Ken Patterson photographer Bill Liltved orchid hunter Link to Richard and Shirley Cowling's book "East of the Cape, Conserving Eden


Photographer credits and links

We are grateful to the following friends, in particular, for supplying photographs and for their interest in our project.

Richard Cowling, is Research Professor at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. He is the pre-eminent fynbos ecologist of his generation and a prolific scientific and popular author. His latest book, co-authored by his wife, Shirley, also a distinguished botanist and conservation communicator, is East of the Cape, Conserving Eden. Richard was the first director of the Leslie Hill Institute for Plant Conservation at the University of Cape Town, is a Pew Fellow, and an Elected Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. When not botanising, he surfs.


Graham DuncanGraham Duncan is a specialist horticulturist and curator of indigenous bulbs at Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden. He is an authority on the cultivation and conservation of Cape bulbs, and the leading expert on Lachenalia. He has written extensively on the biology and taxonomy of Cape bulbs, notably in Curtis’s Magazine. He has many books to his credit, including guides to the cultivation of Agapanthus, Nerine, South African bulbs, and fynbos plants (co-authored with Neville Brown). These are available from the BotSoc bookshop. He was awarded the International Bulb Society's Hebert Medal in 2001 for his outstanding contribution to the field of bulb biology and cultivation.


Anthony HitchcockA research horticulturist at Kirstenbosch, Anthony Hitchcock is particularly interested in the conservation and restoration of threatened sites in and around Cape Town. This area has the highest concentration of Red Listed (globally endangered) plant species in the world, and many are expected to be lost as urbanization and alien plants engulf the last fragments. Anthony’s work has improved the lot of rare plants living in places such as Rondevlei Nature Reserve, Tokai Forest, and the centre of the Kenilworth Racecourse (the latter’s 52 ha supporting almost 300 plant species, 20 of which are endangered and two of which occur nowhere else in the world.)


Steve JohnsonSteve Johnson is a professor at the University of KwaZuluNatal. His primary interests are floral mimicry, plant breeding systems, and pollination biology, particularly among Cape plants. He was the first to discover that sunbirds are the main pollinators of many orchid species here. He writes extensively for academic and popular audiences and is co-author, with Anton Pauw, of Table Mountain – A Natural History. His remarkable photographs of plants and insects and their interactions have been widely published.



Bill Liltved is an outstanding amateur naturalist. Having completed a book on cowries, he turned his attention to orchids, of which the Cape has a particular richness. Over the last 25 years or so he has discovered many new species and located others not seen for decades or even since they were originally collected in the 18th and 19th centuries. The results of his tireless and almost certifiable efforts can be found in The Cape Orchids. The depth of detail and research and, most of all, Bill’s exceptional photographs, extend this book beyond superlatives. Bill's main interests outside natural history are scuba diving, antique furniture, and drumming.

Ken Paterson took our flyleaf picture in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh. To get both of us looking presentable was a remarkable achievement. A professional photographer, Ken’s latest project, ‘Famous Scots’, seeks to connect the current and future generations of Scots with their rich and unique world heritage. This has involved extensive travels to the Far East and North America as well as research at home in Scotland.

The late Colin Paterson-Jones was a leading fynbos photographer, as well as a seasoned naturalist and hiker. He wrote and illustrated many books including The Cape Floral Kingdom, Protea, and Kirstenbosch – a Visitors’ Guide to South Africa’s Famous Botanical Garden. His images feature in numerous other publications, including Fynbos – South Africa’s Unique Floral Kingdom by Richard Cowling and Dave Richardson, and John Manning’s The Wildflowers of Southern Africa – Jewels of the Veld. Colins photographic estate is represented by Natural Visions.


Peter RyanPeter Ryan is the director of the Fitztitute and is one of Africa’s top birders. He is the authority on the wildlife and conservation of Tristan da Cunha, having studied the ecology and taxonomy of the endemic Nesospiza buntings there for his PhD, and has visited the islands many times since. He is a terrifyingly productive author, writing numerous scientific papers as well as popular articles for magazines such as Africa Birds & Birding, and books including, most recently, co-authoring Marion & Prince Edward, Africa’s Southern Islands



Brian van Wilgen is a senior ecologist with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. He has a particular interest in fire and invasive aliens, two of the most important factors that impinge naturally and unnaturally, respectively, on fynbos and the wider Cape Floral Kingdom. One of his study sites is the Jonkershoek Valley, a beautiful corner of the countryside near Stellenbosch. Long-term research here by Brian and colleagues has elucidated the role of fire in maintaining fynbos ecosystems and the relationship between alien plants (in particular commercial pine plantations) and water runoff, a critical aspect of research given that water is a limiting social and ecological factor in the Cape.


Research links page

Cape plants page