The Virtual Plant incorporates ideas gained at other Universities, including the Departments of Botany in South Africa at the Universities of Natal, Fort Hare, Rhodes University, and elsewhere, especially at The University  Wisconsin at Madison (USA) and Reading University (UK), and the Jodrell Laboratories, Kew Gardens..

We acknowledge the collective inspiration and our personal experience gained during many hours of practical and theoretical teaching plant anatomy to undergraduate as well as postgraduate students. The Virtual Plant is dedicated to a number of peers and colleagues who helped shape and influence our botanical interests and thinking along particular lines. CEJB is particularly grateful for the wisdom and guidance given by Professor Bob Noel, who encouraged and stimulated my interest in Plant Anatomy. His critical assessment and pointed interest in what I did was greatly appreciated then, and is remembered still by all his past students, colleagues and friends.  Some of the ideas for practical material were first explored with him. Professor Ray F Evert of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. A remarkable structural botanist and mentor, Ray has been a great source of encouragement to me personally. Professor Chris. H. Bornman, who as professor and supervisor,  mentor and friend, through his continued encouragement during my critical early pre- and post graduate years at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg is responsible for fostering that initial interest necessary to be able to examine critically, yet still marvel at the wonders revealed using a microscope. We acknowledge the great influence of Dr. CR Metcalfe had on our knowledge and understanding of plant anatomy. Dr  CR Metcalfe founded modern systematic plant anatomy, and with Dr L Chalk initiated the series 'Anatomy of the Dicotyledons' Later, on his own, he started the series 'Anatomy of the Monocotyledons'. Dr. Metcalfe was Keeper of the Jodrell Laboratory at Kew, and for eight years taught DFC the basics of plant anatomy. He was an inspirational man, kindly and encouraging. His powers of observation through the light microscope were second to none.  


Practical needs are simple -- good slides, good examples and good microscopes. This is not always possible.

 The Virtual Plant brings these requirements together.

CEJ Botha, DF Cutler April 2006

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