Biographies of scientists and explorers
honored in the names of plants 
shown on this website 

Last names beginning with G-M on this page.   A-F   N-Z

Gaillard de Charentonneau, Antoine René, 1720-?: French magistrate, patron of botany, naturalist, amateur botanist, and member of the Académie des Sciences. Received seeds of plants from the French colonies which he both cultivated himself and shared with other botanists. The genus Gaillardia was published in 1788 by French plant physiologist, archaeologist, and naturalist Auguste Denis Fougeroux de Bondaroy. Gaillardia aristata & Gaillardia pinnatifida

Gambel, William, 1823-1849: Western explorer, botanist, and ornithologist (Gambel's Quail [Callipepla gambelii], Mountain Chickadee [Poecile gambeli], and Nuttall's Woodpecker [Picoides nuttallii]). In 1838 Gambel trained under and assisted Thomas Nuttall on an eastern collecting expedition and continued collecting with Nuttall and serving as his assistant on and off over the next three years. 

In 1841 Gambel left the East for California via the Santa Fe Trail and in July and August of that year he became the first botanist to collect in the Santa Fe area.  It was in Santa Fe that he collected the Southwest's ubiquitous Oak, Quercus gambelii -- which Nuttall named for him in 1848. (See Gene Jercinovic's "William Gambel: New Mexico Plant Specimens" for more names of plants collected by Gambel and for more biographical information.)

In September of 1841 Gambel left the Santa Fe area and travelled through Colorado, Utah, and Arizona to California, all the while collecting. He eventually gained employment under several Naval officers with whom he sailed along the California coast, again collecting (especially birds) as often as he could.  Sailing around the Horn, he returned to Philadelphia in 1845, studied medicine for the next three years, received his medical degree, and soon thereafter was made Assistant Curator of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Science.  Gambel married, left the Academy because of conflicts with his supervisor, John Cassin, and headed back to California, with disastrous results. His group, already decimated by hunger, was caught in deep Sierra snows and almost all perished.  Gambel survived, but when he continued west out of the mountains, he stopped to aid typhoid stricken miners, contracted typhoid fever, and died at the age of 26.

Quercus gambelii

Gay, Claude, 1800-1873: French naturalist who first studied medicine but whose curiosity about nature superseded his medical studies: “The study of medicine seemed to me the most attractive and the one best suited to my tastes. Unfortunately, my increasing passion for natural history made me abandon it and that is something I shall regret all my life”.

In his twenties Gay traveled widely through Europe studying natural history and teaching himself various sciences. When he was 28 he took a position teaching in Santiago, Chile. “Since I took up the study of the natural sciences, which are truly sublime, I was seized by the desire to travel, which appears to form part of them”.

Gay lived many years in Chile where he made some of the first collections and observations of that country's flora, fauna, geology, etc. Gay was hired by the Chilean government to travel the country and make scientific observations which he then published in his 1844-1871, multi-volume, highly respected Historia fisica y politica de Chile. The Chilean government honored him with citizenship, the name of a mountain range, and more.

He was later elected a member of the French Academy of Sciences and he made scientific travels to Russia and the United States. 

Gayophytum diffusum

Geyer, Charles Andreas, 1809-1853: Came to the U.S. in 1834 to collect botanical specimens. George Engelmann became his friend and benefactor. Botanized on the Missouri plains.  Traveled with Nicollet and Fremont to Iowa in 1841. In 1843 and 1844 he botanized from Missouri to Vancouver collecting 10,000 specimens.  On this trip he was particularly interested in Indian uses of plants.  Kept a detailed journal which W. J. Hooker published for him.  He sailed to England after the two year trip and studied his collections at Kew Gardens with Hooker.  John Torrey and Hooker described and published his collection. 

Allium geyeri

Gilii, Filippo Luigi, 1756-1821: Italian naturalist, clergyman, and Director of the Vatican Observatory from 1800-1821. For these twenty-one years Gilii made twice daily meteorological readings at the Observatory, and it was Gilii who established the meridian line in front of St. Peter's, with the obelisk as gnomon and the readings of the seasons by the length of the shadow. 

As the following information shows, it was Filippo Luigi Gilii as coauthor (with Gaspar Xuarez) of Observazioni Fitologiche that brought Gilii to the attention of the eminent botanists Ruiz and Pavon and earned him such respect from them that they named the genus Gilia for him. 

Gilii met Xuarez in Italy in the following way: When Xuarez was seventeen, he became a member of the Argentinean Company of Jesus which, among their missions, gathered information about the flora of Argentina. Xuarez learned his botany from the Spanish botanists Ruiz Lopez and Jose Pavon who had been sent to Argentina by King Carlos III of Spain.

When the Company of Jesus was expelled from Argentina by King Carlos, Xuarez became a member of the Company of Jesus in Faenza, Italy, where he remained until the Company was totally dissolved in 1773.  Xuarez then moved to Rome where he founded the Vatican Orchard which cultivated exotic plants from the Americas. 

Xuarez met Gilii in Rome and the two authored the three volumes of Observazioni Fitologiche (1789, 1790, 1792) a work on the value of American (primarily South American) cultivated plants, their sexuality, form of reproduction, anatomy, etc. Most of the plants had been cultivated by the natives before the discovery of America and some were grown in the Vatican gardens.

As indicated above, Ruiz and Pavon were so impressed with Observazioni Fitologiche that they named a new genus for Xuarez's friend, fellow botanist, and co-author, Filippo Luigi Gilii.

Lopez and Pavon's dedication of the Gilia genus reads:

The genus is dedicated to Felipe Gil, who with his co-worker Gaspar Xuarez of Rome, published (in Italian), Botanical Observations, about many exotic plants introduced [from South America] in Rome.

(The above reproduction is from the original Ruiz and Pavon 1794 publication, Prodromus Florae Peruvianal et Chilensis (A Preliminary Treatise on the Flora of Peru and Chile) (abbreviated for botanical classification as: Prod. Fl. Peruv.) as reproduced in Gallica of the Bibliotheque nationale de France.  To view the dedication, click on the Gallica link and when the page opens, type 25 in the top box after "Aller Page" and then click the ">>".  The second to the last paragraph on page 25 has the genus dedication.)
So why have some expert botanists written that the Gilia genus was named for a Spanish botanist, Felipe Gil? It was apparently assumed by some botanical historian, probably in the 19th century, that since Ruiz and Pavon were Spanish and the dedication states that Gilia honors a "Felipe Gil", Gil must have been Spanish.  But this assumption overlooked the fact that the dedication of the genus says that it is to the person who co-authored Observazioni Fitologiche with Xuarez.  That person was not a Spaniard named Felipe Gil but an Italian named Filippo Luigi Gilii.

Ruiz and Pavon could have averted the confusion by using the proper Italian spelling of Gilii's name.  Instead they used the Latin spelling.  

In short, there never was a Spanish botanist named Felipe Gil who lived from 1756-1821. Those are the birth and death dates of the Italian, Filippo Luigi Gilii, for whom the genus Gilia was named.

I thank David Hollombe for alerting me to the existence of Filippo Luigi Gilii.

Two related points: 1) Ruiz Lopez's name is variously given as Hipolito Ruiz, Ruiz Lopez, or Hipolito Ruiz Lopez.  Today all botanical names credited to him and Pavon are written as "Ruiz and Pavon". 

2) A note on the pronunciation of Gilia: It is generally accepted that when a person's name is used as part of a botanical name, that name should be pronounced as the person would have pronounced it.  Gilii's name should be pronounced with an Italian soft "g", as in "gee whiz":  gee lee ee, with the accent on the second syllable.  The genus name Gilia would then be pronounced:   "Gee lee ee-ah" with the accent on the "lee".  Most of us won't pronounce the genus name this way so let's settle on "Gee lee ah" or "Gee lee uh" with the accent on the first syllable.

Several of the many beautiful Gilias that grow in the Four Corners area are shown on this website.  A number of former Gilia species are now in the Aliciella and Ipomopsis genera. 

Gilia spp

Goodyer, John, (1592-1664): Managed a British estate and botanized continually in his work and travels. Grew and described numerous plants sent to him and discovered and described many new British plants. Goodyer was so widely known and respected in his time that during the 1640's English Civil War troops were ordered "... on all occasions to defend and protect John Goodyer, his house, servants, family, goods, chattels and estates of all sorts from all damages, disturbances and oppressions whatever".

Goodyer gave primary assistance to Thomas Johnson in the 1621 revision of the widely known and respected 1597 Gerard's Herbal, (1600 pages describing edible and medicinal plants). In 1655 he translated Dioscorides'  De Materia Medica (c. 64 A.D.), the foundation for Gerard's Herbal

Goodyera oblongifolia & Goodyera repens

Gordon, Alexander, 1795?-?: British horticulturist and nurseryman who came to the United States in the 1820s, soon established a nursery, collected eastern plants, and in the 1840s travelled west over the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails. Ivesia gordonii

Gray, Asa, 1810-1888: Physician, botanist, Professor. In his young twenties he became John Torrey's assistant and then his friend and life-long collaborator.  He correspondent 50 years with George Engelmann.  Gray, Torrey, and Engelmann were the pre-eminent 19th century botanists of the New World; they collaborated with each other, created the New World botany, and mentored innumerable young botanists. Asa Gray (with Torrey, Engelmann, and Newberry) was a founding member of the National Academy of Sciences. 

In 1838 Gray became the first faculty member of the University of Michigan (which still honors his progressive thinking in the "Asa Gray Society"). He visited European botanists, the first time in 1838-1839 buying books for the University of Michigan, and he continued to serve as a bridge between the known European botany and the relatively unknown botany of the New World.

Asa Gray

Photo of Asa Gray from the Cambridge University Library as shown on the Darwin Correspondence Project.

Photo of Asa Gray from the Gray Herbarium
Archives, Harvard

Gray was Professor of Botany at Harvard from 1842 until his retirement from teaching in 1873; from 1842 on he worked to form the Harvard Botanic Garden and Harvard Herbarium; in 1864 he donated his 200,000 plant specimens and 2,200 books to Harvard with the stipulation that a garden and herbarium building be constructed.  The present Gray Herbarium has more than 5,000,000 specimens and a library of 63,000 volumes.  While at Harvard Gray described 7,000 plants brought to him by innumerable plant collectors he befriended, mentored, and supported. 

Gray championed what came to be called a "natural system of classification", i.e., one based on the entire structure and geographical range of the plant rather than on one aspect such as the Linnean flower-based system of classification. 

Gray's importance to the botany of the 19th century and all botany following is monumental. Unfortunately Gray was not always treasured during his own time, for he was often intolerant, supercilious, and arrogant, commonly making strongly disparaging comments about the works of other botanists. Compared to such a superb botanist and person as Thomas Nuttall, Gray fades into a corner. As Nuttall's biographer, Jeannette Graustein states,

"An inherent incompatibility divided them [Gray and Nuttall], for Gray was practical and Nuttall idealistic; Gray was quick, assured, and personally ambitious to excel; Nuttall was reflective, diffident, and devoted to the advance of natural history rather than himself."

Asa Gray and Charles Darwin   

Asa Gray first met Darwin in 1839 when he visited Joseph Hooker at Kew. It wasn't until 1855 that the two began writing each other and over the next decades they exchanged hundreds of letters. Darwin dedicated his 1877 "Forms of Flowers" to Gray.

Gray championed Darwinism in the United States.  Gray wrote Hooker on January 5, 1860:    

"Well, [The Origin of Species] has reached me, and I finished its careful perusal four days ago; and I freely say that your laudation is not out of place.  It is done in a masterly way. [I can understand that it took twenty years] to produce it.  It is crammed full of most interesting matter...."   

After being shown Gray's letter, Darwin replied (January 28, 1860) to Gray:

"I cannot express how deeply ... [your laudatory praise about The Origin of Species] has gratified me.  To receive the approval of a man whom one has long sincerely respected, and whose judgment and knowledge are most universally admitted, is the highest reward an author can possibly wish for...."    

On January 23, 1860 Gray wrote to Darwin,

"I am free to say that I never learnt so much from one book as I have from yours."

It is so very important to know that until they read Darwin, both Gray and Joseph Hooker believed that (in Gray's words):

All classification and system in Natural History rest upon the fundamental idea of the original creation of certain forms which have naturally been perpetuated unchanged, or with such changes only as we may conceive or prove to have arisen from varying physical influences, accidental circumstances or from cultivation.

It is a testament to Gray and Hooker's humility and scientific honesty that they abandoned their belief in "forms unchanged" after reading the convincing evidence put forth by Darwin for the origin and evolution of species. Both Gray and Hooker still did have some reservations about accepting all of Darwin's ideas and evidence. Gray, especially, tried to maintain his understanding of man being made in the image of God while accepting evolution for other plants and animals.

Francis Darwin, Charles Darwin's son and biographer, tells us in "Reminiscences" that his father had the desire

that his theory should succeed as a contribution to knowledge, and apart from any desire for personal fame.... At the time of the publication of the "Origin" it is evident that he [Charles Darwin] was overwhelmingly satisfied with the adherence of such men as Lyell, Hooker, Huxley, and Asa Gray, and did not dream of or desire any such wide and general fame as he attained to.

Also see below, Joseph Hooker.    
More on Gray and Darwin.    
Asa Gray's 1860 review of "On the Origin of Species" in The Atlantic.

After reading, rereading, and making copious notes in his copy of The Origin of Species (the first to reach the United States), Gray loaned the book to Charles Brace (social reformer and cousin to Gray's wife). Brace brought The Origin of Species to Concord, Massachusetts where he discussed its revolutionary contents with Henry David Thoreau, Amos Bronson Alcott (educator and father of Louisa May Alcott), and Franklin Sanborn (Concord schoolmaster and one of the backers of John Brown). The impact of The Origin of Species on these influential men was immediate.

The Origin quickly went on to ignite heated reactions throughout the United States, especially gravitating to the center of the slavery conflict. Abolitionists saw it as proof that we all spring from the same roots. Slavery proponents saw it as a blasphemous, unsupported attack on God and their whole world of white man's superiority and cotton.

Gray continued as the most ardent American proponent of The Origin of Species, writing to explain it to the lay person in The Atlantic (click to read) and to the scientist in The American Journal of Science.

Gray twice visited Colorado briefly, first in 1872 when he climbed (in the company of Parry, Greene, and eighteen others) Gray's Peak, named for him by Parry and dedicated to him on this memorable climb. 

The result of his second visit to Colorado in 1877 (in the company of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker, Director of England's Royal Botanic Garden, and in the company of the Hayden Survey), was the 1881 publication with Hooker (in the U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin) of "The Vegetation of the Rocky Mountain Region and a Comparison with that of Other Parts of the World", a seminal work in comparative botany. 

See the photograph below of Gray, Hooker, Hayden, and others at La Veta Pass, Colorado in 1877.

Gray and Torrey published two volumes of their planned multi-volume Flora of North America (1838-1843), but because both Gray and Torrey were so involved in the organizing and describing of collections of many American botanists, further volumes were not published. 

Gray's Manual of the Botany of the Northern United States (commonly known as Gray's Manual) published in 1847 is considered a classic and is still on bookstore shelves (even at

Click to read several of Gray's letters to Engelmann about mentoring a new plant collector, Augustus Fendler.

Click to read the Harvard Bicentennial Celebration of Asa Gray's birth.

Click to read about Gray's understanding of Eastern Asian-Eastern North American Phytogeographical Relationships.

Click to read "Asa Gray's Plant Geography and Collecting Networks (1830s-1860s)"

Grayia spinosaGrayia brandegeei,  Angelica grayi 

Greene, Edward Lee, 1843-1915: Moved to Colorado in 1870 after contacting Engelmann and Gray, both of whom encouraged him to collect.  He botanized non-stop there for the next four years and then split his time for the next eight years between botanizing, teaching, and preaching (while in Denver he had studied at Jarvis Hall Seminary in Golden and was ordained an Episcopal Priest in 1873).

In 1872 he met Asa Gray and Charles Parry on their climb of Gray's Peak. For the next eight years he moved often: from Colorado to California to New Mexico and he also moved in his religion and botany: by the early 1880s he had become a Catholic Priest, and he began doing his own describing of his collections (and the collections of other western botanists who admired him) rather than sending collections to Asa Gray.

He wrote hundreds of botanical articles and was widely sought out by all botanists with an interest in Western flora. In 1882 he began his association with the University of California at Berkeley, first lecturing, then becoming Curator of the Herbarium at the California Academy of Sciences, then rising in 1891 to Professor and Chair of the new Botany Department. 

He moved to Washington, D.C. where at first he taught at the Catholic University and then became an Associate of the Smithsonian where, among other pursuits, he worked on a history of botany. 

Greene held strong views about botany, religion, and life brought him friends as well as quite a few detractors.  He was the pre-eminent taxonomic splitter, proposing around 3,000 new specific names during his life. 

William A. Weber considers Greene "one of the most knowledgeable persons of his time as to the Colorado flora".  See The New Mexico Botanist for a botanical biography of Greene. Also see Botanical Electronic News for a humorously pathetic story of Greene and Marcus Jones.

Grindel, David Hieronymus, 1776-1836.  Russian Professor of Chemistry and Pharmacy and Rector at Tartu University and later medical doctor.  Since 1995 the JSC Grindeks Company, the largest pharmaceutical company in the Baltic states, has awarded the Grindel Prize to honor David Grindel, considered the first natural scientist, doctor, and pharmacist of Latvian origin.

Grindelia arizonica, Grindelia hirsutula, Grindelia squarrosa

Gunnison, Captain John Williams, 1812-1853: Served 14 years as a highly regarded and well-liked topographical surveyor in the Great Lakes area and in the West where he was a member of the 1849-1850 Stansbury Expedition to find a route for the transcontinental railroad, chart the waters of the Great Salt Lake, detail the resources of the land, etc. In Stansbury's "Introduction" to his report on the 1849-1850 expedition he said of Gunnison, he has "high professional skill... energy, judgment, and untiring devotion to the interests of the expedition". 

The 1849-1850 Stansbury Expedition spent the winter in Utah with the Mormons and in addition to writing up his survey report, Gunnison wrote the observant, sympathetic, and prescient, The Mormons, or Latter-Day Saints, in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake. The book (available online) describes the religion and life of Mormons, and it provoked considerable controversy and even hostility from some Mormons toward Gunnison, particularly because of Gunnison's discussion of Mormon marriage and sexual practices, considered by the Mormons as a very private subject and considered by non-Mormons as a very disturbing subject.

In 1853 Gunnison was given command of an expedition to further explore a northern transcontinental rail route.  He made his way to Utah, found the best route, and wrote up his report, but before he could file the report and return East, he and seven other surveying companions were ambushed and murdered while in camp near Delta, Utah, on October 26, 1853. Varying accounts attribute the massacre to the Mormons, local Indians (probably a band of Utes), or both.

The names of "Gunnison Grouse", "Gunnison Prairie Dog", "Gunnison River", the town of "Gunnison, Colorado", and several species of plants, honor John Gunnison. 

Calochortus gunnisonii   Ipomopsis gunnisonii

Gutierrez, Pedro Bueno, 1745-1826: In Genera et Species Plantarum (1816), Mariano Lagasca, Director of the Real Jardin Botanico from 1815-1823 and 1834-1839, named a new genus, Gutierrezia.  Lagasca did not specify who he was honoring with the genus name, but it has been assumed by many that the name honors Pedro Gutierrez who has been variously described as a botanist, nobleman, traveler, correspondent (see below). Research by Kathleen Keeler in 2020 shows that it is more likely (but not certain) that Lagasca was honoring Pedro Bueno Gutierrez. Keeler's research shows that Pedro Bueno was

"a well-known apothecary, chemist, and pharmacist in Madrid.... He studied at the Royal Studios of San Isidro (Los Reales Estudios de San Isidro) and was admitted to the Royal College of Apothecaries in Madrid.... In 1785, he was appointed professor of chemistry at San Carlos College of Surgery in Madrid and in 1787 received an appointment to the Museum of Natural History (el Real Gabinete de Historia Natural).... In 1792 [he] was appointed the chief apothecary of His Majesty Charles VI.... His prestige — he was probably the most eminent chemist in Spain in the last decade of the 18th century — and his much-reissued books led to rapid support of modern chemical ideas in Spain...."

Pedro Bueno Gutierrez was thus for decades a very well known, respected, and influential member of the science community of Spain.

Keeler concludes: "I cannot directly link Lagasca to Gutiérrez Bueno. However, in the first two decades of the 19th century both men were leading members of the scientific community in Madrid. Gutiérrez Bueno was an apothecary, pharmacist, and chemist. Lagasca was a physician and botanist. Lagasca’s publication [Genera et Species Plantarum] appeared in 1816, the year after Gutiérrez Bueno’s retirement. Lagasca did not specify the Gutiérrez for whom he named the plant: it may have been too obvious."

Gutierrez, Pedro: The genus name, "Gutierrezia" obviously honors a person with the surname, "Gutierrez", but Mariano Lagasca (Spanish doctor, botanist and director of the Madrid botanic garden who named the genus) left us no details about Gutierrez. Most often it was assumed that Gutierrez was some or all of the following: a botanist, nobleman, traveler, correspondent. Apparently he had some association with the Real Jardin Botanico de Madrid, so it has been assumed that Lagasca knew him from the Real Jardin. I think it much more likely that the person honored in the genus name was Pedro Bueno Gutierrez.

(The famous Jardin was founded by King Carlos III (see Gilii) and was constructed by Juan de Villanueva in 1761.  The Jardin was moved to its present location next to the Prado in 1781 and is still a haven of beauty and quiet in the midst of Madrid city life,) 

Gutierrezia sarothrae  Gutierrezia microcephala   Gutierrezia elegans

Asa Gray, William Hooker, Hayden, et al. La Veta Pass 1877

Photo of William Hooker (second from left), Asa Gray (seated with plant press on ground to Hooker's left). Seated at the table are Jane Strachey (behind Gray), Jane Gray, Dr. Lamborn, James Stevenson (standing, with tall hat), General Sir Richard Strachey, and Dr. Ferdinand Hayden. Other members are not identified.
La Veta Pass 1877.
Photograph by William Henry Jackson. From the British National Archives.

Click to read about this expedition to the Rockies.


Hall, Elihu, 1822-1882: Avid amateur self-educated botanist, farmer, and one of the organizers of the Illinois Natural History Society. He collected throughout the mid-west and western United States. In 1862 he and cousin Jared Harbour were led by Charles Parry on a massive collecting expedition in the Idaho Springs, Colorado area.  Although Hall's curiosity had made him a collector all his life, the impetus for this Colorado trip seems to have been Hall's need for money to build a new house for his family in Athens, Illinois. That lovely house still stands. 

It was common for botanists to collect multiple sets of plants to be sold for expedition expenses, future expedition expenses, or personal expenses, such as, building a new house. Hall was willing to sell sets of plants quickly and cheaply after his Colorado trip (according to Ewan in Biographical Dictionary).  Whatever the motivation and details, the collection was described by Asa Gray and John Torrey and they considered it to be quite good.  See Harbour (below) and Parry.

Hall continued collecting until near his death from TB at the age of 60. He was an intrepid collector, traveling to new areas opened up by the railroad. Most of his personal herbarium of 15,000 specimens is now part of the University of Illinois Herbarium.

Penstemon hallii 

Some of the above details came from a very interesting biography by John E. Schwegman. Click to read.

Click again to see Asa Gray's list of the plants that Hall, Harbour, and Parry collected in 1862.

Harbour, Jared Patterson (1831-1917): Little is known of Harbour.  He was a first cousin of Elihu Hall and the two of them somehow knew or heard about Parry.  They either contracted with or accompanied Parry on a collecting expedition in Colorado in the summer of 1862.  Asa Gray and John Torrey described and named the collected plants.  Gray indicated that Harbour collected the beautiful Penstemon harbourii on the 1862 trip. See Hall and Parry

Harriman, Edward H., 1848-1909: School drop out, office boy, then stockbroker, then small railroad owner, then owner of the Union Pacific, Central Pacific, and Southern Pacific Railroads.  Conceived of and financed the 1899 summer Harriman Expedition to Alaska.  He put the trip together quickly and expertly and assembled an outstanding group of scientists, including John Muir, John Burroughs, Charles Keeler, and G. K. Gilbert and the artist Louis Agassiz Fuertes and photographer Edwin Curtis. The scientific results of the Expedition filled 12 volumes and took 12 years to complete. 

Although an extremely wealthy man, Harriman said (to John Muir) "I never cared for money except as power for work....  What I most enjoy is the power of creation, getting into partnership with nature in doing good, helping to feed man and beast, and making everybody and everything a little better and happier."  But John Muir said to Harriman, "I don't think Mr. Harriman is very rich.  He has not as much money as I have.  I have all I want and Mr. Harriman has not."  (As quoted on the online version of the PBS program about the 2001 expedition which retraced the path of the Harriman Expedition and on the Sierra Club website about Muir.) 

Harriman was a strong supporter of John Muir, gave him free passage on his ships, and had a secretary record Muir's words to produce Muir's autobiography. 

Edward Harriman's son was W. Averell Harriman, Secretary of Commerce, Governor of New York, and many times U.S. Ambassador.   Yucca harrimaniae

Harrington, Harold David, 1903-1981: Professor at Colorado State University for twenty-seven years and Curator for the CSU Herbarium for 25 years. Collected extensively in Colorado and gave most of his collections to the CSU Herbarium. Authored a number of articles and books including the first major Colorado flora, The Manual of the Plants of Colorado (1954) and Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains (1967). The former is still an excellent complete flora of Colorado, containing not only keys to all plants but also complete descriptions.

Hayden, Ferdinand Vandeveer, 1829-1887: Physician, surgeon, Professor of Mineralogy and Geology at the University of Pennsylvania, participant in Western expeditions beginning in 1853, and leader of the widely acclaimed "Hayden Survey", the United States Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories, 1867-1879. Studied under John Strong Newberry.

In the 1850's Hayden participated in four major surveys (primarily in the Dakotas and Nebraska) mapping, collecting fossils, studying not only geological layers, but also timber, water resources, coal, etc. He served as a surgeon during the entire Civil War and returned to his love of surveying with a major Nebraska survey from 1867-1868.

Photo of Ferdinand Hayden
from the George Eastman House

His accomplishments were so highly regarded that in 1869 his budget was increased and he headed a survey that cataloged the resources of Colorado's Front Range and San Luis Valley. His 1869 report of this survey again was so well regarded that he received an even larger Congressional appropriation for an 1870 survey across northern Wyoming into Utah and back through Montana. This led to one of his two most famous Surveys, the 1871 Yellowstone Survey which included the West's most famous photographer, William Henry Jackson, and the eminent landscape painter, Thomas Moran. Jackson's photographs, Moran's paintings, and Hayden's glowing words about Yellowstone were greatly responsible for the 1872 Congressional action designating Yellowstone as the first United States National Park.

In 1872, botanist John Merle Coulter was asked to join the survey party of sixty-one in the Yellowstone/Teton area.

1873-1874 were spent in Colorado and late in 1874 Jackson and a small party from the Survey visited, and were the first ever to photograph, Mesa Verde. Hayden was so impressed by the Mesa Verde area that in 1875 and 1876 he sent Jackson, the botanist Townshend Brandegee, and several others to Mesa Verde and then to Chaco Canyon, Canyon de Chelly, and many other ancient ruins of the Colorado Plateau. Unfortunately, action in declaring Mesa Verde a National Park was not as swift as that for Yellowstone and many of Mesa Verde's treasures were lost to visitors until the area was finally made a National Park in 1906.

See the photograph above of Hayden, Gray, Hooker, and others at La Veta Pass, Colorado in 1877.

For more information on all the Surveys see the USGS site The Four Great Surveys of the West

Overall the Hayden Survey mapped, collected fossils, studied coal and mineral deposits, made major geological studies (showing, for instance, that the region of the Rockies had formerly been an ocean, that a period of upheavals formed the Rockies, that stratigraphic maps could be made showing rock layers over hundreds of millions of years), botanized (see Townshend Brandegee, Thomas Porter, John Coulter, Asa Gray, and Joseph Hooker), made ethnology studies, charted lands suitable for irrigating, grazing, logging, etc. Hayden made all this information readily available to Congress and the American public, for he felt his life mission was to help open the vast treasures of the West to settlement; he hoped his work would lead all these areas to becoming states in the Union.

Hayden was well known and popular and many species of plants and animals were named to honor him. On this website, two plants are named for him: Aliciella haydenii and Castilleja haydenii.

Herrick, Clarence, 1858-1903: PhD University of Minnesota. Professor of zoology at University of Cincinnati 1889-1891 and University of Chicago 1891-892. Worked on the Natural History Survey of Minnesota and published Mammals of Minnesota in 1892. Played a pioneering role in American neurosciences. Contracted TB and moved to New Mexico 1893. Became expert on geology of New Mexico and became botanical collector. President of University of New Mexico, 1897-1901. Herrickia glauca

Heucher, Johann Heinrich von, 1677-1747: Austrian-German physician, Professor of Botany at Wittenberg and founder of its botanical garden, and patron of natural history.  Heuchera parvifolia

Hippio, Carl,  In William Weber's words, Carl Hippio was "a revered colleague of Johann Lehmann" (1792-1860).  Lehmann was a Hamburg botanist, Professor of Physics and Natural History, and co-founder of the Hamburg Botanical Garden.  Potentilla hippiana

Holboll, Carl Peter 1795-1856:  Royal Danish Navy Lieutenant, Royal Inspector of Colonies of Greenland. Naturalist, botanist, ornithologist.  Wrote a birds of Greenland book and described several new bird species.   Boechera holboellii 

Holm, Herman Theodor, 1854-1932: Born in Copenhagen, served on three Norwegian polar expeditions specializing in fauna. PhD in U.S.  Became Assistant Botanist of the USDA, 1893-1897. Collected in Colorado in late 1800's and published "Vegetation of the Alpine Regions of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado".  His arctic experience led him to see similarities of Rocky Mountain alpine vegetation and Eurasian arctic vegetation. He is known for his quality flora and fauna sketches and his occasionally erratic behavior. Left his personal herbarium to the Catholic University of America.   Senecio amplectens variety holmii

Hood, Robert, 1797?-1821: Map maker, artist, and diarist aboard Sir Franklin's Canadian/Arctic Expedition of 1819-1822.  His diaries were edited and published in 1994 as, To the Arctic By Canoe: The Journal and Paintings of Robert Hood, Midshipman with the Franklin Expedition, 1819 - 1821.  Hood was a major contributor to the map work of the Expedition and showed the world that the aurora was electrical and affected the compass. 

In its second year the Expedition was beset by starvation.  John Richardson (see his entry) nursed the weakened Hood, but while Richardson was away from camp, Hood was murdered, perhaps to be eaten.  Richardson shot the murderer and continued on to rescue Franklin, the Expedition leader.  Of Hood's character and starvation suffering, Richardson wrote, "The loss of a young officer, of such distinguished and varied talents and application, may be felt and duly appreciated by the eminent characters under whose command he had served; but the calmness with which he contemplated the probable termination of a life of uncommon promise; and the patience and fortitude with which he sustained, I may venture to say, unparalleled bodily sufferings, can only be known to the companions of his distress." Click to see one of Hood's paintings
Phlox hoodii
(now called Phlox canescens)

Hooker, Joseph Dalton, 1817-1911: Considered the most important botanist of the 19th century, Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens (1865-1885), Son of William Jackson Hooker (see below), President of the Royal Society. Made botanical travels to the South Seas and Antarctica (with Ross), the Himalayas, the Middle East, and the Americas. Wrote many botanical books and papers drawn from his journeys and his and other scientists' collections.

Joseph Hooker and Charles Darwin

   When Joseph Hooker returned from his Antarctic trip, Charles Darwin (1809-1882) wrote him in late 1843 inquiring about Hooker's botanical observations from that trip.  Darwin also asked Hooker to review and describe Darwin's Tierra del Fuego plant collection and his Galapagos specimens. Thus began a long scientific collaboration and friendship which included one of the most controversial subjects of all times: evolution.

A. C. Seward (Professor of Botany at Cambridge, co-editor of More letters of Charles Darwin (1903), and Fellow of the Royal Society) tells us about these two giants of science in his "Sir Joseph Hooker and Charles Darwin: The History of a Forty Years' Friendship":

The correspondence between the two friends began in December, 1843, soon after Hooker's return from the Antarctic voyage. It is interesting to note that in his first letter Darwin asked Hooker to study his botanical collections from the Galapagos Islands, the Islands which exerted so strong an influence on Darwin's views in regard to species. "I was so struck," wrote Darwin to Hooker in 1844, "with the distribution of the Galapagos organisms, &c., &c., that I determined to collect blindly every sort of fact, which could bear any way on what are species." It was to Hooker that his new ideas on the origin of species were first communicated. The earlier letters contain numerous references to the immutability of species, the origin of new forms, and similar subjects. Hooker's botanical knowledge, his cautious and doubting attitude towards Darwin's as yet partially formulated views played an important part in the construction of the "Origin of Species".

Darwin wrote Hooker on January 11, 1844:  

I am almost convinced, (quite contrary to the opinion I started with) that species are not (it is like confessing a murder) immutable....  I think I have found out (here’s presumption!) the simple way by which species become exquisitely adapted to various ends.   

Hooker wrote of this letter, "I believe that I was the first to whom he communicated his then new ideas on the subject ... [of evolution and natural selection]." 

But Hooker as well as almost all other botanists and naturalists were schooled in and still believed a very different view of species than that Darwin was working toward. Seward tells us,

In 1853 Hooker published his famous "Introductory Essay to the Flora of New Zealand". The clear statement of his position in regard to species is particularly interesting in view of the frequent interchange of ideas with Darwin during the preceding decade. Hooker wrote, " Although in this Flora I have proceeded on the assumption that species, however they originated or were created, have been handed down to us as such, and that all the individuals of a unisexual plant have proceeded from one individual, and all of a bisexual from a single pair, I wish it to be distinctly understood that 1 do not put this forward intending it to be interpreted into an avowal of the adoption of a fixed or unalterable opinion on my part."

This section of Hooker's "Introductory Essay to the Flora of New Zealand" ends as follows:

I cannot conclude this part of the subject better than by adopting the words of the most able of transatlantic botanists [Asa Gray], who is no less sound as a generaliser than profound in his knowledge of details. 'All classification and system in Natural History rest upon the fundamental idea of the original creation of certain forms which have naturally been perpetuated unchanged, or with such changes only as we may conceive or prove to have arisen from varying physical influences, accidental circumstances or from cultivation."   

Hooker went on to supply Darwin with much botanical information that Darwin used in the Origin of Species (1859).  In debates, papers, and discussions, Hooker strongly supported Darwin's view of evolution.   

When Charles Darwin's son, Francis Darwin, published The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin (1888) he stated, "The history of my father's life is told more completely in his correspondence with Sir J. D. Hooker than in any other series of letters...."  Francis Darwin says of his father, "He had many warm friendships, but to Sir Joseph Hooker he was bound by ties of affection stronger than we often see among men. He [Charles Darwin] wrote in his "Recollections", 'I have known hardly any man more lovable than Hooker'".

Francis Darwin tells us in "Reminiscences" that his father had the desire

that his theory should succeed as a contribution to knowledge, and apart from any desire for personal fame.... At the time of the publication of the "Origin" it is evident that he [Charles Darwin] was overwhelmingly satisfied with the adherence of such men as Lyell, Hooker, Huxley, and Asa Gray, and did not dream of or desire any such wide and general fame as he attained to.

Hooker and Darwin had much in common: a love of and boundless enthusiasm for learning, a remarkable openness and willingness to share, a world-wide view, persistence, and humility.

Quoted material is from: Jim Endersby and from The Writings of Charles Darwin online and from Francis Darwin's  The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin.

Joseph Dalton Hooker

Photo of Joseph Hooker
from the Encyclopedia Britannica

Hooker visited Colorado in 1877 in the company of Asa Gray and Ferdinand Hayden (see Gray and Hayden) and was there, according to William A. Weber, the first to notice "the strong Asiatic element in ... [Colorado] flora".  In 1881 he published "Notes on the Botany of the Rocky Mountains" in Nature and he and Gray published "The Vegetation of the Rocky Mountain Region and a Comparison with that of Other Parts of the World", in the U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin  --  both the results of studies with the Hayden Survey. Click to read this seminal work.

See the photograph above of Hooker, Gray, Hayden, and others at La Veta Pass, Colorado in 1877.

Click to read Hooker's book, Botany.

Click again to read The Botany of the Antarctic Voyage of H. M. Discovery Ships.

Click for one of Jim Endersby's websites on Joseph Dalton Hooker.

Click for "Sir Joseph Hooker and Charles Darwin: The History of a Forty Years' Friendship" by A. C. Seward.

See also William A. Weber's 2003 article, "The Middle Asian Element in the Southern Rocky Mountain Flora of the western United States".

Eriogonum hookeri

Hooker, William Jackson, 1785-1865: Professor of Botany at Glasgow University (1820-1841), Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew Gardens) (1841-1865), father of Joseph Dalton Hooker (see above). Made the Kew Gardens into one of the  leading botanical gardens in the world; published widely on algae, lichens, fungi, mosses, and flowering plants; wrote several floras on the British Isles; botanized in many countries and received and described many collections from numerous botanists, (see, for instance, David Townsend); wrote the multi-volume Flora Boreali-Americana published in parts from 1833-1840. (Click the title to read.)  The latter was based, in Hooker's words, "principally [on] the plants collected by Dr. Richardson & Mr. Drummond on the late northern expeditions, under command of Captain Sir John Franklin, R.N. To which are added (by permission of the Horticultural society of London,) those of Mr. Douglas, from north-west America, and of other naturalists". 

From 1838-1843 John Torrey and Asa Gray published Flora of North America (now available online). Torrey and Gray dedicated this monumental work to Sir William Jackson Hooker, "no person has done more for the advancement of North American botany". 

William Jackson Hooker

William Jackson Hooker
Charcoal pencil drawing by
Thomas Herbert Maguire

Most species bearing the Hooker name refer to and honor William Jackson Hooker, but some do honor his son Joseph Dalton Hooker.   Oenothera hookeri

Hoopes, Thomas, Jr., 1834-1925: Farmer, businessman, civic leader in Chester County, Pennsylvania (population 4,357 in 1857).  From 1857-1862 Thomas traveled and worked his way west from Pennsylvania: A 1925 newspaper article states that Hoopes "decided to make a short tour of the western States of the Union".  He was in Rock Island, Illinois for one of the Lincoln-Douglas debates in September of 1857; in Iowa he was in the lumber business; in Colorado he dabbled in gold prospecting, "general business", exploring, and plant collecting.

In 1861 he was a member of Captain Edward Berthoud's exploring party looking for a rail route between Denver and Salt Lake; they discovered Berthoud Pass.  (Berthoud was Secretary and Chief Engineer for the Colorado Central and Pacific Railroad for sixteen years, and was a Colorado pioneer, mayor, and member of the territorial legislature that authorized the establishment of the Colorado School of Mines).  Berthoud thought so highly of Hoopes that he named a creek on the way to Berthoud Pass for him: the creek name is now spelled "Hoops".

In 1862 Thomas Hoopes returned to Chester County for six years of farming and in 1868 formed "Hoopes, Brother & Darlington, West Chester Wheel Works" -- a highly successful business that made Hoopes a multimillionaire. Thomas Hoopes' mother was a Darlington and the Darlington family, especially William Darlington, as well as many others in West Chester (see David Townsend), were avid and highly accomplished amateur botanists. 

In 1853 Josiah Hoopes (1832-1904), a cousin (Thomas was third cousin to Josiah's father) started a plant nursery in West Chester.  This nursery became not only a very successful business, but also a botanically well known business and the largest nursery (300 acres) in the United States. 

Botany was a West Chester passion and I think it is safe to assume that Thomas Hoopes was botanically literate.  We do know for sure that Thomas collected plant specimens and plant seeds in Colorado.  Thomas is listed at least a half dozen times as collector of Colorado plants that were examined by Coulter and Porter in their 1874 Flora of Colorado

In 1858 just west of Pikes Peak Thomas collected seeds from what he must have thought was an unusual plant.  He sent the seeds to his brother-in-law, Halliday Jackson, in West Chester.  Halliday was an amateur botanist and one of numerous West Chester disciples of the highly accomplished amateur botanist, William Darlington.  Jackson grew the plants from the seeds Thomas Hoopes had sent him and forwarded the plants to Asa Gray in 1861 with a note (now in the files of the Harvard Botanical Library) asking Gray to name the plant for Hoopes if the plant turned out to be a new species.  It did, and in 1864 Gray named this conspicuous and wide-spread high mountain Sunflower, Helenium hoopesii. William Weber accepts Rydberg's 1900 name of Dugaldia hoopesii. The Flora of North America and BONAP and almost all other floras accept Hymenoxys hoopesii as the correct species name.

The present day Hoopes families in West Chester, Pennsylvania indicate that their last name is not pronounced "hoops", as in "hula hoop".  The families pronounce the "oo" of "Hoopes" as the "oo" in "took". The species name should be pronounced the same.

I obtained information for this Thomas Hoopes entry from a number of sources on the Internet, from Diane Rofini of the Chester County Historical Society Library, from Kanchi Gandhi, the Nomenclatural Editor of the Flora of North America, and from several relatives of Thomas Hoopes living in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Howell, John Thomas (Tom), 1903-1994: Studied botany under W. L. Jepson at the University of California at Berkeley. From 1927-1929, Howell was the first resident botanist at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden where he founded their now famous herbarium.

Alice Eastwood, the long-time Curator of the California Academy of Sciences Herbarium, appointed Tom Assistant Curator in 1929 and he became Curator the day after she retired in 1949. Tom served in that position until January 1969, but he remained with the Academy until his death, having worked at the Academy by then for 65 years.

The Flora of North America tells us the following about Tom Howell:

Tom collected nearly 55,000 plants, mostly from throughout California and the western United States, [but] tropical botanists recognize his enormous contributions to the study of the Galapagos Islands flora.... Tom collected 1,627 plants on 14 of the islands....

Tom's bibliography includes more than 500 entries, most of which deal with California plants.  He considered his editing and publication of the private journal Leaflets of Western Botany (10 volumes and index, 1932--1968) to be his most important contribution to California botany. Another of Tom's best known and most popular publications is Marin Flora, Manual of the Flowering Plants and Ferns of Marin County, California.

Although Tom did not teach in a university classroom setting, he probably taught botany to nearly as many people as most college professors. His students included Junior Academy schoolchildren, Sierra Club chapters, the California Native Plant Society, and California Botanical Club.  Tom served as leader of this latter organization (which was founded in 1891 by Katherine Brandegee) from 1950 to 1970....

After John's retirement, the John Thomas Howell Curatorial Chair of Western American Botany was established at the California Academy of Sciences.

Phacelia howelliana 

Hornemann, Jens, 1770-1841: Danish botanist, professor at Copenhagen and director of the botanical garden, author of Nomenclatura Florae Fanicae Enmendata, and co-author of Flora Danica, a major illustrated work on the fungi of Denmark.        Epilobium hornemannii

Ives, Eli, 1779-1861:  Yale University pharmacologist and professor active in the Connecticut Medical Society and involved with the founding of the Medical Institution of Yale College. Taught botany and established a botanical garden as part of the medical school. He pioneered in the teaching of childhood medicine and gave the first course in pediatrics in the United States. Studied with, among others, Benjamin Smith Barton at the University of Pennsylvania. Ives created one of the first botanical gardens in New England. 
Phacelia ivesiana
Ivesia gordonii

Ives, J. C. (Joseph Christmas), 1829-1868: As a Lieutenant in the U. S. Corps of Topographical Engineers he served as an Assistant Surveyor to Whipple for a southern rail route in 1853-1854, led an 1857-1858 survey 400 miles up the Colorado to determine the feasibility of navigation and was then the first Caucasian to see the Grand Canyon, of which he famously said: "It looks like the Gates of Hell.  The region ... is ... altogether valueless.  Ours has been the first and will undoubtedly be the last, party of whites to visit the locality.  It seems intended by nature that the Colorado River ... shall be forever unvisited and undisturbed."  His iron steamboat was destroyed on rocks in the Colorado.  Read the Report Upon the Colorado River of the West.  Ives resigned from the Union Army and joined the confederacy. Tetraneuris ivesiana

James, Edwin, 1797-1861: Student of John Torrey and Amos Eaton (grandfather of Daniel Cady Eaton).  Botanist, geologist, and surgeon with the Long Expedition in 1819-1820 and thus the first Caucasian plant collector in Colorado and the central Rockies.  Torrey used James' numerous collections as the basis for the first botanical paper on Rocky Mountain flora.  James and several other members of the Long Expedition were the first to climb Pikes Peak, which was then named "James' Peak".  After his great botanical collecting success on the Long Expedition, James left the botanical world.  See American Journeys for excerpts from James' journal and read James' account of the Long Expedition.  Also see Larry Blakely's "Who's In a Name".  Pseudostellaria jamesiana, Chionophila jamesii, Frankenia jamesii, Eriogonum jamesii

Jones, Marcus Eugene, 1852-1934: Botanist, teacher, preacher, mining engineer. William Weber considers Jones, "probably the greatest collector the West has known".  Jones collected over 500,000 specimens in his nearly 60 years of collecting. In 1923 Jones sold his personal herbarium of over 100,000 specimens to the Pomona College herbarium (now Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden). 

Jones started serious botanizing in Colorado but moved to Salt Lake City early in life and botanized through every county in that state. Both as a botanist and mining expert, Jones travelled hundreds of thousands of miles throughout all western states and into Mexico. Jones was friends and enemies with the most prominent people of the time, from Engelmann and Parry to governors, judges, railway magnets, and industrialists.

Jones was noted for his strongly expressed and very often negative views of everyone and everything. He even wrote up a list ranking botanists of his time according to their value as human beings and botanists. See Botanical Electronic News for a humorously pathetic story of Jones and Edward Greene.

For more about Jones, see the Sego Lily and Lenz.

King, Clarence, 1842-1901: Geologist and mining engineer.  King was a major 19th century scientific figure. Traveled widely throughout the U.S., Cuba, and Europe.  His views were solicited and respected.

After graduating Yale in 1862, King traveled to the West where he found work with Whitney and other survey parties.  From about 1870-1878 King was the U.S. Geologist of the Geological Exploration of the Fortieth Parallel, commonly known as the "Fortieth Parallel Survey" or the "King Survey".  This was a massive federal survey of the 40th parallel through the unknown Sierras.  After being in the party that discovered the highest point in the United States (now known as Mount Whitney), King made four attempts to be the first to climb it.  On his fourth attempt he succeeded, but by then others had already climbed it.  

In the Sierras he found the first U. S. glacier; with John Muir he wrote about the erosive effects of glaciers; he popularized the unknown Sierras with many articles in the Atlantic Magazine; and he was the first to use contour lines in mapping. 

In 1876 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences (becoming its youngest member).  In 1879 he became the first Director of the United States Geological Survey, but quit after serving two years to go into private engineering and geological work. His years after resigning his Geological Survey Directorship were fraught with economic, physical, and mental difficulties. 

Click to read his book, Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada, covering 1864-1870.  He also wrote Systematic Geology in 1878.  King is honored in a number of plant names, including one shown on this website: Eremogone kingii (now Eremogone eastwoodiae)

Knowlton, Frank, 1860-1926: PhD Columbia, paleobotanist, ornithologist, botanist. Assistant to Lester Ward, geologist and paleontologist with the United States Geological Survey. Collected fossils and living plants from Montana to Arizona. Wrote botanical papers: "Flora of the Denver and Associated Formations of Colorado", "Flora of Montana Formations", and various other papers on geological and paleontological subjects. In 1889 he joined the  U.S. Geological Survey as an assistant paleontologist and was associated with the survey until his death. Knowlton was the founder and first editor (1897–1904) of "The Plant World" and he published more than 200 papers and books, including Birds of the World (1909) and Plants of the Past (1927). According to Britannica online, Knowlton "was professor of botany at the Columbian (now George Washington) University, Washington, D.C. (1887–96), and curator of botany and fossil plants at the National Museum, Washington, D.C. (1887–89)". Click to read more about Knowlton and click again to read a number of Knowlton's publications.

In 1889 Knowlton discovered Ostrya knowltonii growing below the rim of the Grand Canyon. It was named for him by USDA botanist, Frederick Coville.

Koch, Wilhelm, 1771-1849: German botanist and physician. Was Director of the Erlangen, Germany Botanical Gardens, a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and author of, among other titles, Synopsis Florae Germanicae et helveticae (1835-1837). Neokochia americana

Krascheninnikov, Stephan Petrovich, 1713-1755: Professor at St. Petersburg, Russia; botanist, explorer, author of the first flora of St. Petersburg. Was on The Great Nordic Expedition, the second expedition led by Vitus Bering exploring eastern Siberia with 10,000 men, many of whom died with Bering in their explorations. From 1735-41 Krascheninnikov and the German botanist George Wilhelm Steller explored and gathered data on the Kamtchatka Peninsula and the Kurile Islands. Steller died in 1745 and Krascheninnikov compiled his and Steller's observations on geography, geology, natural history, and the inhabitants.  These observations were published shortly after Krascheninnikov's death in his, History of Kamtchatka and the Kurilski Islands, with the Countries AdjacentKrascheninnikovia lanata

Laennec, Rene, 1781-1826: French physician, professor at the Collège de France, inventor of the stethoscope and the various diagnostic uses of it. Considered one of the greatest physicians of all times.  Click to read the U. S. National Library of Medicine article about Laennec.
Laennecia schiedeana

Lambert, Aylmer, 1761-1842: Vice-President and one of the first fellows of the Linnean Society. Not a trained botanist but helped support many botanical ventures, including those of Frederick Pursh who worked several years on his Flora Americae Septentrionalis in Lambert's herbarium (which at one time or another housed about 50,000 specimens).  The Meriwether Lewis collection of plants that Pursh described in his 1814 Flora remained in Lambert's custody until his death. They were then bought at auction and returned to the United States.  Lambert is best known for his book, A Description of the genus Pinus, in which many of the conifers discovered by David Douglas and others were first described. Oxytropis lambertii

Lanszweert, Louis, 1825-1888: Belgian-born San Francisco pharmacist in the early days of the California Academy of Sciences  Lathyrus lanszwertii variety leucanthus 

Lemmon, Sara and John, 1836-1923 and 1832-1908: Sara and John were self-taught botanists whose interests in botany blossomed when they individually moved West -- both especially for health reasons. They were both intellectually active and curious about plants and that led to their meeting each other in 1876 at a lecture John gave in Santa Barbara. Both had already begun collecting plants and Sara also had begun her botanical art work.

Sara and John were married in 1880 and the two began years of travelling and collecting plants, including collecting scores of new species in the West, especially in California and Arizona. John wrote about their honeymoon:

Sara, being as enthusiastic and as devoted to botany as I, was the first to propose that, instead of the usual stupid and expensive visit to a watering-place, idling our time in useless sauntering, and listening to silly gossip, we should wait a few weeks, devoting the time to study; then, at the right time, make a grand botanical raid into Arizona, and try to touch the heart of Santa Catalina.

                     Sara and John Lemmon       

              Sara Lemmon Botanical Art 1      Sara Lemmon Botanical Art 2
Original photographs and paintings at the University and Jepson Herbaria Archives, University of California, Berkeley. Photos of these originals by Wynne Brown.

Their botanical exploits made them well-known to the communities they lived in and visited and to professional botanists, such as Charles Parry, Asa Gray, and George Engelmann. In his discussion of the new genera, Plummera, named for Sara Plummer before she became Sara Lemmon, Asa Gray praised Sara and John in his Synoptical Flora of North America for their perseverance and excellent collections and indicated that the specific epithet, "lemmonii", was given in honor of both Sara and John for plants collected in Arizona:

Sara and her husband have shared together the toils, privations, and dangers of arduous explorations in the wilds of Arizona and California as well as in the delights of very numerous discoveries: so that whenever the name of Lemmon is cited for Arizonian plants, it in fact refers to this pair of most enthusiastic botanists. [A similar botanical honeymoon was the 1888 trip of another famous contemporary California botany couple, Mary and Townshend Brandegee.]

Sara's biographer, Wynne Brown, indicates that "the Lemmons discovered, described and named 110 [Arizona] species, or 3 percent of [Arizona's] vascular plants". IPNI (International Plant Names Index) lists 77 taxa published by John Lemmon from 1881 to 1902, but these almost certainly should be credited to Sara and John, for they worked together from at least 1880 onward.

Sara also had several species named for her under her maiden name and John is credited with collecting many species, including new ones, prior to 1876.

Sara was active in community issues: she brought the first library to Santa Barbara, California, and she wrote the legislation for making the California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) the state flower of California. Mount Lemmon in southern Arizona is named for her.

From 1888 to 1892, John served as the state botanist for the California State Board of Forestry and Sara was the official artist for the Board.

Sara and John were among the first Sierra Club members and were friends of John Muir. Sara was chair of the Committee of Forestry of The California Federation of Women’s Clubs. In 1876 John and Charles Parry made an extended botanical expedition and collected many new species. The Lemmons certainly had at least a botanical relationship with Mary Brandegee and Alice Eastwood, for we know that botanical discoveries made by Sara and John were published in Zoe, A Biological Journal, a natural history periodical founded by Mary and Townshend Brandegee in 1890. In 1892 Alice Eastwood became an editor of "Zoe".

A search of the contents of Zoe for the 15 years it was published shows dozens of references to "Lemmon" or "Mr. J. G. Lemmon". Some of those relating to collections made prior to 1876 were collected by John and some by Sara, but those after that date should almost certainly be credited to both Sara and John, but, as was the custom of the time, only the husband was referenced. We know that Asa Gray indicated that all the Arizona collections should be credited to both Sara and John, but in Zoe , the Arizona collections are credited to "J. G. Lemmon" or simply "Lemmon".

There are a few references in Zoe that correctly just reference John, as shown in the following from volumes 3-4 of 1892-1894:

Many botanists write names in their herbaria as a reminder to study such specimens in the future as time admits, and it is not at all probable that Mr. Lemmon, who is much more careful in such matters than Mr. Green, would when he came to study the species [Phacelia rugulosa and Phacelia leucantha) have passed over the very accessible descriptions furnished by the Synoptical Flora.

Further indicating that Sara and John were known (probably well known) to the Brandegees and to Alice Eastwood is that specimens collected by the Lemmons were in the California Academy of Sciences Herbarium, which was curated by Mary Brandegee and then Alice Eastwood.

The Lemmons amassed a valuable herbarium collection which eventually was donated to the University of California at Berkeley and the Jepson Herbaria. Unfortunately, few of Sara's botanical art works survive, many most likely lost in the fires of the San Francisco earthquake.

Click to read Sara Lemmon's "The Ferns of the Pacific Coast".

Click to read "The Southwestern Legacy of Sara Lemmon".

Click to read "Sara Plummer: Pioneering Botanist".

Click for a New York Botanical Garden "Science Talk" about Sara and John.

Click for Wynne Brown's, "The Forgotten Botanist: Sara Plummer Lemmon's Life of Science and Art"

Click for Wynne Brown's video, "Revealing the Life and Work of Sara Plummer Lemmon".

Click to read John Lemmon's correspondence with George Engelmann.

Click to read Sara Lemmon's correspondence with George Engelmann.

Cymopterus lemmonii  Boechera lemmonii

Lemotte, Maxime, 1920-2007:  Noted French Professor, ecologist, explorer naturalist, geneticist.  Click to read more in WikipediaTragopogon lemottei  

Lesquereux, Leo, 1806-1889: Lesquereux (pronounced "le crew") was a naturalist, paleontologist, paleobotanist, and bryologist. He was born in Switzerland, was injured severely in a fall when young while plant collecting, remained frail, became totally deaf.  Made himself an expert on peat bogs.  Became friends in Switzerland with Louis Agassiz.  Came to America in 1848 and became intrepid collector. 

Published several books on mosses with William Sullivant in 1856 and 1885.  He became a leading authority on coal deposits and in 1858 presented to the first Pennsylvania Geological Survey a “Catalogue of the Fossil Plants Which Have Been Named or Described from the Coal Measures of North America”.  In 1884 he published Description of the Coal Flora of the Carboniferous Formation in Pennsylvania and the United States.  These works were standards for carboniferous plants in the United States.

Lesquereux accompanied Hayden on the 1874 Survey and wrote the "Paleontology" section of the 1876 Hayden report. Lesquereux is considered America's first paleobotanist.  The Brassicaceae genus "Lesquerella" (Bladderpods) is named for him, but most of the members of this genus have been moved to the Physaria genus.  Lesquerella rectipes  Lesquerella fendleri

Lewis, Meriwether, 1774-1809: Explorer, scientist, Thomas Jefferson's Secretary, revered and acclaimed leader of the famed Lewis and Clark Expedition (what Jefferson called the "Corps of Discovery") which, among many other remarkable accomplishments, gathered extensive scientific (including botanical) information.

In 1803 Jefferson asked Benjamin Barton, famous botanist, University of Pennsylvania Professor, and author of the first United States botany textbook, The Elements of Botany, to train Meriwether Lewis in botany for the 1804-1806 Expedition.  On the Expedition Lewis carried a copy of the Elements which he returned to Barton inscribed with a note of thanks after the Expedition. 

Lewis was a receptive student under Barton, in large part because he had already learned many elements of botany from his mother and his own studies. On The Lewis and Clark Herbarium CD by Earle Spamer and Richard M. McCourt (produced by the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia), we learn that he had the "soul of a plantsman".

A typical day on the trail found him looking for plants along the Missouri River and in the surrounding Great Plains. Or near a campsite in a mountain meadow of the Rocky Mountains. Or at the salty mouth of the Columbia River where it drained into the Pacific Ocean. In dangerous places and at inopportune times, Lewis collected plants. So long as circumstances permitted, even in improbable situations, he collected. It was not only his duty to collect, it was his passion.

Equally remarkable, he wrote with enthusiasm about them in the voluminous journals and in numerous notes on the blotting papers used to dry the plants. Lewis' descriptions could be brief but were often quite detailed. The following is from his account of a plant that botanist Frederick Pursh would later name in honor of expedition co-leader, Captain William Clark (Moulton, 1991: 323-324).

I met with singular plant today in blume of which I preserved a specimine; it grows on the steep sides of the fertile hills near this place, the radix is fibrous, not much branched, annual woody, white and nearly smooth. the stem is simple branching ascending, 2 1/2 feet high celindric, villose and of a pale red color . . . the style which elevates the stigma or lib is not a tube but solid tho' it's outer appearance is that of a monopetallous corolla swelling as it ascends and gliding in such manner into the limb that it cannot be said where the style ends, or the stigma begins; . . . I regret very much that the seed of this plant are not yet ripe and it probably will not be so during my residence in this neighbourhood.

We can imagine how Lewis worked. He clipped or pruned plant parts or uprooted entire specimens, and placed them in a dry oilskin bag. Later, laying the plants flat on a specimen page, Lewis sandwiched them between pages made of blotting material. He recorded the collection locality, date, and habitat on the blotter paper itself, along with occasional comments on how the Native Americans ate or used the plants. Lewis then stacked the plants between two boards and tied the plant press together with straps. Lewis probably placed the plant press near the evening fire, where warm air helped dry the collection. Over the course of several days, water was squeezed from the plants, and, once dry, specimens were kept flat and dry in another press.

Much later, other botanists glued the specimens to high-rag content herbarium sheets and stored them in protective cabinets in a museum. Those from the Aylmer Lambert Herbarium in London were mounted in or after 1812. The sheets bear a distinctive watermark (illustrated by Cutright, 1967: 82). The unmounted specimens found in the American Philosophical Society were mounted in the Academy in 1921 by John M. Fogg, Jr. (Fogg, 1982). If kept dry and free from insects and physical damage, such specimens last for centuries, as Lewis's specimens have for the last 200 years.

Unfortunately much of the botanical collection from the Lewis and Clark Expedition was lost in varying places and in varying ways.  For instance, early in the Expedition, Lewis sent Jefferson about 60 specimens. Jefferson in turn sent these for analysis to Barton, whom Jefferson had asked to do the botanical descriptions of the Expedition collections, but about half of the sixty specimens disappeared and have never been found. 

A far larger loss came with the destruction of hundreds of plant specimens that Lewis had collected during the first months of the trip and that he had cached on June 26, 1805.  The cache was flooded in the spring of 1806 and by the time Lewis opened it on July 13th, 1806, fungus had destroyed hundreds of hours of his work.  One would expect that Lewis was shattered by the loss, and he may have been, but there is no sign of his horror in his diary entry of July 13, 1806:

"had the cash opened    found my bearskins entirly destroyed by the water, the river having risen so high that the water had penitrated.     all my specimens of plants also lost.      the Chart of the Missouri fortunately escaped" [This "Chart" is now lost.]"

Lewis makes no further mention of the loss in his journal entries. We might understand Lewis' calm acceptance of travails when we place the loss of the specimens in the light of the difficulties of the entire trip. For instance, immediately after finding the specimens destroyed, Lewis tells us:

"the stoper had come out of a phial of laudinum and the contents had run into the drawer and distroyed a gre[ar]t part of my medicine in such manner that it was past recovery. waited very impatiently for the return of Drewyer he did not arrive. Musquetoes excessively troublesome insomuch that without the protection of my musquetoe bier I should have found it impossible to wright a moment".

And just the day before:

"about this time two of the men whom I had dispatched this morning in quest of the horses returned with seven of them only. the remaining ten of our best horses were absent and not to be found. I fear that they are stolen.... the wind blew so violently that I did not think it prudent to attempt passing the river.... Musquetoes extreemly troublesome".

From July 1, 1805, a typical entry:

"my feet is verry much brused & cut walking over the flint, & constantly stuck full [of] Prickley pear thorns, I puled out 17 by the light of the fire to night    Musqutors verry troublesom." 

Undaunted courage.

Lewis' plant collections during the three years of the Expedition certainly numbered in the many, many hundreds, but we now have only 226 specimens at The Academy of Sciences of Philadelphia and another 11 at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England. (Four of the specimens included in the 226 in the Academy's possession are now known to be those collected by Thomas Nuttall, but they are kept with the Lewis collection for historical reasons.)

When the Expedition ended there were, of course, celebrations, but there was still the task of describing the entire trip and documenting the collections. Barton, who had been considered for the Expedition but was not asked to participate because of his old age (37) and his questionable health, was to have described the flora but he did not -- apparently because of his health and his predisposition to procrastination.  Bernard McMahon, renowned horticulturalist, respected scientist, and friend of Jefferson, Barton, and the well-respected botanist, Frederick Pursh, suggested that Pursh organize and describe the collection. It would then fall to Lewis to put everything into an organized narrative. 

In 1807 Lewis met Pursh, was very impressed, and paid Pursh about $70 to begin the work which Pursh completed in a little more than a year. He then returned most of the collection to McMahon, took some of the collection to England to examine, and there published the collection (along with many other plants he and others had collected) in his highly praised 1813 (1814) Flora Americae Septentrionalis.  (All but a few of the Expedition specimens which Pursh had taken with him were bought at auction years later and returned to the United States. See Lambert above.)

Tragically, Lewis felt increasingly troubled, pressured, and distraught in the years after the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and he was unable to fulfill his own and Jefferson's expectations for publishing the results of the Expedition.  He completed almost no work on the Expedition narrative. In 1809 he died, apparently by his own hands, although some conjecture at the hands of a robber/murderer.

Lewis was intelligent, dedicated, enthusiastic, and so appreciative of life. On the Expedition(August 18, 1885) he wrote in his journal,

This day I completed my thirty first year, and conceived that I had in all human probability now existed about half the period which I am to remain in this Sublunary world. I reflected that I had as yet done but little, very little indeed, to further the hapiness of the human race, or to advance the information of the succeeding generation. I viewed with regret the many hours I have spent in indolence, and now soarly feel the want of that information which those hours would have given me had they been judiciously expended.    but since they are past and cannot be recalled, I dash from me the gloomy thought and resolved in future, to redouble my exertions and at least indeavour to promote those two primary objects of human existence, by giving them the aid of that portion of talents which nature and fortune have bestoed on me; or in future, to live for mankind, as I have heretofore lived for myself.

Following are four lists of species that were collected by Lewis and are shown on this website. The first list shows species named for Meriwether Lewis. The second shows species that Lewis collected that are "types", i.e., the first of their kind ever recorded for science. The third shows species that we now know were types, but for varying reasons were never authenticated for science. And the fourth shows species that that were already known to science. The four lists show a total of 66 species on this website, about 30% of the existing Lewis collection.

1) Three species on this website honor Lewis in their names: Lewisia nevadensisLewisia pygmaea, and Linum lewisii

2) Twenty seven species shown on this website were first found for science by Lewis and he is credited with discovering them. (There are a total of forty new species credited to Lewis.)

Achillea millefolium, Astragalus multiflorus, Atriplex canescens,
Balsamorhiza sagittata
, Bistorta bistortoides, Claytonia lanceolata,
Clematis hirsutissima,
Erigeron compositus, Ericameria nauseosus,
Erythronium grandiflorum
, Gaillardia aristata, Grindelia squarrosa,
Gutierrezia sarothrae
, Ipomopsis aggregata, Krascheninnikovia ceratoides,
Linum lewisii, Lomatium triternatum, Lupinus argenteus, Lupinus pusillus,
Paxistima myrsinites
, Cleomella serrulata, Phacelia heterophylla, Purshia tridentata, Ribes aureum, Sarcobatus vermiculatus, Shepherdia argentea,
Xanthisma spinulosum

3) On this website are twenty four additional species that we now know Lewis was the first to collect for science, but they are not credited to him. A collection must be properly described and published for it to be accepted, but these twenty four plants (and others) that Lewis collected were, for a number of reasons, not described by Pursh or anyone else:
1) We don't know why, but Pursh examined only 124 of the at least 237 specimens that were collected by Lewis, so Pursh must not have seen some or all of the 24 plants listed below.

2) In some cases Pursh misidentified the plants or could not identify them.
3) Some specimens were quite small or very partial and not until decades later was enough known about the plants to make a positive identification.

The reasons for the lack of credit given to Lewis are best summarized by Reveal et al. who published in the "Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Vol. 149 (Jan. 29, 1999), pp. 1-64" the most thorough research of every plant that Lewis collected. Before proceeding to a review of each of Lewis' collections, Reveal indicates that,

"for a number of reasons (the most common being inadequate material) Pursh did not mention... 63 species or varieties of vascular plants. A few, such as Equisetum arvense, Hordeum jubatum, and Prunus virginiana, were widespread in North America and noting their distribution in the American West was mostly not important. A few were mixed collections that Pursh could not possibly have unraveled at the time (Atriplex gardneri and Sedum lanceolatum for example). Some specimens he failed to thoroughly evaluate and thus missed the opportunity to describe such novel species as Anemone piperi, Dodecatheon poeticum, Erysimum capitatum, Pedicularis cystopteridifolia, and Penstemon wilcoxii. Still, all in all, not bad."

Most of the twenty four species that Lewis did not receive credit for were collected again by other botanists within 10 years of the time that Lewis collected them. Because the species were then properly described, credit for their discovery was given to these other intrepid explorer/botanists of early western America. Thomas Nuttall is credited with discovering 5 of these species and his friend Nathaniel Wyeth is credited with discovering 2 more. David Douglas is credited with 5 of them and John Bradbury with 3. Others of these twenty four species were not described until much later in the 1800s and they were credited to a number of other collectors.

Allium geyeri, Amelanchier alnifolia, Artemisia ludoviciana,
Astragalus missouriensis
, Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus,
Collinsia parviflora
Collomia linearis, Erysimum capitatum, Erythranthe guttatus, Geum triflorum, Iris missouriensis, Juniperus scopulorum, Lomatium dissectum,
Lonicera involucrata
Oenothera caespitosa, Pinus ponderosa,
Polemonium pulcherrimum
, Rhus aromatica,
Rubus nutkanus,
Sedum lanceolatum, Sorbus scopulina, Sphaeralcea coccinea, Triteleia grandiflora, Veratrum californicum

4) This website shows fourteen other Lewis collections which were known to science prior to the Lewis and Clark Expedition:
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
, Artemisia dracunculus, Artemisia frigida,
Atriplex gardneri, Calypso bulbosa, Cerastrium arvense, Dalea candida,
Dasiphora fruticosa, Equisetum arvense
(on August 10, 1804, E. arvense became the first plant Lewis collected on the Expedition), Pedicularis groenlandica,
Populus deltoides, Potentilla pensylvanica, Pseudotsuga menziesii,
Vaccinium myrtillus

Further readings:

Click for the entire (searchable) "Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition", made available online by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities
in partnership with the University of Nebraska Press. Be sure to see the "Links" page.

Click for the "Original Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition" edited by Reuben Gold Thwaites.

Click for the American Philosophical Museum Lewis and Clark collection.
Click for the "Discovering Lewis and Clark" website plant collection.
Click for "The Lewis and Clark Collections of Vascular Plants: Names, Types, and Comments".
Click for "What's lost, what's left: A status report on the Plants and Animals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition".
Click for "The Lewis and Clark Herbarium: Images of the Plants Collected by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, 1804-1806"
. Photographs and descriptions of most plants collected by Lewis.
Click for the National Park Service website: "Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, Lewis and Clark's Scientific Discoveries: Plants".

There are many books and many online sources about Lewis and Clark. Several excellent online starting points are The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia website and Discovering Lewis and Clark. For the most extensive collection of online Lewis and Clark documents see American Journeys.

Also be sure to read Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose.

Lid, Johannes, 1886-1971: Norwegian botanist. Lid was a major contributor to the Nordic Herbarium at the University of Oslo Botanical Museum.  Lidia obtusiloba

Linnaeus, Carl, (1707-1778): Physician, Professor, Prince of Botanists, traveler, revered friend, devoted husband and father. From early in his life Linnaeus was enamored of all things natural: birds, insects, mammals, rocks, and especially plants. By his continual devotion to the natural world through his collections and studies he so impressed his professors and fellow students that in his young twenties he became a sought after instructor, filling lecture rooms with hundreds of students enthralled with his knowledge and power of presentation.
















Especially in his early years as a student, Linnaeus had terrible financial difficulties and lived an impoverished life. His genius was, however, quickly recognized by established scientists. At Uppsala University medical school, natural history Professor Olaf Rudbeck (the Younger) elevated Linnaeus to lecturer in just his second year of medical school and Rudbeck brought Linnaeus into his house as tutor to three of his children. Linnaeus finally had food, shelter, and even could replace his shoes, which until then had holes stuffed with paper. One indication of Linnaeus' gratitude was his naming of a new American species: Rudbeckia hirta.

In addition to financial difficulties, Linnaeus was also beset by social and professional difficulties from time to time  --  as we might suspect for anyone who was wielding a sledge hammer against established practices. Overall, however, his supporters by far outweighed his detractors and his assiduous compilation of facts convinced many, even those who had long held onto superstitious beliefs and factually unsupported supposed science. Linnaeus was especially loved and followed by students.

Eventually Linnaeus was financially well-rewarded for his work as a physician, he was companion and close friend to leading scientists, and, especially in his late 20s and throughout his 30s, he travelled widely and was commonly the guest of kings, queens, and the most eminent naturalists, botanists, and philanthropists of Europe. New acquaintances, whether they were royalty, scientists, or wealthy amateur naturalists recognized Linnaeus' genius and became his students and benefactors.

His work as a physician was on the cutting edge of science and for years he successfully treated hundreds of patients weekly. In 1743 the king of Sweden honored Linnaeus with the title of Archiater (Chief Physician).

Linnaeus was always the astute observer of the natural and man-made world and these observations were methodically recorded and widely distributed in his writings. But beyond all, his observations, collections, innovations, and writings about plants made the most profound changes in the world. He described hundreds of new plant species, devised the binomial classification system, and in his works, especially in his 1753 Species Plantarum (click the title to read this seminal work which is referenced dozens of times in this website), he described over 12,000 plants and his name is forever attached to these with the simple "L".

What isn't so apparent, until one reflects on it, is that all of this work required not only devotion, knowledge, time, and stamina, but also methodology. How did Linnaeus compile, file, sort, retrieve, and update his tens of thousands of pieces of information about the natural world? Linnaeus used a number of information systems and in his 50s he became the first to use index cards. Click to read, "Natural History and Information Overload: The Case of Linnaeus, a scholarly and thought-provoking examination of Linnaeus' information systems. Following are the concluding paragraphs of this article:

Linnaeus’s choice of paper technologies derived from his day-to-day work on a high volume of specimens and documentation, and not from a preconceived method that he stuck to for the rest of his life. Much like his fundamental ideas on genera and the natural system, the tools he created kept evolving and taking shape on an ad hoc basis. As his work progressed and the volume of data increased, Linnaeus found himself overwhelmed by new information. He had to move on from simple tables and diagrams to more complex and flexible ways of organising his data, and he did so in a manner that can be characterized as experimental. A successful solution to the problem of information overload, like the reduction of species to genera in the form of paper technologies such as files, index cards, or books used as annotation platforms, would thus generate the same kind of ‘excess’ that is typical for research enabling technologies in general (). New entities like the genus entered the scene and created a foothold for the observation of a vast range of new relationships. What we observe in Linnaeus is comparable, perhaps, with the new emphasis on pathways and processes in the wake of the deluge of gene expression data that the use of chip technologies has precipitated in systems biology.

This brings us to a final observation. Linnaeus’s research was, as we saw, deeply influenced by economic concerns, to the extent that these cannot be dissociated from his botanical endeavours. This entwinement of basic with applied research is, again, typical of research technologies. It is likely, that Linnaeus was inspired in developing his own paper technologies by what he saw in the studies and cabinets of the many friends and acquaintances he had among the agricultural, industrial and medical elites of Sweden. But his data collection enterprise was also dependent on large-scale technological systems—the paper trade, the printing press, and the book market; a global system of postal communications; the ships and posts of trading companies—without which his activities could never have reached the scale that was needed to reach new levels of abstraction and generalisation. It is this aspect, perhaps, that reminds us most of today’s data-driven science which is equally propelled by the prospect of economic and medical benefits.

Throughout his life, Linnaeus not only sought knowledge but he also shared it: "Gladly would he learn, and gladly teach". Several dozen of his students became professors and continued his work. A number of his students travelled the world and brought him thousands of nature's treasures. Solander collected plants on the first of Cook's round the world voyages. Linnaeus wanted Solander to be his successor, but with a recommendation from Linnaeus in his hand, Solander travelled to England and, to Linnaeus' great disappointment, never returned to Sweden and did not collect for Linnaeus. Instead Solander became Assistant Librarian at the British Museum, collected on the Cook expedition, became naturalist Joseph Banks' librarian, and died at the age of 46, having never returned to his native Sweden.

Sparrman when just 24 was collecting plants in South Africa when he joined Cook's three year round-the-world voyage and over several decades made plant collecting trips to China and Africa.

Thunberg sailed with the Dutch East India Company to Japan. He collected 300 new species in South Africa, staying there for three years and continued on to Java, Japan, Ceylon, etc. returning to Sweden after nine years of travelling and collecting.

Linnaeus once wrote, "Good God! When I observe the fate of botanists, upon my word, I doubt whether to call them sane or mad in their devotion to plants".

Linnaeus loved his native Sweden and the city of Uppsala and though he received numerous lucrative and prestigious employment offers from universities and herbaria in Holland, Germany, Spain, France, and England, he and his wife and children made Sweden their home. Linnaeus loved his homeland and worked for its improvement through the understanding of its flora and fauna. He believed that science could improve the health and economy of his homeland.

But Linnaeus' work went beyond his homeland. He devoted his life to the understanding and ordering of nature. His work remains the basis of modern natural science.

Linnaeus' name is, appropriately, plant-based: the Linden tree.

Linnaean Manuscripts.

Linnaean Correspondence.

Click for the 300th birthday celebration.

Click for "The Swedish Linnaeus Society".

Click for "The Linnean Society".                            

Click to read more about Linnaeus.

And read more.

Natural History and Information Overload: The Case of Linnaeus

Click for photos of Linnaea borealis, Linnaeus' favorite plant.

Lister, Martin, 1638-1712: Doctor, naturalist. Published on meteorology, mineralogy, zoology, botany, and medicine.  Acquaintance of and botanical collaborator with John Ray. Fellow of the Royal Society. Perhaps the first to suggest the need for and usefulness of geologic surveys.  Listera cordata

Lloyd, Edward, 1660-1709: Well-liked, scholarly antiquarian, linguist, geologist, botanist; traveled, observed, and collected throughout British Isles. Friend of Isaac Newton. John Ray used some of Lloyd's botanical collections in his floral publications. 

From 1690 Lloyd was Keeper of the Ashmoleum Museum of Art and Archaeology, Britain's oldest public museum. Fellow of the Royal Society. Wrote the first book on British fossils. Began a natural history of Celtic Great Britain but published only one volume before his early death.

Lloyd showed that a distinct alpine flora existed in  Snowdonia (a mountainous area of northwest Wales, now home to Snowdonia National Park.)   Lloyd discovered Lloydia serotina in the Welsh mountains: Click to see Lloydia which is called the "Snowdon Lily" in its Welsh home.)

Lloyd, Francis Ernest, 1868-1947: Taught at Williams College, Pacific University, Columbia University, Alabama Polytechnic, and then McGill from 1912 to 1934 where he was the MacDonald Professor of Botany until his retirement. Co-authored The Teaching of Biology in the Secondary Schools. Helped found and develop the American Society of Plant Physiologists. Researched at the Desert Laboratory of the Carnegie Institute of Washington. President of the Royal Society of Canada. Click to read Lloyd's "The Carnivorous Plants".   Viola macloskeyi

Lonicer, Adam, 1528-1586: German professor, physician, herbalist, and botanist who added his own wide knowledge to works by many previous herbalists and created a herbal book that was commonly in use for over two centuries after its publication in 1557.  Abe Books is presently selling one of his herbal publications for $15,625.  Lonicera involucrata

Malcolm, William (d.1798) Well-known and respected 18th century British nurseryman. According to "UK Parks and Gardens", "William Malcolm was a nurseryman, in business at Kennington, near London in the 1750s [1757]. He moved to a larger nursery at Stockwell in 1788". A number of Malcolm's catalogs, such as, "Forest Trees, Shrubs, etc." are available for viewing online.

Another William Malcolm (1768-1835), probably a nephew, had a well-known nursery business after the first William Malcolm's business closed. The later William Malcolm had his business in Kensington, not Kennington.

The genus name, Malcolmia, was given by botanist Robert Brown (1773-1858) in 1812, so it is likely that Brown new both William Malcolms and may have been honoring both with the genus name.  Malcolmia africana

Matsudo, Sadahisa, 1857-1921: Japanese botanist Sadahisa Matsudo wrote one of the first floras of China and systematically described the plants of the country.   Salix matsudana

McCauley, Charles Adam Hoke, 1843-1913: Soldier, naturalist. Was ornithologist with 1876 Red River Expedition. In charge of military survey of Southwest Colorado in the vicinity of Pagosa Springs and produced the report, "The San Juan Reconnoissance in Colorado and New Mexico in 1877".  Also wrote "Pagosa Springs, Colorado, its Geology and Botany" in 1879. Was first to introduce the use of signaling mirrors to Army. In 1879 Asa Gray named Ranunculus macauleyi for him.

McMahon, Bernard, 1775-1816: Nurseryman widely respected for his horticultural knowledge. McMahon is credited with publishing the first seed catalog in the U.S. and the first information about landscape design.  Some of the Lewis and Clark Expedition was planned in his home, he was instrumental in getting Pursh to work on the Expedition's botanical collection, and he germinated and distributed seeds collected on the Expedition. 

In 1806, he wrote The American Gardener’s Calendar, which became the standard gardening authority in America, going through eleven editions until 1857.  It is still available. 

McMahon and Jefferson corresponded regularly,  McMahon forwarded the newest vegetable and flower varieties to Jefferson, and Jefferson considered McMahon's Calendar his horticultural Bible.

Nuttall honored McMahon in the genus name "Mahonia", a genus collected by Lewis. Mahonia fremontii, Mahonia repens

Mentzel, Christian, 1622-1701: German botanist, philologist, botanical author, personal physician to the Elector of Brandenburg, and father of the first King of Prussia. Among his works were Index nominum plantarum universalis multilinguis (1682) and Sylloge minutiarum lexici latino-sinico-characteristici (a Chinese-Latin dictionary, 1685). He also compiled the never-published Flora Japonica based on pictures and paintings of Japanese plants sent to him by his friend Andreas Cleyer.  (All biographical information quoted from Michael Charter's superb website: California Plant Names: Latin and Greek Meanings and Derivations.)  Mentzelia albicaulis and Mentzelia pterosperma

Menzies, Archibald, 1754-1842: Physician, Scottish botanist, protégé of England's great explorer/botanist/philanthropist, Joseph Banks. (See Larry Blakely's Who's In a Name? for a biography of Banks who among other things was the naturalist aboard Captain Cook's first round-the-world voyage and promoted and financed Captain Bligh.) 

As a naturalist aboard the "Prince of Wales" (which was outfitted for fur trading), Menzies sailed around the world from 1786-1789, and gathered plants for Joseph Banks who then recommended Menzies to George Vancouver as his surgeon-naturalist on the HMS Discovery Expedition of 1790-1795. 

Menzies' presence on the Vancouver Expedition made Menzies the first scientist to explore the Pacific Northwest.  During this Expedition, probably in 1791, Menzies collected the first specimens of what we now call Pseudotsuga menziesii (commonly called Douglas Fir because for many years it was thought that Douglas had collected the first specimens of this plant).  For an enlightening, intriguing, eye-opening, mind-boggling view into the complexities and vagaries of the naming of plants, see James Reveal's excellent discussion of "Douglas Fir" on the Lewis and Clark website.  (On a related nomenclatural story, see the complete story of the naming of  Picea pungens on this Four Corners Wildflowers website.) Click for details about Menzies explorations along the Pacific coast.

Menzies was elected a member and later president of the Linnean Society.
Anotites menziesii
  Pseudotsuga menziesii

Mertens, Franz Carl, 1764-183: Plant collector specializing in algae; had an extensive herbarium; authored and edited a number of works including an edition of Johann Christoph Röhling’s Germany’s Flora with W. D. Koch.  Mertens became Principal of the College of Commerce, Bremen.  He met eminent botanist Albrecht Roth and the two shared a number of collecting trips.  Mertens was also a botanical illustrator.  He had extensive correspondence with natural scientists of his day and these letters are preserved in the Hunt Institute.  Mertens' son, Karl Heinrich Mertens, died at the age of 34 but had already become an eminent explorer and botanist. Mertensia spp.

Metcalfe, Orrick, 1879-1936: Well-respected plant collector in New Mexico and Arizona in the early 1900s, especially 1902-1905. Student of E. O. Wooton at the New Mexico College of Agricultural and Mechanic Arts (now New Mexico State University). Wrote senior thesis (1903) and master's thesis (1904) on flora of southern New Mexico. Collected many hundreds of plants (600-700 plants in Grant County in 1904-1905) and has a number of species named for him. Click for Standley's list of New Mexico plant type localities and collectors of these plants. Do a search for "Metcalfe" on this document to see how extensively Metcalfe collected.

The New Mexico State Herbarium, founded in 1890, houses among its collection the vouchers used for the first Flora of New Mexico by Wooton & Standley, 1915, and also includes the collections from renowned botanists E.O. Wooton, O.B. Metcalfe, and C.G. Pringle.

Oxalis metcalfei

Minuart, Juan, 1693-1768: Spanish botany professor, botanical writer and apothecary, in Barcelona and Madrid. It was in Madrid that he and Jose Martinez established a native plant garden which eventually was incorporated into the Real Jardin Botanico de Madrid when it was founded in 1755. Minuart was a close friend of Linnaeus. The following three species are no longer in the Minuartia genus; the first two are in Sabulina and the third is in Cherleria. Minuartia macrantha   Minuartia rubella   Minuartia obtusiloba    

Moehring, Paul, 1710-1792: East Frisian physician, botanist, ornithologist, and zoologist. Moehringia machrophylla

Last names beginning with G-M on this page.   A-F   N-Z