Biography of Harold St. John (1892-1991):
From Labrador to Polynesia
by George Wooten
Harold St. John, Ph.D., was born on July 24 or 25, 1892, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and died, December 12, 1991, in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was the son of Charles Elliot, a Unitarian minister, and Martha Elizabeth. He completed his doctorate in biology under M. L. Fernald at Harvard University in 1917. He worked for the Canadian Geological Society and Gray Herbarium and fought in combat as an officer in World War I. St. John married Elizabeth “Betty” Chandler in 1922 and had four children with her, Charles Elliott, Robert Pierce, Mary Merrill and Martha Everett. From 1920 to 1929, St. John taught botany at Washington State College at Pullman (Washington State University). From 1929 to 1958, he taught botany, taxonomy, systematics and ethnobotany at the University of Hawaii, as chairman of the department. He was a research associate with the Bishop Museum in Hawaii, and taught at Yale as an exchange professor in 1938-1939, then directed the Lyon Arboretum in Hawaii. During World War II, he aided the Allied efforts to locate sources of Cinchona bark for quinine. He spoke five languages and wrote in seven. After retirement, he taught at Chatham College in his native Pittsburgh, then later taught as a Smith-Mundt lecturer at the University of Saigon, and still later taught at Cairo University, Egypt, as a Fulbright Scholar. His early botany studies were done in the Canadian maritime provinces, then later throughout Washington state, where he is still known for his Flora of Southeastern Washington (St. John, 1963, first edition, 1936, Abraham, 1976). He traveled extensively throughout the Polynesian islands, where he discovered and described many new species. St. John’s wife and children traveled with him frequently on expeditions from Molokai to Mozambique. He has over 450 original publications (Carr, 1994, University Press of Hawaii 1979), including the definitive text, List and Summary of the Flowering Plants of the Hawaiian Islands (St. John, 1973). His worldwide work on the genus Pandanus is unequaled. He died in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Thursday, December 12, 1991, at age 99.
Pandanus tectorius (hala, screwpine) Habit at Puhilele Pt Haleakala National Park, Maui. April 23, 2004.
Harold St. John was the world's preeminent authority on this large genus.
Photo courtesy of Forest and Kim Starr - U.S. Geological Survey
St. John’s mother was a meticulous record keeper and maintains that he was born on July 25, 1892, but records indicate July 24 as his birthdate. His father was Charles Elliott St. John, born in a log stockade army fort at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin on the banks of the Mississippi; his grandfather was a post surgeon.
St. John’s father Charles grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts and eventually went on to study natural history, zoology and botany under Asa Gray and Louis Agassiz at Harvard College, Cambridge. Charles left the sciences to became a minister. He married Martha Elizabeth Everett, from Dover Massachusetts, and they lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As a youth, his parents bought their son Harold a popular book on wildflowers of the Northeast, Schuyler Matthews’ Fieldbook of American Wildflowers, and eventually, he decided to go into botany because there were so many plants in the world relative to the number of botanists.
At Harvard University, St. John took his first botany class from J. V. Osterhout, and later studied systematics under Professor M. L. Fernald, a student of Asa Gray. On his junior year, Fernald sent St. John to the windswept sand dunes of the Sable Islands, 250 miles east of Halifax, Nova Scotia, which had previously been botanized by John Macoun. Other trips taken with Fernald included Prince Edward Island, the Magdalen Islands in the middle of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the west coast of Newfoundland. He graduated with a B. A. cum laude in 1914.
The year after the Sable Island trip, St. John became a graduate student under Fernald, with a stipend paid by Mr. James Macoun, the son of the Sable Island explorer. He traveled with Dr. Charles W. Townsend, ornithologist, along the south shore of the Labrador Peninsula. The land was virgin, uncut and free from introduced plants. Travel to the area was difficult, however, and involved pulling oneself through six- to ten-foot tall evergreens while storms beat down from above. A thesis on this area was eventually published by the Canadian Geological Society, but was held up for several years while Canadian officials decided whether to publish the required French language version with French names. St. John got his doctorate in 1917, and the publishing was finished in 1922, although the French language version never made it to the press.
In January 1918, St. John entered the Reserve Officers Training Corps on Long Island and was subsequently assigned to Company A of the 306th Infantry with a squad of seven men. After landing in France, they were marched to the front. Later St. John was made a sergeant and sent to the trenches in Baccarat, France. By the armistice, he had become a second lieutenant, and at that point, he traveled to the Museum d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris to study plants of Newfoundland collected by Auguste Bachelot De La Pylaie.
After his Army career, St. John returned to Harvard as an assistant at Gray Herbarium until 1920 when he was hired as an assistant professor at Washington College in Pullman (Washington State University), following in the footsteps of former Professor Charles V. Piper. He spent nine years in Pullman and in 1922 he married Elizabeth, “Betty”, in the Parish Church in her home town, Brooklime, Massachusetts. Their first child, Charles Elliott, was born two years later, after which Betty wasn’t present on so many field trips. Their second child, Robert Pierce, was born in Pullman.
After learning the new flora at Pullman, St. John began a history of field trips. One of the first was to Oroville, near the Canadian border, to visit Epsom Lake, near or possibly identical to the present-day site of Hot Lake, a Bureau of Land Management Research Natural Area. As one of the first scientists to visit this area since the boundary survey by David Lyall from 1858 through the 1860s, St. John mounted a full expedition, travelling from Grant County, to the Okanogan Highlands, Bonaparte Mountain, to Epson Lake, then the Methow Valley, the alpine peaks of the Chelan-Sawtooth Mountains, Lake Chelan, Stehekin, Glacier Peak, and finally the Olympic Peninsula, before returning. St. John took many other trips in Washington such as Horseshoe Basin on Lake Chelan, Horse Heaven Hills near Toppenish, Sourdough Mountain Lookout in the western Cascades and the Seven Devils Mountains in Idaho, six times. During these trips, the president at Washington College required St. John to notify the college of his itinerary beforehand. St. John duly recorded his routes camping at places with no name, no roads, no telephone, and under sagebrush or pine trees, until he finally convinced the college to abandon this formality for him.
St. John climbed to the top of remote Glacier Peak, twice, once from the north and once from the south. On those trips he found a half dozen alien species, but the rest were natives. His first approach embarked on July 22, 1921, with two students, W. D. Courtney and C. S. Parker. They went in from the southeast up Indian Creek, over Indian Pass, then from the headwaters of the Sauk, north to the summit crater, to be packed out on August 10. The second trip was with Dr. Joe Neller, a Washington State professor of chemistry. They departed on July 16, 1924, via the Whitechuck and Sauk Rivers and thence up Fire Creek. On July 24, they followed Kennedy Peak to the summit, finding three or four plants as high as 8,500 feet elevation. They slid down using weeding picks as ice-axes, somehow missing the crevasses and taking only twenty minutes to do what took three hours climbing. Caught by darkness, they reached their 5000 foot base camp by sunrise the next day. The writing up of this trip was not completed until the mid 1980s. In 1986, The Washington Native Plant Society published his notes and the list of 258 taxa in Douglasia Occasional Papers no. 2 (St. John, 1986). St. John was somewhat irritated with that treatment of his list, and part of his response was printed in Douglasia, Vol. 11, Winter 1987, p. 8:
... I do have objections to your editing which was unusual. I was not sent either galley or page proof, nor given a chance to order reprints. You changed my taxonomy to conform to Hitchcock. Of course his is a recent and well produced book, but his taxonomy is not necessarily correct. On Arctic plants he never agreed with Hultén, nor on circumpolar plants with Fernald, our best and wisest recent botanist.”
After nine years spent in Pullman, St. John, now an associate professor and curator of the herbarium, received an offer from the University of Hawaii to chair their botany department. In September, 1930, he caught a boat in Portland, Oregon, and traveled to Hawaii. He found a home on Oahu Avenue, two blocks from the University, which is now a historic mansion. In 1930, daughter Mary Merrill was born, and in 1932, daughter Martha Everett completed the family. As of his 1985 interview published by the Watamull Foundation (St. John, 1985), Harold St. John had eleven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
St. John frankly admitted that on arrival in Hawaii, he knew little besides dandelions and coconuts, but within a short while, he was a master of the Hawaiian flora, and eventually, much of the rest of Polynesia. Field trips for botany credit were organized around Christmas vacation, beginning with a trip to Kauai in 1930. These field trips, as well as other monthly hikes, were so popular that the class was often joined by dozens of people in the Trail and Mountain Club, who used to hang out around Dean Hall on Friday afternoons to find out if he was going out on Sunday with a class. Often special arrangements were necessary in order to botanize special areas. On one trip to Molokai, St. John hired a sampan and went to Wailau Bay, swimming to shore with hiking bundles, and staying in a forester’s cabin. On another trip to Olokui, St. John attempted, but never got to the top of the high peak between Wailau and Pelekunu, but did manage to discover a new species of Gunnera, (one of the world’s largest herbs with leaves up to five feet in diameter and a trunk of six inches).
In 1937 St. John went to Fiji to botanize the island Viti Levu, which hadn’t been botanized since the 1840s and which had an unbotanized 4000 foot tall peak. St. John went up the Rewa River to the Wainimala River for several days, passing a village every half dozen miles, which would send a drum message ahead to the next village. At the villages, chiefs gathered in circles with St. John to consume yanggona (Piper methisticum, kava), a ceremonial drink of welcome, which are the roots of the drug plant prepared by chewing by young women, and according to St. John, “it’s an interesting experience.” On that trip he collected a new genus of palm, Gomocladus, never collected since. Upon returning, they rode crude bamboo boats back down the river, with lots of pushing, eventually arriving safely. In 1938, St. John made an expedition by steamer to Rotuma, 200 miles north of the northernmost islands of the Fiji archipelago, and discovered a dozen new species. In those days, steamers were an inexpensive method of travel, costing about five dollars for steerage.
One of his students in the early 1940s was Isabella Abbott, now an eminent phycologist. In preparation of a Hawaiian ethnobotany book, she worked with St. John on plant species that were endemic, indigenous, or Polynesian introductions, in an effort to narrow the number of species carried by early Polynesian voyagers to Hawaii. St. John’s search in European herbaria for Hawaiian vascular plant specimens collected by early expeditions, beginning with Captain Cook, made possible a reasonably secure list of Polynesian introductions which form the centerpiece of Abbott’s (1992) book on traditional Hawaiian plant uses. St. John taught the first class there in coconut botany (ethnobotany), and also second year taxonomy and systematics. Although St. John had a tendency to be formal, Abbott recalls that he wore “aloha” shirts after his retirement. At a time when women were scarce in scientific fields, St. John treated Abbott with professional respect. Although he was a student of vascular plants, St. John would collect specimens of algae for Abbott, who was alone amongst his colleagues in receiving such favors. He affectionately referred to those collections as “pond scum”, and in reciprocation, some Pandanus are stored in the algae herbarium at Bishop Museum, Honolulu.
During the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor, St. John was leading a trip up Kolekole Pass. The class watched the bombing until several American gunshells landed nearby. On returning home, he found 22 people sheltered in his basement. The University of Hawaii closed after December 7, 1941 and reopened on February, 2, 1942. Only two botanists remained at the University during the war years. During the war, St. John was sent to South America with a cadre of botanists to collect Cinchona, necessary for the production of quinine to fight malaria in the Pacific battles. The man in charge in Colombia was Dr. F. Raymond Fosberg, who had formerly received his Master’s degree under St. John. The resource was badly exploited, and the governments were desperate for experts who could locate new sources of the drug.
St. John left for Colombia in January, 1944. The species of Cinchona they sought are primarily minor understory components, and difficult to locate as a stand. For the task, each of the botanists under Fosberg got a Dodge station wagon to drive the cordillera. When necessary, St. John also traveled by mule or canoe. Another obstacle was a failed revolution in Colombia, during the time St. John was there. When a supply of Cinchona was found in the second stratum, the bark from ten different trees was collected and sent off for analysis, then the trees were felled, debarked and shipped off. After about two years of this, the government had enough--60,000 tons of dry bark containing five percent quinine.
St. John returned to Honolulu in the spring of 1945. Professor Arthur Kruckeberg of the University of Washington was serving as a lieutenant in the Navy at the time and was at Pearl Harbor waiting for orders. In the meantime he volunteered as a lab instructor for one or two semesters, for which St. John was very grateful.
No story of Harold St. John is complete without mention of the genus Pandanus. The Pandanaceae in the Arecidae is an ancient family, typically associated with the Palmae, but strikingly different. In Hawaii, the plants are called hala and the fruits are used for paint brushes, while the leaves are used to construct baskets with a desirable resilience and glossy sheen. St. John and his assistant, Benjamin C. Stone, botanized and described Pandanus in the Hawaiian, Caroline, Marshall, Ryukyu, Solomon, and Marianas Islands, and New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago, and the New Hebrides, among other areas. In almost every one of these cases, the pair discovered from two to five times as many kinds of Pandanus as were known from earlier explorations. In his revision, St. John grouped his sections as recognized by the previous author Charles Gaudichaud-Beaupré, while merging generic distinctions into a single large genus. The number of species in the genus is now over 600.
The collection of Pandanus plants is described in the following text by St. John (1960):
Most of the species are trees with elongate, saw-toothed blades, and large, fleshy fruits that are difficult to dry. Many of them have unpleasantly spiny trunks, branches, and even roots. Consequently the collecting of specimens is difficult or hazardous, and the drying of them is a long and burdensome process. But few of the botanical explorers in the Pacific have had the interest or the endurance to make extensive collections of Pandanus. Most of the others, when collecting their first specimen, have been lacerated by the saw-like leaves or wounded by the spines of the trunk. They have then uttered an oath and sworn never to collect another Pandanus. As a result the Pandanus population has been well sampled in only a few areas.
As an example of this, consider that in 1949, St. John went to New Guinea to collect from about 75 known species of Pandanus. The Dutch were still ruling and the natives still called him bwana. During his visit, St. John discovered about 75 new species of Pandanus, doubling the known number.
From a review of his papers (Carr, 1992, University Press of Hawaii, 1979), it is apparent that St. John’s experience extended to dozens of genera, besides Pandanus. Other genera in which St. John numerously published were Cyrtandra, Elodea, Ipomoea, Gunnera, Panicum, Psychotria, Pittosporum and Delissea. His writings included books and collaborations, and the topics often included botanical reconnaissance, biography, ethnobotany and phytogeography, besides notes on specific plant groups, which he was publishing up to the last days of his life. There are approximately 100 Washington state taxa in which the name of St. John is found as author, however no Washington state taxa have commemorated St. John with an epithet. Many Washington taxa which he published or revised can be found, and notable examples from the Washington lists of endangered, threatened or sensitive species include Allium dictuon, Botrychium pinnatum, Hackelia venusta, Draba aurea, Haplopappus liatriformis, and Oxytropis campestris var. columbiana. Because of his extensive travels and reviews, the collections of St. John are spread out among the world’s herbaria, wherever he was associated, particularly those which he curated or assisted in: Gray Herbarium (Harvard, Cambridge), Marion-Ownbey Herbarium (Washington State University, Pullman) and Herbarium Pacificum (at the Bishop Museum, Honolulu), where his specimens occupy over a thousand square feet.
Mention must be made that St. John gained a reputation as a splitter among his contemporaries, for instance, in his treatment of Rosa, he disagrees with Hitchcock et. al. (1955-1969) in the reduction (“massive lumping”, under Rosa nutkana) of several taxa he authored. A former colleague and noted authority on ferns, Warren H. Wagner, Jr., felt that St. John gave too much formal recognition to variable characters and ecotypic variation, and this is borne out by the many species published by St. John that are simply considered color forms. Wagner acknowledges, however, that Botrychium pinnatum St. John is rightly valid, despite having to go to the wall himself over several species in this genus.
In contrast, Isabella Abbott felt that St. John was more of a lumper. For instance, in Flora of Southeastern Washington (St. John, 1963), he discourages students from excessive subdivision of species. Further instances of lumping behavior are manifest in a letter dated February 26, 1923, from Augustine Henry, Royal College of Science, Dublin, Ireland, who begs to differ with St. John’s grouping together of coastal and inland forms of Pseudotsuga menziesii, at a time when indiscriminate Irish plantings of one or the other of these ecotypes in Ireland are resulting in immense plantation losses. In yet another discussion, St. John brings the entire weight of his botanical experience to maintaining Thermopsis montana Nutt. var. ovata (B. L. Robinson) St. John, rather than splitting it out in the revision by Larisey as Thermopsis ovata (Robins.) Rydberg (St. John, 1941a). Of course, he expounds most vehemently when his own species are on the cutting block, however his argument in that paper regarding population overlap and intergradient forms as an indication of a single, broad species, is a phylogenetic concept, which is difficult to (in)validate on taxonomic grounds.
Much of St. John’s reputation as a splitter may be attributed to his rather strict adherence to the rule of priority of publication under the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. In a letter of February 9, 1929, to Professor L. F. Henderson, of the Botany Department of the University of Oregon in Eugene, St. John discussed the Olympic Mountain collections of Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Leach and recommended changing Epilobium oregonense Hausskn. Monog. Epilob. 276. 1884 to Epilobium hornemannii Reichb. Icon. Bot. Crit. 2:73. 1824. Furthermore St. John’s conclusion is in agreement with current treatments such as Hoch (1977) and Hoch in Packer (1983), but not with Hitchcock et. al. (1955-1969) who refer to it under another revision as Epilobium alpinum var. nutans Hook. Fl. Bor. Am. 1:205. 1832.
The deference given by St. John to specialists and phytogeographers such as Fernald and Hultén, which passes as splitting to others, has already been shown by his acrid letter to the Washington Native Plant Society. But to characterize St. John’s botanical tendencies, it can be said that whether lumping or splitting, he always took the greatest care to painstakingly point out every item of minutia which some other botanist missed. Isabella Abbott suspects that this tendency may be due to his recognition of characters of incipient speciation, e.g., in Metrosideros polymorpha, such a trend is now generally accepted. To illustrate, in order to reverse the inclusion by A. S. Hitchcock of the North American Poa sandbergii group within the South American Poa secunda group, St. John goes to great lengths, even to repeating and adding to measurements of the Washington, D.C. type collections, and querying Agnes Chase of the Smithsonian Institution, for Hitchcock’s original notes on the subject (St. John, 1941b). St. John positively revels in these scholarly arguments, as revealed in a December 22, 1928 letter regarding specimens of Erigeron linearis and Erigeron filifolius that he sent to Dr. S. F. Blake, Bureau of Plant Industry, USDA, who had grouped these outwardly similar plants under one name. St. John, apparently baiting Blake to take an intractable position over color differences, hides his vast knowledge of other technical characters, and simply asks Blake for a reason why he lumped “two types of plants, those with bluish rays, and those with yellow rays colored by yellow chloroplasts.”
His pointed corrections of existing taxonomy and nomenclature won St. John a reputation. In the Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawai‘i (Warren L. Wagner et. al, 1990), Wagner chose not to recognize many of St. John’s species.
After the war, St. John continued to explore Oceania, visiting Micronesia in 1945 and the Marshall Islands and Australia in 1946. In 1959, after his retirement, he accepted a visiting professorship at Chatham College in his native Pittsburgh for one year. A year later he was appointed a Smith-Mundt lecturer to the University of Saigon and the College of Hue, South Vietnam, where he taught in 1961 and 1962, incidentally contracting malaria while there. Returning from Saigon in 1962, he began an Odyssey of the southern part of the eastern hemisphere. He went to the Indian Ocean by way of Java and Perth, western Australia, then traveled by plane to Cocos-Keeling, Australia, which is famous as a landing place for the voyage of the Beagle with passenger Charles Darwin. Then he went to the Mauritus Islands in the Indian Ocean and strangely found no new species of Pandanus, because it was well studied there. Then he went to Reunion, bringing their number of Pandanus species from two to four. Next he visited Africa in the order Madagascar, Nairobi, Tanganyika, Penba, Zanzibar, Mozambique, Capetown, Rhodesia, and back to Mozambique to find an unknown species of Pandanus in the Chimanimani Mountains, where he also contracted tick fever.
Eventually he made his way to Florence, Italy to review the work of Count Ugolino Martelli’s work on the genus Pandanus. The Count’s collection was massive, and the review took two and a half years, plus three months in Kew, London, three months in Paris, and three months in Leiden, Netherlands. While in Florence, St. John was appointed Fulbright Professor to the University of Cairo in Egypt, teaching a seminar course for five honor students. In 1971 St. John visited Java and Sumatra.
During a celebration of their history, the Bishop Museum of Hawaii presented a program titled The Islander Expedition, in which St. John and his student F. R. Fosberg described a trip they had taken in the 1930s on the sampan The Islander, to the South Pacific. According to Isabella Abbott, St. John was the “belle of the ball”, and had all the one-liners describing the trip on the tiny boat, while Fosberg, a sturdy hiker, was “Mr. Pacific”, and traded anecdotes with St. John. At one point, Fosberg was trying to outdo St. John in describing the difficulty of traversing pinnacles on a thousand-foot cliff in the Marquesas, when St. John quipped that he had tricked Fosberg into scaling the dangerous pinnacles intentionally.
The following excerpts from St. John, beginning with the title, “Notebook 1, April 1934 - Flint Island Expedition”, illustrate the exhilaration St. John must have faced in exploring the South Pacific during his early years at the University of Hawaii [note: The first name in "Meiojin Maru" for the name of the sampan does not appear in Kenkyusha’s New Japanese-English Dictionary (Katsumata, 1954), and unless the word has a special meaning, it seems too distant to signify the Japanese sense or spelling of “islander” (Jap. = “shimajin”, which connotes an outcast, or wanderer). Permutations of “Meiojin” could possibly be stretched to Japanese “myojin”, or “gracious deity”. In any case, the term for the vessel itself, “sampan”, is Chinese for a small sailing and rowing boat, which is a testimonial to the dedication of these explorers.]
Trip on sampan Meiojin Maru to explore southeast Polynesia sent by Bishop Museum for six months - about April to October 1934. Leader Dr. C. Montague Cooke, malacologist; Donald Anderson assistant malacologist; ethnologists Kenneth Emory, J. F. Stimson to join us at Papeete; botanists Harold St. John, F. Raymond Fosberg, assistant; entomologist Elwood C. Zimmerman - to join at Papeete ...
[Fanning (Tabuaeran) Island, English Harbor, in Kiribati Independent State - Line Islands]
...Half a mile northeast of the inner landing to the cable station we got into natural woods - Pandanus was common - and certainly native ...
[May 30 - Mt. Duff]
...May 31, Thursday. The weather seemed favorable so we made another try for the southern islands. Kamaka seemed attractive, with fine trees. The trade wind southeast was blowing and the landing was on the north side, but the rollers were encircling the island and piling up on the beach even so. The bay was filled with reef and coral heads. Bill [the captain of the boat] churned back ... Bill finally decided it was not safe. Mac said he would swim with me, so we persuaded Bill to let us try. We wore sneakers, shirt and pants and I my sheath knife. He would not let us swim to the rocky shore at the end of the bay, even though it was shorter. He took us right out in the middle and made us swim some 300 yards, about 200 across the reef. It was not easy, and the rollers banged me on the coral heads several times, but we made it ...
[He describes the climb up Mount Duff and the return. On June 2, they went to Mt. Mokoto, the twin of Mt. Duff, then several pages later he describes Henderson Island (Pitcairn Island group)]
... June 18. Monday. Ray and I climbed on top of the island and found a collecting paradise. We were rewarded by indigenous and probably many endemic trees and shrubs. The recorded flora is 20 species and we got 50 immediately. Celtis, Dianella, Santalum, Bidens, Senecio, Timonius, Sapotaceae, Rubiaceae without number. It is the first island unspoiled and in natural that we have found.
- Abbott, Isabella. 1992. La‘au Hawai‘i: Traditional Hawaiian Uses of Plants. B. P. Bishop Museum Press, Hawaii.
- Abraham, Terry. 1976. Northwest Botanical Manuscripts. An Indexed Register of the Papers, 1867-1957, of Wilhelm Nikolaus Suksdorf, William Conklin Cusick, Charles Vancouver Piper, Rolla Kent Beattie, and Harold St. John in the Washington State University Library. Pullman, Washington, 1976.
- Carr, Gerald D. 1994. The later publications of Harold St. John, Pacific Science, 48:188.
- Hitchcock, C. L., A. Cronquist, M. Ownbey, and J. W. Thompson. 1955-1969. Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest, 5 vols. University of Washington Press, Seattle.
- Hoch, P.C. and P.H. Raven. 1977. New combinations in the genus Epilobium (Onagraceae). Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 64:136.
- Katsumata, Senkichiro, ed., 1954. Kenkyusha’s New Japanese-English Dictionary, An Entirely New Edition. Kenkyusha, Ltd., Tokyo, Japan.
- Packer, J.G. 1983. Flora of Alberta. Second Ed. Univ. Toronto Press, Toronto, Ont.
- St. John, Harold. 1941a. New and noteworthy northwestern plants, 9. Notes on North American Thermopsis. Torreya 41:112-115.
- St. John, Harold. 1941b. The status of Poa secunda and of Poa secunda (Gramineae) in North America. New and noteworthy Northwestern plants, Part 8. Am. J. Bot. 28:78-81.
- St. John, Harold. 1960. Revision of the Genus Pandanus Stickman. Part 1. Key to the Sections, Pacific Science, 14:224-241.
- St. John, Harold. 1963. Flora of Southeastern Washington and Adjacent Idaho, Edwards Brothers, Inc, Outdoor Pictures, Escondido, Calif.
- St. John, Harold. 1973. List and summary of the flowering plants in the Hawaiian Islands, Pacific Trop. Gard., Mem. 1:1-519.
- St. John, Harold. 1985. Oral History, Harold St. John, The Watamull Foundation Oral History Project, 2051 Young St. Honolulu, HI 96826, 808-947-2618. Interviews beginning Dec. 6, 1985, Alice Sinesky, interviewer.
- St. John, Harold, 1986. Census of the flora of Glacier Peak, in Plant Life of the North Cascades, Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Ridge, Stehekin Valley, and Glacier Peak. Douglasia Occasional Papers Vol. 2, Washington Native Plant Society, Univ. of Washington. Pp. 79-96.
- University Press of Hawaii. 1979. Harold St. John--career synopsis and bibliography, Pacific Science, 33:435.
- Wagner, W. L., D. Herbst, and S. H. Sohmer. 1990. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawai‘i. Bishop Museum and University of Hawaii Presses.
Written and researched by:
George F. Wooten
226 West Second Avenue
Twisp, WA 98856