Sonoran VII Conference Speaker
Friday, May 9, 2008 at 7:30 PM
"Hooked on Euphorbias"
Presented by Susan Carter Holmes
Copper Room at Inn Suites Hotel
Tucson City Center, 475 N. Granada Avenue
Susan Carter Holmes joined the Herbarium staff of Kew Gardens in 1957 as a member of the team working on Tropical African plants. She retired in 1995 and was made an Honorary Research Associate. In 1958 she met Peter Bally and became his assistant during his frequent visits to Kew, and through him became interested in the Euphorbieae of Tropical Africa, especially the succulent species. Similarly, in 1960 she met Gilbert Reynolds and was his assistant. During this she developed an interest in Aloes. No-one else in the Herbarium was interested in any of these plants, so gradually she became an expert in the genera. Susan went to Kenya for the first time in 1971 to work with Peter Bally, and on a short safari and was immediately hooked on plant expedition work. Official expeditions from Kew followed and several private ones sponsored by the CSSA, amounting to 12 in Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, Sudan and Zimbabwe, and 2 visits to the Transvaal in South Africa. Those visits have produced about 140 publications, including a long series in the Euphorbia Journal and the recently published Euphorbs in the Illustrated Handbook of Succulent Plants (Dicots). Susan was made a fellow of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America in 1989, and awarded the Cactus d'Or by the IOS in 1996.
This presentation will show examples of Euphorbias occurring in tropical eastern Africa, including herbaceous and shrubby species, but concentrating mainly on the many different forms of those with paired spines that I have found so fascinating. All the slides were taken in habitat during often exciting and always enthralling expeditions to remote corners of Africa.
Please mark your calendar for this great program from a very well known expert in the Euphorbieae. We sincerely welcome Susan Carter Holmes to Tucson and are honored to have her as our guest speaker.