A field guide to the rare plants of Florida was a long-standing, special interest of Gary Evink, State Ecologist and Ecological Resources Administrator in the Environmental Management Office of Florida's Department of Transportation. His commitment to this project resulted in its funding by DOT. Florida Natural Areas Inventory is deeply grateful to Gary for his interest and commitment to the field guide and for his patient support during its preparation. David Zeigler, Project Manager for DOT's Environmental Management Office, has also been a supportive and understanding friend of this project, and we offer him our gratitude.
Three individuals are largely responsible for the successful completion of this project: Gil Nelson, Jean Putnam Hancock, and Scott Krupenevich. Gil donated uncounted hours of his time to photographing many of the species depicted here. He also designed and electronically formatted all the pages in the guide. Gil provided advice, support, and direction at several critical junctures during this project, and I thank him for his dedication and friendship. Jean Putnam Hancock, botanical illustrator par excellence, created the beautiful and botanically accurate line drawings that accompany every species account. Her talent, dedication, botanical insights, and sense of humor are unmatched in the botanical and artistic worlds. Scott Krupenevich scanned and edited most of the botanical drawings, created electronic maps, updated database records, provided several types of technical support, and otherwise faithfully and cheerfully contributed his skills and meticulous attention to this project in ways that greatly improved the guide and insured its smooth completion.
I especially want to thank the photographers and field botanists who made their photographs available, either free or at a low charge, to this project. The contribution that these high quality photographs makes to the usefulness and attractiveness of this guide is immeasurable. The following list includes both photographers and individuals who assisted me in acquiring photographs. Special thanks to Pineapple Press for allowing FNAI to use photographs from Gil Nelson's books.
The illustrations included in the guide were drawn largely from herbarium specimens. I want to thank the herbaria curators and managers who assisted this project by loaning specimens to FNAI: Dr. Bruce Hansen, University of South Florida; Dr. Loran C. Anderson, Florida State University; and Mr. Kent Perkins, University of Florida. I especially want to acknowledge Dr. Hansen for his all round support of this project and for answering so many taxonomic and distribution questions. I would also like to thank Penny Isom and Dennis Hardin, of the Florida Division of Forestry, for donating 50 of Ms. Hancock's drawings of federally listed plant species to this project.
I am indebted to the botanists and field biologists who reviewed the species accounts. They contributed many important criticisms, suggestions, and insights based on their wide experience in the field and with these taxa. In spite of the best efforts of these reviewers, errors may remain in this guide for which I am entirely responsible. Many thanks to:
Two sources of information were vital in compiling distribution data and taxonomic information for the species covered in this guide. The Atlas of Florida's Vascular Plants is a comprehensive and indispensable statewide database (www.plantatlas.usf.edu) developed and maintained by Dr. Richard P. Wunderlin and Dr. Bruce F. Hansen of the Institute for Systematic Botany, University of South Florida. The Floristic Inventory of Southern Florida Database (www.ftg.fiu.edu/irc), developed by Keith Bradley and George Gann of the Institute for Regional Conservation in Miami and presented on the web by Fairchild Tropical Garden, is a very useful database for botanists working in south Florida.
I want to thank all the Florida Natural Areas Inventory staff who patiently covered for me and provided moral support and inspiration during the months and years I dedicated my time to this project. Special thanks go to Gary Knight, Program Director, who envisioned such a field guide many years ago and did everything possible to assist this project to completion. Special thanks also to Amy Knight and Susan Hortenstine for their admini-strative and negotiating skills. I also want to thank former FNAI staff member, Sine Murray, who got this project off to a good start with her characteristic enthusiasm and creativity.