Small Caribbrean islands are wonderful showcases of biodiversity. All islands of the Lesser Antilles had equal access to a similar suite of invading plants, yet differences in geology, topography, climate, and human habitation have produced very different floristic efects. Study of these differences can contribute to a better understanding of biodiversity, yet thorough and accurate information on what plants are located on each of these islands is not often readily available. This floristic study of the island of Saba will provide, as has the autor’s previously published book on Sint Eustatius, a storehouse of such information. the island of Saba, a single rhomic-shaped volcano only 13 square kilometers in total area, contains a relatively rich flora, including an endemic fern. It has had only one previous complete study, that of Boldingh published in 1909. A little over 50 years later, Stoffers began a more detailed study, which was never finished. The present synoptic flora, which consists of 772 taxa of vascular plants, is based mainly on the author’s collection between 2013 and 2019 of over 1,000 specimens. It is intended to meet the needs of botanists, ecologists, and others who wish to know which plants are now present on the island and which previously noted plants are no longer known to be present.
Franklin S. Axelrod is currently Collections Manager at the Herbarium of the Biology Department at the University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras Campus. He came to Puerto Rico 40 years ago and has been collecting and identifying plants there for over 30 years. He also has collected plants in many islands of the Greater and Lesser Antilles. he is author of A Systematic Vademecum to the Vascular Plants of Puerto Rico (2011) and of A Systematic Vademecum to the Vascular Plants of Sint Eustatius (2017). Dr. Axelrod will soon be working on a similar book for the nearby island of Sint Maarten.