February 2021 Newsletter

Sixty-Five Years of The International Palm Society by Dr. John Dransfield

In this issue, our very own Dr. John Dransfield inaugurates a continuing series of narratives acknowledging the International Palm Society and recognizing the synergy between academic palm botanists and our mission of research, education, and conservation.

Dr. John Dransfield (kneeling, left) pressing palm specimens in Madagascar, with Joro Rakotoarinivo (navy blue shirt) looking on, while Jeremy Razafitsalama (green shirt) takes notes. October 2003.

I joined the Palm Society (as it was then) in 1969, as a research student in Cambridge University, UK. This was not the first time I had come across the society, as I had met a group of members from Florida in 1968 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, while I was doing the fieldwork for my Ph.D. on Eugeissona and Johannesteijsmannia. This fun-loving bunch of palm enthusiasts, including many of the stalwarts from the early days of our society, wanted to see Maxburretia and Johannesteijsmannia in their natural habitat. When I joined the society, I also splurged some scholarship money to buy a complete set of Principes, a wonderful resource to look through filled with inspiring articles and photos and a purchase I have never regretted.

IPS Affiliate Showcase

The International Palm Society boasts over 30 affiliates. While the IPS focuses on its mission of research, education, and conservation, local clubs provide members with garden tours, growing tips and access to rare palms. Furthermore, many publish highly desirable periodicals which are valued by many enthusiasts far afield. For this reason it is common for IPS members to belong to more than one local chapter.

This month:The Hawaiian Island Palm Society by Mary Lock

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