
30-31 August 2003: Finalised the updated version (1.1) of the checklist. A serious decline in the number of hits on the index page have been noticed in the last few weeks. I suspect that this reflects the lack of new content. The site has indeed been rather neglected lately and it's time to remedy that.
10 July 2003: Various markup changes to try and get the html and css to validate.
28 June 2003: Still working on the changes.
12 June 2003: Further work on the items below. Not yet complete.
7 June 2003: Further development work - after a long break involved with other things. Changes in progress are as follows:
Not all the families in 1.0 have a consistent layout; all are to be made consistent. There are no taxonomic changes involved, this purely affects the appearance of the html pages.
One or two spelling and formatting errors in 1.0 to be corrected.
Titles on each page to refer to version 1.0.
A number of people have made comments on this list and pointed out corrections and additions.
A new sequence of release 1.1 files will be created, for each family where changes have been made.
2 March 2003: After a big effort - all the families have been brought up to version 1.0 and (with a few exceptions) changed to the new-style layout. The checklist (after nearly 1 year!) is now finally at release 1.0. This list will now be frozen and shortly a new series of files will be opened for any changes which come to light.
Some work also done on the spot-characters page. Also some work on the checklist statistics.
25 February 2003: Further final checking. More families converted to new-style layout and being raised to version 1.0.
24 February 2003: Work on making family page layouts consistent. Final checking in progress. Some families raised to version 1.0.
23 February 2003: Families from J raised to version 0.8.
13 February 2003: Families from I raised to version 0.8.
9 February 2003: Further families from G and H raised to version 0.8.
31 January 2003: A set of comments on both the content and the appearance of the site received from Gerald Pope on 29th January 2003. A number of changes will be made, beginning today. On the family pages, the rather narrow column of species names will be widened to cover almost the whole screen by removing the menu on the left hand side.
20 January 2003: The Introduction to the checklist file reviewed and re-worded to improve clarity and the list of FZ parts corrected. Version 0.8 of the Fabaceae produced.
16 January 2003: A review of the list received from Meg Coates-Palgrave. Two minor changes to Dracaenaceae and Ulmaceae uploaded as version 0.81. Other changes to families which still need to be brought up to version 0.8.
14 January 2003: Further work bringing more families up to version 0.8.
7 January 2003: A sudden surge of "hits" on the web site almost doubling the total from c.30 to c.60 in the last two days. Dates changed to 2003.
5 January 2003: Poaceae uploaded as version 0.8. Results from TheCounter show that for the first week of operation, unique hits are running at about 3-4 per day. There is a wide geographical spread of the hits.
4 January 2003: Further families uploaded as version 0.8.
29 December 2002: Pteridophyta and some small monocot. families uploaded as version 0.8. Nearly at 1.0! Subscribed to TheCounter.com for one year.
22-28 December 2002: Much work on the checklist comparing with the Mapaura/Timberlake checklist, incorporating comments on that list from Meg Coates-Palgrave, taxonomic changes from Lebrun & Stork etc. Some initial work on a PHP version of the site, but I intend to retain the current version for the time being.
21 December 2002: Work amending LIST A to incorporate all the changes. Nothing uploaded yet. Some general images taken on trips during 2002 added to the home page.
13-20 December 2002: Further work done comparing my list with the Mapaura/Timberlake list. Early dicots done. Visit to SRGH on 20.12.2002 to try and resolve queries - Pteridophyta mostly sorted out.
12 December 2002: Comparison of my list and the Mapaura/Timberlake list done for all monocotyledons. Many queries, both taxonomic and relating to the distribution.
10 December 2002: The same continued ...
6-8 December 2002: Further work on the following changes:
26-7 November 2002: Work modifying Pteridophyta to adopt Roux's nomenclature. Initial work thinking about how site statistics will be collected.
24 November 2002: Copy of the latest draft (dated 13/11) of the Mapaura/Timberlake checklist received. Copy of Roux's Pteridophyta checklist received from Sabonet.
16 November 2002: Further work tidying up the checklist. Changes made so that the files validate as XHTML strict. Now that the site has been indexed by Google and Yahoo, I intend to change the family file titles to read "Flora of Zimbabwe checklist: Icacinaceae". This looks better in the Google output.
12 October 2002: Minor corrections of layout and formatting to various families.
7 October 2002: Further work correcting errors and adding records from CL.
5 October 2002: Further work on the site after a long, unexpected visit to the UK. Incorporating changes and records supplied by Jonathan Timberlake from the draft SRGH list (A and B only today). Revision of other pages in progress.
25-26 August 2002: Final families finished (in Lists K and L) and ready to be uploaded. All families to be checked once again over the next few weeks.
17 August 2002: List J finalised and ready to be uploaded.
12-13 August 2002: Further work done on Lists G,H and I10 August 2002: Work done as follows:
3 August 2002: Continuing work on the checklist. A number of dicot families uploaded.
2 August 2002: Monocotyledons "done" (still a number of explicit queries remain)
1 August 2002: 11 more monocotyledon families added.
31 July 2002: Work at SRGH extracting further records. Meeting with Jonathan Timberlake and Anthony Mapaura at which we agreed to share information on our respective checklists. Mine to be released on the web, Anthony's to be printed.
14 July 2002: Further work on the checklist: adding taxa from more modern literature; adding synonyms and earlier names from older literature.
6/7 July 2002: Steady work behind the scenes on the checklist. The families will be uploaded when ready and when further checks have been carried out.
23 June 2002: Further small changes.
19 June 2002: Various:
8 June 2002: Corrections to the CSS so that it hopefully now validates at W3C.
2 June 2002: Layout revised to remove pixel-based font-sizes and line-heights. This should allow user to resize text in IE if necessary. Further work on the list of families done in FZ. Initial work on a print stylesheet. Initial thoughts on archiving and citation.
4 May 2002: Work on Euphorbiaceae; addition of "aff." to abbreviations.
27 April 2002: Further work on Poaceae and references. Idea to include a Spot Characters page. Source codes to be a separate page.
20 April 2002: Correction of linkage errors in family files. Changes made to colours of menu div and links.
14 April 2002: Major revision of the left-hand menu. Header bar to refer to Flora of Zimbabwe throughout to ensure consistency across the site.
3 April 2002: Further work on home, acknowledgements and checklist files.
21 March 2002: Records from B83 incorporated into various fern families. It is clear that we need to go through the records in SRGH.
20 March 2002: Work on setting up a search engine (atomz.com) on the site.
18 March 2002: Own domain name zimbabweflora.co.zw up and running and "working site" set up.
16 March 2002: Further work on creating new family files.
12 March 2002: Further family files added.
10 March 2002: First family files put on web; initially at www.geocities.com/markzimb.