Site history

Note: the following, created on 5 August 2016, basically works, but is only a start. Could split by past years - but must be automated for the future. Need to add new link to the various menus.

DateNote added byItem
5 - 7 August 2016Mark HydeWork started on databasing the site history pages and writing the necessary software
19 January 2016Mark HydeGeneral clearing out of dead links on this page; a surprising number of them found.
15 January 2016Mark HydeUtility added to display the Quarter Degree Squares in which people have made records. As an example, follow this link to see records for Petra Ballings.
8 January 2016Mark Hyde Shortened menus added.
2 January 2016Mark Hyde Time spent with Bart and Petra reviewing the content of the menus and the site's home page to remove outdated and unnecessary links. Shortened menus added on 8 January.
25 December 2015Mark Hyde The section of the site on unidentified plants, which was added in 2009, has been removed as it did not prove to be very useful.
11 December 2015Mark Hyde Work started on upgrading the code for Google Analytics.
8 December 2015Mark Hyde Long-standing problem of thumbnails not being displayed in neat rows, solved.
24 December 2014Mark Hyde Orders added to the family pages.
3 - 12 January 2013Mark HydeZimbabwe flora team plus Meg Coates Palgrave botanise in the Nyanga area.
24 - 29 December 2012Mark HydeThe Zimbabwe flora team (Mark, Bart and Petra) visit Hippo Pools in the Umfurudzi Safari Area.
4 November 2012Mark Hyde All of the Google Maps used on the site now upgraded to version 3 of the Javascript API.
June 2012Mark Hyde The Disqus commenting facility added to the home page and all the species pages on the Zimbabwe site.
24 January 2012Mark Hyde 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 2011Mark Hyde 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:

  • The site will be continuously updated. Up to now updates have taken place at approximately 2 monthly intervals.
  • There will be much faster addition of content. Previously, only Mark was able to do this which resulted in a very large backlog of material.
  • The new content will be highlighted so that the site will be worth visiting on a regular basis.

Other technical changes made:

  • encoding changed to utf-8;
  • review and removal of meta tags;
  • PDO used for connection to the database
  • upgrade of software version
  • old checklist pages (versions 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2) deleted as they are out of date and not consistent with the newer databased versions
  • spot characters for cultivated plants now handled separately
  • greater use of includes
22 September 2011Mark HydeWe 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 2011Mark Hyde 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.
10 March 2011Mark Hyde

On March 10th 2002, the first version of this site was uploaded to the web, initially at a free Geocities web page. Since then, what started out as a draft list of Zimbabwean plants has developed into a fully fledged online flora of Zimbabwe (and also of Mozambique)

There has been a lot of change during those 9 years - for example Geocities has gone - and there is more online information about tropical African plants.

Our Zimbabwe project is approaching the halfway mark - in terms of providing species with either an image or a description. This may mean that we have at least a further 9 years to go - and probably more as we have done the easier half of the flora and the rest may take longer.

In order for us to complete the project, we need some kind of sponsorship or funding to enable to us to work full-time on it. Is there anyone out there who can help?

6 March 2011Mark Hyde 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 2011Mark Hyde All the site front page stories from December 2009 to date have been added to the archive page (later deleted).
2 March 2011Mark Hyde A biography of Alan Percy-Lancaster (1944-1995), kindly written by his daughter Annabel Graham, has been added to the site.
10 February 2011Mark Hyde 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 2011Mark Hyde Google Custom Search engine added to the search page. This searches both the Mozambique and Zimbabwe flora websites.
4 February 2011Mark Hyde 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.
26 December 2010Mark Hyde 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.
16 December 2010 - 20 January 2011Mark HydeBart 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.
December 2010Mark HydeNew logos on the front page. Regular readers of this site may notice the appearance of 4 new logos on the right hand side of this home page. These represent our links to organisations (the National Herbarium of the Netherlands, NCB Naturalis, Jstor and Kew) who have assisted our project or with whom we have a working relationship. Currently, further projects are in the pipeline and we hope to be able to announce new areas of collaboration in the near future.
31 October 2010Mark Hyde 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.
30 October 2010Mark Hyde Added links from each species page to Jstor Plant Science and Tropicos.
24 October 2010Mark Hyde New note (19) added giving further information which has come to light about Limnobium laevigatum.
October 2010Mark HydeFlora of Zimbabwe Project gets free access to JSTOR®.
Jstor logo

We are pleased to announce that, since June 2010, the Flora of Zimbabwe project has had free access to JSTOR through the African Access Initiative for not-for-profit organisations based in Africa.

JSTOR (short for Journal Storage) is a web-based online system for archiving academic journals, founded in 1995... Read more

25 September 2010Mark Hyde 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 2010Mark Hyde 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.
August 2010Mark HydeKhami Ruins - a new location added. Bart has added a new location page for Khami Ruins near Bulawayo, which we visited on the way back from Hwange National Park on 13 January 2010. In many ways, the ruins are like a mini-Matobo with many trees characteristic of that national park. Two images follow below.

Khami Ruins
Khami Ruins
13 June 2010Mark HydeAn 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 2010Mark Hyde 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.
June 2010Mark HydeAnother landmark has been passed with the number of images on the site having just exceeded 7000. For those who wish to see who has contributed the most images, click on this page.
9 May 2010Mark HydeWe 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.Ngomakurira 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 2010Mark HydeI (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 2010Mark HydeAnother 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 2010Mark HydeWork 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 2010Mark HydeThanks 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 2010Mark HydeAnother 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.
February 2010Mark HydeThe Zimbabwe flora group on Facebook has now been in existence for one and a half months and already we have 120 members; thanks largely to Mark Brightman. Discussions have tended to be intermittent, but there has been a good supply of images to identify in the last few days. If you would like to sign up, click on the blue Facebook logo.

Link to go to our Facebook group
February 2010Mark HydeBarleria capitata. On our visit to Hwange National Park in January, the Zimbabwe Flora team (Bart, Petra and Mark) came across this extraordinary plant from the genus Barleria.

Barleria capitata
Barleria capitata

The unusual things about it are firstly the extremely long, up to 10 cm, corolla tube and secondly the almost symmetric corolla lobes.

Both features are well demonstrated in the two photographs. Full details of the species and records may be found on the B. capitata page.

16 December 2009Mark HydeZimbabwe flora group created on Facebook. Link to it added from home page. Link to go to our Facebook group
5 - 13 December 2009Mark HydePreparing 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 2009Mark HydeTwo more utilities introduced using Google Maps:
  • Every record for which there is a either a UTM grid reference or a latitude/ longitude position can now be plotted individually using Google Maps. See for example the records page of Tribulus terrestris. To view the Google map, click on any individual record in the "No." column on the far left. For example record no. 25312. It may be necessary to scroll down to find the map.
  • All the records made on a particular day may be plotted. For example, see the records made at Dulverton Field on 23 October 2009. Try zooming in to see the level of detail.
24 October 2009Mark HydeThe 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 2009Mark HydeA 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 2009Mark HydeThe links page of the site updated and considerably expanded.
8 October 2009Mark HydeWork on the maps displaying the Quarter Degree Squares:
  • corrected an error whereby the file size of the maps produced was exceptionally large (> 300kb);
  • added a statement to each image giving the number of QDS displayed and the date on which the map was created.
17 September 2009Mark HydeVernacular names displayed on the Zimbabwe site limited to Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Shangaan, Shona and Tonga names.
15 August 2009Mark HydePreparing 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.
24 July 2009Mark HydeA 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 2009Mark HydeThe 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 2009Mark HydeAs 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 2009Mark HydeDetails 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 2009Mark HydeThe 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 2009Mark HydeOn 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 - 11 May 2009Mark HydeA 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 2009Mark HydeA 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 2009Mark HydeVarious programming changes to the site:
  • the FZ divisions have been added to the utility which displays all the images for a particular genus. See for example the page showing the living plant images of Capparis. The FZ divisions, NW etc., are in a column with a highlighted background.
  • utilities have been written to display all the living plant images for each family. This page shows the living plant images for the Capparaceae. NOTE: this utility is only applied to the smaller families as the download would be too great for the larger families.
  • We have a page of insects, mostly butterflies, whose larvae eat Zimbabwean plants. Links have been provided between each plant species and its corresponding insect and vice versa. This has now been extended to allow links between insect species and plant families and genera. For example, the insects that eat the grass family, Poaceae, are listed at the end of the family description. Each item is a link taking you to the particular species.
  • Conversely, on each insect species is a list of those families, genera and species which are eaten. See, for example, the butterfly Danaus chrysippus, the African monarch.
11 - 21 February 2009Mark HydeSteady addition of fern family write-ups provided by Petra Ballings. So far, Dennstaedtiaceae, Equisetaceae, Gleicheniaceae, Lycopodiaceae and Marattiaceae have been done.
3 February 2009Mark HydePreparing 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 2009Mark HydeA Review of Henning S. Heide-Jørgensen's book Parasitic Flowering Plants by Mark Hyde has been added to the site.
6 - 8 January 2009Mark HydeA 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 2009Mark HydePreparing 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 2008Mark HydeThe 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 2008Mark HydeA link added to the West African Plants website from each species page.
2 November 2008Mark HydeA 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 2008Mark HydeAdding 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 2008Mark HydeA 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.
11 August 2008Mark HydeAnother 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 2008Mark HydeFurther 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 2008Mark HydeBart'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. [These were later removed].
9 - 12 August 2008Mark HydeHeroes' weekend. A very productive 4 days of work on the site, as may be seen by the preceding entries on this page.
9 August 2008Mark HydeFacility 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 2008Mark HydeWith 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 2008Mark HydeAddition 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 2008Mark HydeChanges 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 2008Mark HydeResuming 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 2008Mark HydePreparing 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 2008Mark HydeVarious additions made:
  • a biography and photograph of Darrel Plowes, written by his son Robert Plowes.
  • pictures of the Flora of Zimbabwe team at work on the Tuli expedition
26 - 27 April 2008Mark HydeWork restoring my laptop, following the collapse of the hard drive 2 weeks ago. Hopefully, work on the site can resume from now on.
1 April 2008Mark HydeWork changing the way the site handles altitudes so they can be manipulated.
14 March 2008Mark HydeA 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 February 2008Mark HydeLinks added from each individual family, genus and species page to a number of external databases:
  • ePIC (Electronic Plant Information Centre)
  • Flora Zambesiaca
  • Germplasm Resources Information Network
  • Kew Herbarium Catalogue
  • Kew World Monocotyledon Checklist
  • and others ...
22 February 2008Mark HydeNearly 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 January 2008Mark HydeTree 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.
16 - 17 January 2008Mark HydeAddition of biographies for John Ball, Lucy Chippindall, Albert Crook and Norman Chase; all kindly provided by Jane Browning; the one on Norman Chase written by Barbara Nicholson.
9 January 2008Mark HydeRoutine work correcting programming errors and making minor changes to improve the site.
22 December 2007Mark HydeExpedition 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 December 2007Mark HydeA new version of the site prepared for upload - after a gap, again, of about 3 months.
1 December 2007Mark HydeResuming 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 October 2007Mark HydeA 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 October 2007Mark HydeA 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 September 2007Mark HydeA 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 September 2007Mark HydeNdundu Lodge burns down from an out-of-control fire starting in the chimney.
9 September 2007Mark HydeA new version of the site prepared for upload - the first for about 3 months. Currently we have images for 1,594 species plus a further 25 for purely cultivated species, i.e. 1,619 in all.
1 - 8 September 2007Mark HydeBart and Petra in Harare; we made several visits to the Herbarium and named a significant number of specimens.
24 - 31 August 2007Mark HydeSteady work adding old personal (MAH) plant records, mainly grass records from Harare in the 1980s.
11 - 14 August 2007Mark HydeLong weekend (Heroes' Days); 90 generic descriptions added to the Poaceae; all of the Zimbabwean genera now done.
4 August 2007Mark HydeA biography of Frank Swynnerton, kindly written by Rawdon Goodier has been added to the site.
2 August 2007Mark HydeThe 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 July 2007Mark Hyde

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 June 2007Mark Hyde

Three new utilities written to display the (a) records, (b) collections and (c) images made by a particular person.

For example, take Rawdon Goodier's page. Follow the records, collections or images links in order to see a detailed list in each case.

20 June 2007Mark HydeCorrection of various programming errors. Style and colours of the Cultivated plants pages made consistent.
19 June 2007Mark HydeThe 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 June 2007Mark HydeA 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 2007Mark HydeLittle time for site development and work - a quiet period.
12 May 2007Mark HydeEndemic 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 2007Mark HydeA new utility added which produces a list of recorders together with the number of records from each.
25 April 2007Mark Hyde

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 April 2007Mark HydeTwo minor program changes:
  • The utility which produces a list of photographers and the number of images now creates output sorted by the photographer's surname. Re-sorting of the table is still possible by clicking on the column headings.
  • On each location page, there is a facility which allows one to extract a list of records for that location. This now displays the family for each species and it is possible to re-sort the records in family order.
13 April 2007Mark HydeThe species name search now produces results sorted by genus and species names; previously the order of the results was less helpful.
11 April 2007Mark Hyde

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 April 2007Mark Hyde

A new concept, similar to locations, has been added to the site, namely what I have called outings. [The name was later changed to Expeditions and Projects]. This provides a slot for information about a particular trip or expedition.

We now have 1,537 native and naturalised species plus a further 17 cultivated species and 3 Mozambican specials.

6 April 2007Mark Hyde

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 April 2007Mark Hyde

(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.

The first three added are Bombax rhodognaphalon, Harrisonia abyssinica and Millettia mossambicensis.

I should add that we are not considering tackling the whole flora of that country. [Famous last words!]

3 April 2007Mark HydeFurther work on the cultivated plants section of the site:
  • Simple details of content added for each family on the list of families page;
  • Link added from each cultivated family page to the native/naturalised family page and vice versa; the link is not present if the page would be empty;
  • Cultivated plant family and genus pages now display their own images rather than using those from the native/naturalised pages;
  • Further work done to prevent cultivated pages being opened by the native page program and vice versa.
9 - 11 March 2007Mark HydeAddition of numerous vernacular plant names. We now have 2074 vernacular species names. This utility provides a complete list of the names.
6 March 2007Mark HydeAddition of information and images about the Chimanimani Mountains, supplied by Rawdon Goodier.
4 March 2007Mark Hyde

Various items were completed today in preparation for a new upload in the next few days:

  • A FAQ added to the site;
  • Considerable work expanding the 'people' part of the site: a list of people connected with Zimbabwe's flora and further biographical details added for a number of individuals;
  • Some progress with Petra's ferns: Blechnaceae added;
  • The Anacardiaceae descriptions written by Dr Susan Pell have been added.

Now with 1,477 native and naturalised species plus a further 14 cultivated species.

14 February 2007Mark HydeA 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 January 2007Mark Hyde

A busy weekend of work on the site, with new content added, especially in Senecio.

11 January 2007Mark Hyde

Visit to the Herbarium. A synopsis of all the Senecio species in Zimbabwe was produced.

6 - 7 January 2007Mark Hyde

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 2007Mark Hyde

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 December 2006Mark Hyde

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 December 2006Mark Hyde

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.

8 December 2006Mark Hyde 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 November 2006Mark HydeWork in progress on calculating latitudes and longitudes from the UTM coordinates. The program used is Phpcoord, written by J. Stott.
18 November 2006Mark Hyde

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:

  • A new section of the page has been added just under the row of images, called 'Records and maps'. In one row, there are now all the links either to individual species records, to our own internally created maps and to the Google Maps facility.
  • Each one of the items of information in the Species details section, e.g. Synonyms, Common names and Altitude range, are now a link. Clicking on that link opens an explanatory page in a new window, so that information can be obtained and then the new window closed without losing one's place on the species page.
  • As an example, see the Brachystegia spiciformis page.
17 November 2006Mark HydePages 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 November 2006Mark HydeUp 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 November 2006Mark HydeThe list of photographers utility has been improved to allow the table of results to be sorted.
4 November 2006Mark HydeThe 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 October 2006Mark HydeThe 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 October 2006Mark Hyde

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 October 2006Mark HydeVisit to Christon Bank. Still early in the year but a number of interesting finds there and on the way.
7 October 2006Mark HydeSteady addition of species and content. Reached 1,400 species with images.
23 - 25 September 2006Mark HydeVisit to the Vumba:
  • 23 September 2006: Ndundu Lodge: trail no. 1;
  • 24 September 2006: Forest off the Woodland Road.
  • 25 September 2006: Chinyakwaremba; climbed to the summit and descended via the Gwasha.
16 - 17 September 2006Mark HydeTwo more botanical trips with Bart:
  • 16 September 2006: Borrowdale Common;
  • 17 September 2006: Mt Hampden, with the Tree Society.
11 - 15 August 2006Mark Hyde
  • 12 August: World's View;
  • 13 August: Mt Chinaka area and Fox Rock;
  • 14 August: John Galt village, Marowe Falls;
  • 15 August: Return to Harare via Diana's Vow and Harleigh Ruins.
1 August 2006Mark HydeJavascript/DHTML used to enable tables of records in species-display to be sorted by clicking on the column titles. See Senna singueana as an example. The script was written by Stuart Langridge of
16 July 2006Mark HydeWork on spot-characters part of the site.
1 - 13 July 2006Mark HydeMostly work on the underlying site software; less work on botanical aspects.
29 June 2006Mark HydeSimple favicon added.
25 June 2006Mark HydeBBClone, a more sophisticated traffic statistics program installed.
12 June 2006Mark HydeNew version (2 June) of the site uploaded after over 2 months of being unable to do so because of poor internet connections. Reached 1,279 species. Pictures by Darrel Plowes being added to the site.
9 May 2006Mark HydeTwo new utilities added, namely the ability to create a list of the endemic species and those with a red data classification.
6 - 7 May 2006Mark HydeVisit 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.
3 May 2006Mark HydeNew utilities added, namely the ability to list alphabetically vernacular names by family, genus and species.
18 March - 4 April 2006Mark HydeSteady addition of content. Now 1,221 species have images.
16 - 17 March 2006Mark HydeIntroduction of a separate table about herbaria relevant to Zimbabwe. Display pages changed to allow for herbaria and collectors.
12 - 14 March 2006Mark HydeIntroduction of a separate table for collectors as opposed to recorders, so that collector data can be analysed.
11 March 2006Mark Hyde1,179 species now have images.
10 March 2006Mark HydeVisit to SRGH. Some records extracted.
10 March 2006Mark HydeIt has been 4 years since the first primitive version of the site was uploaded to a free Geocities account. Since then, we have progressed to our own domain name and paid hosting, from static webpages through the increasing use of a scripting language to the current position of a database back-end.

Our content has also grown from a partial checklist of Zimbabwean plants to become much more of an online flora, with descriptions, photographs, keys and the ability to generate distribution maps on the fly.

In that time, the team has grown from a single-handed effort to become a joint Hyde-Wursten collaboration.

Progress to date is as follows:

  • all 242 families have a description and 59% have a sample image;
  • of the 1597 genera, 58% have a description and 41% have a sample image;
  • of the 6239 species, 19% have a description and 19% have an image;
  • 5285 records have been entered into the database.

Clearly, a lot more needs to be done but it has been an exciting journey and we look forward to future developments.

4 - 5 March 2006Mark HydeFurther 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.
23 February 2006Mark Hyde

Earthquake hits Zimbabwe. In the early hours (about 00.20 hrs) of Thursday, 23rd February 2006, we had a small earthquake, the first one I've ever experienced. I was half asleep in bed when it occurred, but it was vigorous enough to wake me up.

The house shook, doors rattled. It sounded as if there were very large rats bounding around in the attic or as if someone was trying violently to break in.

We estimate that it lasted about 30 seconds. No visible damage was done either inside or outside the house.

Zimbabwe is not really an earthquake zone but small tremors do occur from time to time, mainly in the Zambezi Valley and sometimes associated with Lake Kariba; this is the first one I've ever noticed.

A friend in Harare who lives on the 5th floor of a block of flats in the Avenues wrote (at 00.50, not long after the event):

Being on the 5th floor during an earthtremor at 12.22 am just now... was interesting. A hairbrush fell off the back of a chair and there was a minor shower of plaster dust, but no damage.

Kariba still stands according ZESA who I rang...

There was a rumbling like thunder (and the lightning in the North seemed too far away to be heard).

It appears that the quake was centered in southern Mozambique and measured 7.5 on the Richter scale.

10 February 2006Mark HydeMostly adding content.
27 January 2006Mark HydeAn error corrected: our image of Persicaria lapathifolia is in fact Persicaria senegalensis.
21 - 22 January 2006Mark HydeMiscellaneous work adding species and correcting errors. Work on an extension to include unidentified species.
13 - 16 January 2006Mark HydeVisit of Bart and Petra to Harare.
  • 14 January: Borrowdale Common and Mukuvisi Woodland.
  • 15 January: Tree Society outing to Kutsaga.
  • 16 January: Greystone Park Nature Reserve; major outflow from dam causing a waterfall in the forest.
  • 17 January: Visit to Val D'Or near Arcturus.
6 - 9 January 2006Mark Hyde

Short but intense visit to the Vumba.

  • 7 January: Local day in the Vumba, mostly at Seldomseen.
  • 8 January: Visit to low altitudes on the road south towards Birchenough Bridge. We revisited the Rimiti West area and then went on to Hot Springs. A very large number of new records added and specimens collected; a very long and most productive day.
4 January 2006Mark HydeLatest 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 - 31 December 2005Mark HydeFurther work on the site.
23 - 24 December 2005Mark HydeProgram written to plot the Quarter Degree Squares for a particular species.
19 - 22 December 2005Mark HydeFurther 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 2005Mark HydeThe 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.
2 - 15 December 2005Mark HydeIntermittent 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 2005Mark HydeProgramming 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 2005Mark HydeVisit to Harare by Bart and Petra.
  • 17 November: Visit to Christon Bank with Meg Coates Palgrave, Werner Fibeck, Alan and Eva Gardiner and Tom Mueller.
  • 19 November: Haka Game Park: disappointing; very hot and dry
  • 20 November: Visit to a plot on the Gardiner Rd, nr Arcturus. Also very hot and dry.
  • 21 November: Return visit to Christon Bank.
12 - 13 November 2005Mark HydeRoutine work on the site adding more content; now up to 875 genera and 1,065 species.
17 - 24 October 2005Mark HydeVisit to Vumba by MAH.
  • 16 October: Travel from Nyanga to Vumba
  • 17 October: Whole day botanising from Cloudlands down the main Vumba rd, eventually reaching Tiger Kloof in Mutare
  • 18-19 October: Vumba
  • 20 October: Visit to site of former Mountain Lodge Hotel, Vumba to photograph a spectacular flowering tree, Vernicia montana.
  • 21 October: Whole day trip (with John Bennett) to Osborne Dam, with a stop at the Odzani River bridge. Very hot and dry generally. Some interesting herbs and flowering trees found.
  • 22 October: Walk round Vumba Botanic Garden.
14 - 16 October 2005Mark HydeVisit to World's View, Nyanga (MAH only). Total species: 988.
9 October 2005Mark HydeTree Society visit to Domboshawa; walked in the Sacred forest. Very hot and dry.
1 October 2005Mark HydeContinuing work: 966 species with images.
25 September 2005Mark HydeHome 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 2005Mark HydeVisit to Blatherwick Avenue, Mukuvisi Woodland. Some new photographs and records added to the site. Now, 936 species have images.
10 - 11 September 2005Mark HydeFurther species and images added. 50% of the genera now have a description and 901 species have images.
12 August - 4 September 2005Mark HydeAddition of more content. Now, 860 spp. with images.
10 - 11 August 2005Mark HydeSome 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 2005Mark HydeHeroes public holidays. Large number of additions to the site.
4 August 2005Mark HydeBart and I visited the Herbarium; some very good progress in naming plant specimens.
24 July 2005Mark HydeContinuing steady addition of genera and species.
11 - 12 July 2005Mark HydeVisit 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 2005Mark HydeVisit 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 2005Mark HydeGrid references are now being displayed except for the family Orchidaceae.
17 June 2005Mark HydeMSN 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.
24 - 28 May 2005Mark HydeVisit (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.
29 April - 13 June 2005Mark HydeFurther regular updating and addition of species to the site.
23 April 2005Mark HydeTree Society outing to Charmwood; records added.
14 - 23 April 2005Mark HydeFurther work, making numerous corrections, changes and additions.
2 April 2005Mark Hyde

Database version launched.

This is a new version of the site, which uses a database to hold the data about each species. After 3 months of work developing the new version it is at last ready to be released.

The new features of the redesigned site are:

  • the separation of the actual content from the page presenting that content, which will make site-wide changes much easier;
  • the ability to add new content faster;
  • inclusion of new sorts of data: e.g. individual species records and details of people and places.

This is potentially a major change to the content of the site. Although content is still limited at present, this is being added rapidly.

1 April 2005Mark Hyde

An old alien record rediscovered. I (MAH) was most grateful to receive an email last week from Dr Costas Zachariades of the ARC in South Africa. It appears that Chromolaena odorata, hitherto not known in Zimbabwe, was collected here, near Chinhoyi, in 1967. This is the first and only record of this species in Zimbabwe. The species page gives full details of this interesting record.

29 - 31 March 2005Mark HydeFurther work adding data to the site and preparing to launch the new database version.
25 - 28 March 2005Mark HydeEaster 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 2005Mark HydeTree Society outing to Mukuvisi Woodland (Blatherwick Avenue). A few new species photographed and added.
8 - 11 March 2005Mark HydeVisit of Bart and Petra to Harare:
  • 8 March: Cleveland Dam, below the dam wall
  • 10 March: Visit to Haslemere Lane and Cleveland Dam in the woodland part.
2 March 2005Mark HydeAfter 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 2005Mark HydeDetails of the discovery of a possibly new orchid for Zimbabwe, Disperis cooperi, added to the site.
28 February 2005Mark HydeWork with Unix, MySQL monitor and SSH to work out how to upload, unzip and restore a .sql file.
11 - 15 February 2005Mark HydeSecond visit to the Eastern Highlands:
  • 11 February: Travel to Nyanga; one or two orchid stops on the way
  • 12 February: Mt Rukotso, Nyanga
  • 13 February: World's View, Nyanga
  • 14 February: Travel from Nyanga to Vumba: some stops en route
  • 15 February: Castleburn Cliffs, Vumba
  • 16 February: Short visit to Bunga Views, Vumba and then return to Harare.
6 February 2005Mark HydeFurther work: minor corrections and changes; development of the site.
29 January - 1 February 2005Mark HydeVisit to the Eastern Highlands:
  • 29 January: Airedale Rd and general Brondesbury Park area, Nyanga
  • 30 January: Mt Rukotso, Nyanga
  • 31 January: Essex Rd, Vumba
  • 1 February: low altitude trip to Wengezi and the Umvumvumvu River.
22 - 23 January 2005Mark HydeFurther 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 2005Mark HydeVarious 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 2005Mark HydeA 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 2004Mark HydeDownloaded 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.
27 December 2004Mark HydeVarious minor corrections and changes. The citation page has been brought up to date; errors in Hydrocotyle corrected. Ampelocissus obtusata and Cyphostemma graniticum added.
22 - 27 December 2004Mark Hyde

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 publicly.

7 December 2004Mark HydeNot 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 December 2004Mark Hyde

News about the Zimbabwean flora has been scarce lately, but I (MAH) heard a few days ago that the checklist of the Flora of Zimbabwe by Anthony Mapaura and Jonathan Timberlake has recently been published by Sabonet. I haven't yet seen a copy myself, but hope to do so soon. Obviously, this is a very important event in the development of Zimbabwean botany.

We intend to make a detailed comparison between that list and the checklist on this web site in order to resolve any important differences.

7 November 2004Mark Hyde

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 2004Mark HydeMacfadyena unguis-cati added.
31 October 2004Mark HydeA lot of work on the spot character pages, but this is not yet ready to upload.
26 October 2004Mark HydeWork 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 2004Mark HydeAll 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 - 23 October 2004Mark Hyde10 new families added.
18 October 2004Mark HydeA minor change made to the home page. A new photograph added, that of Albizia tanganyicensis.
6 October 2004Mark Hyde10 new families added.
2 October 2004Mark HydeFurther species, genera and families added.
23 - 29 September 2004Mark HydeFurther 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.
17 - 19 September 2004Mark HydeFour new species added, namely Prunus cerasoides, Amaranthus hybridus, Homalanthus populifolius and Leucaena leucocephala.
16 September 2004Mark HydeThree new species added, namely Alchemilla cryptantha, Artemisia afra and Schotia brachypetala. Also, 8 further family descriptions.
14 - 15 September 2004Mark HydeThree new genera added to Lamiaceae, namely Plectranthus, Pycnostachys and Tetradenia. Also, Catharanthus and Myrothamnus.
13 September 2004Mark HydeAs an experiment, the first cultivated plant has been added, Distictis buccinatoria.
11 - 12 September 2004Mark HydeNew additions: Drymaria cordata, Euphorbia peplus, tirucalli and Strychnos cocculoides. Record for division E added to Euphorbia peplus.
10 September 2004Mark Hyde17 further family descriptions added.
9 September 2004Mark HydeA number of corrections made, mostly of a minor sort.
8 September 2004Mark HydeNew additions made: Asteraceae (Emilia brachycephala), Droseraceae (Drosera indica) and Poaceae (Danthoniopsis pruinosa).
6 September 2004Mark HydeMore 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 2004Mark HydeNew 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.
3 September 2004Mark HydeWork begun on Santalaceae (Osyris and Osyridicarpos) and Caryophyllaceae (Cerastium and Stellaria). All family folders and at least some content now uploaded.
31 August 2004Mark HydeImages of Hedychium in flower added. Changes made to the terms of use. Spelling error in Rapanea corrected in version 1.2 of the checklist.
30 August 2004Mark HydeTrichodesma ambacense added. Further species of Helichrysum added to make 7 in total.
29 August 2004Mark HydeCyrtanthus sanguineus added. A start made on the Zingiberaceae.
28 August 2004Mark HydeTwo 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 - 29 August 2004Mark HydeFurther joint work (BW and MAH) "in the field" around Harare: Greystone park, Cleveland Dam and Borrowdale Common.
19 - 23 August 2004Mark HydeVisit to Vumba by MAH to work on adding additional species. Many new species photographs taken by BW.
6 - 11 August 2004Mark HydeSolid work adding new family and genus descriptions and many images of species, including the following: Abrus precatorius, Cadaba kirkii, Calotropis procera,
3 August 2004Mark HydeGeneric descriptions added for 6 Acanthaceae genera.
31 July - 1 August 2004Mark HydeNew 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 2004Mark HydeChanges 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 2004Mark HydeWork adding species to the Caesalpinioideae.
20 - 24 July 2004Mark HydeBart and Petra visited from the Vumba. A visit made to Cleveland Dam and 23 new species photographed.
11 July 2004Mark HydeThe glossary of botanical terms uploaded. Various new family descriptions added, even where no images are yet available.
10 July 2004Mark HydeError in title tag discovered in the image and species files and corrected.
9 July 2004Mark HydeWork in progress on the family Rubiaceae.
6 July 2004Mark HydeVarious changes and corrections. Scolopia zeyheri and Mondia whitei added.
29 June 2004Mark HydeWork on the spot-characters list.
23 June 2004Mark HydeVersion 1.2 checklist completed and uploaded.
21 June 2004Mark HydeThe references page considerably extended.
18 June 2004Mark HydeCombined site finally released!
4 - 17 June 2004Mark HydeFurther 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 2004Mark HydeRoutine 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 2004Mark HydeSome pictures from the Eastern Highlands Symposium added.
27 May 2004Mark HydeDetails of two local checklists added.
23 - 25 May 2004Mark HydeFurther work combining the two sites and working on version 1.2 of the checklist.
21 May 2004Mark HydeSerious work begins combining the two sites.
18 May 2004Mark HydeWork begun on moving the domain name to and combining the two sites.
12 - 15 May 2004Mark HydeFollowing 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 2004Mark HydeWork on Solanum mauritianum and Vernonia myriantha.
27 April - 4 May 2004Mark HydeFurther work on adding families.
24 - 25 April 2004Mark HydeAsteraceae added.
22 April 2004Mark HydeWork on adding Acalypha chirindica, Bridelia cathartica, Boehmeria macrophylla, Tridactyle tricuspis.
21 April 2004Mark HydeWork on Oxalidacae, bringing the pages up to date and adding Biophytum abyssinicum.
9 April 2004Mark HydeA 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
8 April 2004Mark Hyde

Another volume of Flora Zambesiaca, volume 5(3), which covers the last part of the interesting (and often difficult) family, Rubiaceae, has appeared.

This part contains treatments of difficult genera such as Pavetta and no doubt there will be much of interest to absorb and understand.

Taxonomic changes will be taken into account in version 1.2 of the Zimbabwe checklist, which is still in preparation.

7 - 12 April 2004Mark HydeFurther work adding images and pages e.g. Asteraceae, Orchidaceae, Sapotaceae. Further work on the glossary and spot characters.
20 March 2004Mark HydeA 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.
22 February 2004Mark Hyde

About 20 members of the Tree Society gathered on the afternoon of Sunday, February 22nd 2004 to celebrate Bob Drummond's 80th birthday. Tea, cakes and biscuits and wine were served and we sat outside under a shady pergola. To be strictly accurate, Bob's birthday is not actually until 27th February. A short biography of Bob's early years (up to 1955) was read out by Mark Hyde and after that Tom Muller described some incidents from the subsequent years.

Bob Drummond


Bob Drummond


The two pictures show: (1) Bob Drummond (centre) reading from a list of botanists and (2) Bob again with the members in the background.

21 February 2004Mark HydeReference to the development site added to the home page.
7 February 2004Mark HydeReview 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 site.
3 - 4 February 2004Mark HydeMinor corrections to the site.
31 January - 1 February 2004Mark HydeFurther 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 2004Mark HydeFurther work on conversion to PHP and setting up version 1.2.
19 January 2004Mark HydeBeginning 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 2004Mark HydeFurther trial pages added to the genus Oxalis, namely:
  • a trial key to some of the species incorporating thumbnail images;
  • a page of extensive information about Oxalis latifolia, including images.
10 January 2004Mark HydeHome page modified. Some minor style changes. A trial "images" page added for Oxalis corniculata.
6 January 2004Mark HydeMet Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings again at a Botanic Garden Walk and we agreed to collaborate on producing an online flora.
29 October 2003Mark HydeVarious 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 2003Mark HydeStatistical analysis of the flora added.
20 September 2003Mark HydeTwo links added.
30 - 31 August 2003Mark HydeFinalised 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 2003Mark HydeVarious markup changes to try
3 - 5 July 2003Mark HydeThe page format and JavaScript corrections to the 1.0 checklist have been finished. Work started on adding the 1.1 families. Numerous cosmetic changes made to the site. Alphabetical entry to the list of families added.
28 June 2003Mark HydeStill working on the changes.
12 June 2003Mark HydeFurther work on the items below. Not yet complete.
7 June 2003Mark Hyde

Further development work - after a long break involved with other things. Changes in progress are as follows:

  • Finalisation of format of version 1.0 of the checklist

    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.

    There are incorrect references to javascript files which prevent Netscape users seeing anything at all; these need to be corrected.

    Titles on each page to refer to version 1.0.

  • Work on version 1.1 of the Zimbabwe checklist

    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.

  • Addition of further links
2 March 2003Mark Hyde

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 2003Mark HydeFurther final checking. More families converted to new-style layout and being raised to version 1.0.
24 February 2003Mark HydeWork on making family page layouts consistent. Final checking in progress. Some families raised to version 1.0.
23 February 2003Mark HydeFamilies from J raised to version 0.8.
13 February 2003Mark HydeFamilies from I raised to version 0.8.
9 February 2003Mark HydeFurther families from G and H raised to version 0.8.
31 January 2003Mark HydeA 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 2003Mark HydeThe 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 2003Mark HydeA 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 2003Mark HydeFurther work bringing more families up to version 0.8.
7 January 2003Mark HydeA 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 2003Mark HydePoaceae 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 2003Mark HydeFurther families uploaded as version 0.8.
29 December 2002Mark HydePteridophyta and some small monocot. families uploaded as version 0.8. Nearly at 1.0! Subscribed to for one year.
22 - 28 December 2002Mark HydeMuch 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 2002Mark HydeWork 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 2002Mark HydeFurther 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 2002Mark HydeComparison of my list and the Mapaura/Timberlake list done for all monocotyledons. Many queries, both taxonomic and relating to the distribution.
10 December 2002Mark HydeThe same continued ...
6 - 8 December 2002Mark HydeFurther work on the following changes:
  • the Pteridophyta nomenclature;
  • incorporating elements from the draft Mapaura/Timberlake checklist;
  • incorporating comments kindly supplied by Meg Coates-Palgrave on the same draft Mapaura/Timberlake checklist;
  • incorporating earlier names from Eyles(1916).
26 - 27 November 2002Mark HydeWork modifying Pteridophyta to adopt Roux's nomenclature. Initial work thinking about how site statistics will be collected.
24 November 2002Mark HydeCopy of the latest draft (dated 13/11) of the Mapaura/Timberlake checklist received. Copy of Roux's Pteridophyta checklist received from Sabonet.
16 November 2002Mark HydeFurther 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 2002Mark HydeMinor corrections of layout and formatting to various families.
7 October 2002Mark HydeFurther work correcting errors and adding records from CL.
5 October 2002Mark HydeFurther 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 2002Mark HydeFinal 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 2002Mark HydeList J finalised and ready to be uploaded.
12 - 13 August 2002Mark HydeFurther work done on Lists G,H and I.
10 August 2002Mark HydeWork done as follows:
  • Amendments to layout of "List A" families to bring the literature references within the tables;
  • Correction of various minor errors in families already uploaded;
3 August 2002Mark HydeContinuing work on the checklist. A number of dicot families uploaded.
2 August 2002Mark HydeMonocotyledons "done" (still a number of explicit queries remain)
1 August 2002Mark Hyde11 more monocotyledon families added.
31 July 2002Mark HydeWork 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 2002Mark HydeFurther work on the checklist: adding taxa from more modern literature; adding synonyms and earlier names from older literature.
6 - 7 July 2002Mark HydeSteady work behind the scenes on the checklist. The families will be uploaded when ready and when further checks have been carried out.
23 June 2002Mark HydeFurther small changes.
19 June 2002Mark HydeVarious:
  • Move towards XHTML strict, from transitional;
  • further rewriting and additions;
8 June 2002Mark HydeCorrections to the CSS so that it hopefully now validates at W3C.
2 June 2002Mark HydeLayout 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 2002Mark HydeWork on Euphorbiaceae; addition of "aff." to abbreviations.
27 April 2002Mark HydeFurther work on Poaceae and references. Idea to include a Spot Characters page. Source codes to be a separate page.
20 April 2002Mark HydeCorrection of linkage errors in family files. Changes made to colours of menu div and links.
14 April 2002Mark HydeMajor revision of the left-hand menu. Header bar to refer to Flora of Zimbabwe throughout to ensure consistency across the site.
3 April 2002Mark HydeFurther work on home, acknowledgements and checklist files.
21 March 2002Mark HydeRecords from B83 incorporated into various fern families. It is clear that we need to go through the records in SRGH.
20 March 2002Mark HydeWork on setting up a searchengine ( on the site.
18 March 2002Mark HydeOwn domain name up and running and "working site" set up.
16 March 2002Mark HydeFurther work on creating new family files.
12 March 2002Mark HydeFurther family files added.
10 March 2002Mark HydeFirst family files put on web; initially at

Number of items: 344

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Site history., retrieved 24 May 2024

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