Following last year’s success, the IGG Management Team again allocated £500 to promote one or more projects supporting the aims of the IGG in 2019. The aim of such a grant would be to enable a wide range of activities such as studies in herbaria, visits to botanical gardens, field studies or study of taxa in cultivation. The deadline for proposal submission was 1 June 2019.
It is truly exciting to report that we received an excellent proposal that the IGG Management Team supported unanimously, by Mr. Judd Kirkel Welwitch, from South Africa: “Proposal for collecting, describing and presenting article on Pelargonium sp. nov. Skilpad”.
Proposal summary: “This work is needed in order to understand this species and to obtain herbarium material of the new Skilpad Horaea, in order for it to be documented and described. Its habitat and distribution also need to be explored and investigated. An artwork needs to be commissioned culminating in an article aiming to describe the species and to promote it.
The work entails visiting various sites nearby my first discovery in 2011 and other sites to document occurrence and population numbers, obtain representative measurements of the taxon, as well as observe the flowers. Ultimately, a herbarium specimen will be deposited at SANBI.”
The Evaluation Committee has read the proposal of Mr. Welwitch with great interest and established that it fulfils the criteria for approval, as advertised by the call. We therefore recommended the IGG Management Team to support the proposal with a one-off grant of £500, and our recommendation has been approved.
We are truly pleased that the award will go to a South African field botanist, and a Pelargonium enthusiast. It will be extremely pleasing to see that the IGG Small Grant will be used to describe a new species, and we wish Mr Welwitch great success in his endeavour.
The results of Mr Welwitch’s research will be written up as an article for the IGG Newsletter and published on the IGG website in 2020.
Mr Welwitch has deep passion for flowers indigenous to South Africa, and aims to bring them closer to people who haven’t got the possibility of seeing them in nature. He does this by combining photography with talks that emphasize the importance of what he calls South Africa’s “renewable gold”. His passion for photographing these extraordinary plants in their habitat highlights the diversity of the important flora and makes it available for everyone. At the same time, he highlights the different regions of South Africa, introducing also its geography, because to conserve flowers one has to conserve and appreciate their habitat.
We are grateful to the IGG Management Team for the trust and confidence in the Evaluation Committee and are excited that the grant has been awarded to support Mr Welwitch’s work. We are looking forward to reading his report and to publication of this new species.
Mr Judd Kirkel Welwitch in his natural habitat in South Africa.