This is a unique, first-of-its-kind tree book with beautiful illustrations of the fruiting twigs of 381 South African trees. The reason behind illustrating tree fruits is that, like so many tree-lovers, Trevor found it difficult to identify many tree species from their leaves as they are the most variable of all the plant parts. Fruits, like flowers, have much more stable shapes and sizes and, unlike flowers, are easier to identify macroscopically. Scratch around the under-canopy of trees and you may find the remains of fruit that can be useful for identification. Thus, this book was born, and it represents the culmination of some 40 years' work by the author.
Know Them by Their Fruit includes:
- Specially coded keys showing colour and size for easy identification
- The current botanical binomial, recent old names (due to taxonomic changes) and the "best" common name are given
- Notes on distribution, fruiting time and habitats are also provided
- 381 beautiful illustrations of the fruiting twigs of South African trees
This book was published in partnership with the Botanical Society of South Africa.
Trevor Ankiewicz grew up on a highveld farm in the Bronkhorstspruit district. Having completed secondary school at Belfast High School he furthered his studies at the Saasveld School for Foresters on the outskirts of George. Upon graduating in 1966 he was transferred to the South African Forestry Research Institute in Pretoria. There, as a research forester, he was tasked with collecting the fruits of ornamental trees in the streets and cemeteries of the capital for the central seed store.
He worked for several years in the Department of Agricultural and Technical Services as a horticulturist at their Horticultural and Botanical Research Institute in Pretoria. He returned to Saasveld in 1983 and continued working as an extension forester until completing his career in the civil service as a public relations officer for the Department of Nature and Environmental Conservation in the Southern Cape Regional Office in George. He later became involved as an environmental educator for the South African Forestry Company Limited (SAFCOL) with regards to the accreditation by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) of native forests and commercial plantations.
During collecting trips as a pupil forester, he realised the fruits and pods were often an easy way of identifying the trees. Here the idea was conceived of producing a field guide concentrating on these diagnostic features to supplement the many excellent publications already available on indigenous South African trees.