Plants and Lichens of Saba

by S. A. Mori, W. R. Buck, C. A. Gracie, & M. Tulig

Saba is a five square mile island with about 1200 permanent inhabitants located off the coast of St. Maarten in the Netherlands Antilles. English is the official language of the island but Dutch is also taught in schools and is spoken by many Sabans.

In February 2006, Conservation International, in conjunction with the Saba Conservation Foundation, embarked on a project to survey the biodiversity of Saba from beneath the sea to the summit of its highest peak, Mt. Scenery. As part of this effort, the Department of Botany of the Smithsonian Institution surveyed the marine algae.

In 2006 and 2007, The New York Botanical Garden participated in surveying the bryophytes, lichens, and vascular plants of the island. Although small in size, Saba's rugged topography is covered by several vegetation types, ranging from near desert to cloud forest. Our goal is to provide illustrated checklists (a virtual museum) of all of the plants and lichens that grow on Saba and in the surrounding sea. Both native and introduced plants are included.

To find collections representing species of flowering plants, gymnosperms, ferns, bryophytes, marine algae, or lichens, you can access the information available for a given group by clicking on the appropriate image on the left hand side of this page.

It is forbidden to pick plants and to remove plants from the island of Saba. All natural history studies must first be approved by the government of Saba. To find out how to obtain permission to collect herbarium specimens as was done in this study contact the Saba Conservation Foundation.

All photographs are copyrighted by the photographer. Most of the photographs of the flowering plants, gymnosperms, ferns, bryophytes, and lichens were taken by Carol Gracie and most of those of the marine algae were taken by Diane LittlerHarrie Sipman took the photo micrographs of the lichens. For permission to use the images, contact the photographers. Citizens of Saba have permission to download images from the website for personal or educational purposes.