John Anthony's Flora of Sutherland

John Anthony's Flora of Sutherland

Edited and Compiled by
J. B. Kenworthy 

Editors introduction:

John Anthony died in June 1972 at the age of 78 just at a time when his Flora of Sutherland was almost completed. His interest in the Scottish Flora was a long one stemming from student days in Edinburgh, where he read both arts and science. He completed his B.Sc. in 1926 and that same year he became a Fellow of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh. After some time in Malaya in the late 1920s he returned to Scotland as an assistant lecturer in Botany, first in Dundee then later as lecturer in Forest Botany in the University of Edinburgh. Retirement in 1958 was for John Anthony the stimulus to complete, what was for him both a challenge and a labour of love, the first county flora for Sutherland. He spent nearly twenty years of his life on this project, assisted for much of this time by his wife. I personally recall him as a quiet, modest yet friendly individual, whom I met from time to time in Bettyhill, the centre of his interests in Sutherland. A retired Army Captain from the First World War, holder of the Military Cross, a teacher, a scholar, an expert on wood anatomy, a man widely travelled in both the Far and Middle East and now the author of a county flora, such a combination of attributes is rare especially in our modern specialised way of life.

In compiling John Anthony's Flora, I have edited and added to sections he produced for the original manuscript. The sections concerned with Botanical Districts and Botanical Exploration are close to John Anthony's original, whereas the bibliography has been extended a good deal. Both the Index of Botanical Names and the Index of Latin Names have been added to the original script. I am particularly grateful to Mr Donald Paterson of the Botany Department of Aberdeen University for his help in this matter. I am responsible for the sections: The County of Sutherland, Climate, Geology, Soils, Vegetation and the Influence of Man. Dr Roy Watling kindly provided a short note on the Fungal Flora of Sutherland. Photographs are acknowledged individually. Throughout I have tried to blend my style with that of John Anthony. The main part of the flora has been edited and checked as far as possible and a list of authorities is to be found at end of the flora. In most cases the records are somewhat detailed being specific to the parish. While I have checked almost all the records with the Atlas of the British Flora, or with my personal experience of the north coast of Sutherland, I think there are very few doubtful records. In fact, I suspect that some of the older records may be confirmed and extended in the light of more extensive surveys especially in the west of the county. Thus any additional information or correction to the contents of the flora would be most appreciated.

I am indebted to Professor C. H. Gimingham for his comments upon the script and to Mr R. Mackecknie and Mr J. Grant Roger for similar services. I hope that the members of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh who have sponsored this flora will feel that they have made a positive contribution to Botany in Scotland with its publication.

Colour plates for a Flora are very expensive and I am grateful for the opportunity to use Shirley Poole's paintings. Permission to print the cover was given by Miss Shirley Poole of Middlesborough and by Misses Jean, Christine and Elsie McKay of Tigh-na-craig Bettyhill. The painting is one of many by Miss Poole to be found in several houses in Sutherland.

It took John Anthony a considerable time to compile his manuscript and it has taken me a number of years to produce the completed flora. During this time the Botanical Society of Edinburgh have shown immense patience and have always been in every way an encouragement.

J. B. Kenworthy
June 1976
University of Aberdeen

The full text available in a range of formats including: text, pdf and e-book formats is a available via the Internet Archive.

Developed by JDG Web Design