35 years on, ebony hero Charlie gets his name on the map

A strong wind blew over the party that had gathered above St Helena’s wildest cliffs to honour Charlie Benjamin as an island hero. And nearly 5,000 miles away in London, a heavy drizzle blattered against the windows of the elegant room at Kew Gardens where his daughter was getting married. Speeches at both locations recalled […]

Bride Wendy has her flower on her cake – and eats it

The St Helena ebony, rescued from extinction by Charlie Benjamin, has found a place in UK national ceremonial – and on his daughter’s wedding cake. Simon Pipe of St Helena Online was honoured to give a speech telling Charlie’s story. Wendy Benjamin would have liked to have living ebony flowers at her wedding to Campbell Duncan. But […]

The Saint who risked all to rescue a plant

The day Charlie Benjamin climbed up a cliff with a flower in his teeth may become part of  St Helena folklore. That perilous act brought back the island’s ebony plant from apparent extinction. There has since been talk of declaring it the national flower. Charlie’s daughter, Wendy Benjamin, wants to ensure the story of his […]

Buttercup find completes Falklands set at Kew

After several failed attempts, botanist Richard Lewis has managed to collect seeds of the only endemic Falklands plant missing from an important collection at Kew. ‘I was thrilled to find large stands of the silvery buttercup (Hamadryas argentea) in a few remote valleys on Weddell Island,’ he says in Kew’s UK Overseas Territories blog. ‘I […]