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scientists and explorers
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
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.
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
the top box after
"Aller Page" and then click the ">>". The second to the last
paragraph on page 25 has the genus dedication.)
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 web site. 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".
In 1621 Goodyer revised the widely known and respected 1597 Gerard's Herbal, (1600 pages describing edible and medicinal plants) and 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. John Torrey's student, friend, and life-long collaborator. Fifty year correspondent 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.
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.
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 2,000,000 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. He was and remains the most respected American botanist of the entire 19th century.
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.
Gray and Torrey published two volumes of their planned multi-volume Flora of North America (1838-1843, click the title to read), 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 Amazon.com!).
Click to read several of Gray's letters to Engelmann about mentoring a new plant collector, Augustus Fendler.
Click to read Gray and Hooker's "The Vegetation of the Rocky Mountain Region and a Comparison with that of Other Parts of the World".
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.
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 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 on-line) 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. Varying accounts attribute the massacre to the Mormons, local Indians (probably a band of Utes), or both.
Gutierrez, Pedro: Lived in the early 19th century. Little information is available about him: he is variously described as a botanist, nobleman, traveler, correspondent. Apparently he had some association with the Real Jardin Botanico de Madrid. The 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.
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 for some reason it has been assumed by many that the name honors a Pedro Gutierrez. Gutierrezia sarothrae Gutierrezia microcephala Gutierrezia elegans
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 on-line version of the PBS program about the 2001 expedition which retraced the path of the Harriman Expedition and on the Sierra Club web site 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 the only 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.
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.
Click to see the map of the Four Corners area that the 1875-1876 Survey produced.
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.
Heucher, Johann Heinrich von, 1677-1747: German physician and Professor of Botany at Wittenberg. 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
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 the collections of other scientists.
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.
Click to read Hooker's book, Botany.
Click again to read The Botany of the Antarctic Voyage of H. M. Discovery Ships.
See also William A. Weber's 2003 article, "The Middle Asian Element in the Southern Rocky Mountain Flora of the western United States".
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 on-line). Torrey and Gray dedicated this monumental work to Sir William Jackson Hooker, "no person has done more for the advancement of North American botany".
According to William A. Weber, most species bearing the Hooker name refer to and honor William Jackson Hooker, not 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 USDA Plants Database and the Synthesis refer to this plant as Hymenoxys hoopesii.
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:
Hornemann, Jens, 1770-1841: Danish botanist. Published with several others 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.
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
Jones, Marcus Eugene, 1852-1934: Botanist, engineer, and, according to William A. Weber, "probably the greatest collector the West has known". He collected extensively and taught for over fifty years. Wrote an eighteen part paper entitled, "Contributions to Western Botany".
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 web site: Eremogone kingii
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 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 Adjacent. Krascheninnikovia lanata
Laennec, Rene, 1781-1826: Physician, 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.
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
Click to read Lemmon's correspondence with George Engelmann.
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, and revered and acclaimed leader of the famed Lewis and Clark Expedition 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 then his own studies. On the The Lewis and Clark Herbarium CD by Earle Spamer and Richard M. McCourt and produced by the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, we learn that these three elements gave him the "soul of a plantsman".
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, who 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 the plant collection that Lewis made on the way up the Missouri River in the spring of 1805. Hundreds of these specimens were stored in a cache to be retrieved on the way downriver, but the cache was flooded in the spring of 1806 and by the time Lewis opened the cache on July 13th, 1806, fungus had destroyed countless hours of his work on hundreds of specimens. Lewis must have been shattered by the loss.
Two hundred twenty-six specimens from the Lewis and Clark Expedition now remain in the United States at The Academy of Sciences of Philadelphia and another eleven are in Britain. An exhibit including some original specimens showed in the United States in 2005-6 as part of the 200th anniversary tribute to Lewis and Clark.
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 not able to work on the returned collections -- apparently because of his health and a predisposition to procrastination. Bernard McMahon, renowned horticulturalist, respected scientist, and friend of Jefferson, Barton, and Frederick Pursh, suggested Pursh to Jefferson for the job of organizing and describing 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. Pursh completed it in a little more than a year, returned most of the collection to McMahon, took some of the collection to England, and there published the collection (along with many other plants from other collectors) in his 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.)
The total number of Expedition plants known now is 237, all but eleven (those in the Kew Garden Herbarium in London) are in the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia -- where both Lewis and Pursh began their Expedition botanical work.
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 committed suicide.
There are many books and many on-line sources about Lewis and Clark. Several excellent on-line starting points are The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia web site and Discovering Lewis and Clark. For the most extensive collection of on-line Lewis and Clark documents see the American Journal.
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 now 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.
Social and professional difficulties also beset Linnaeus 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 web site), 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:
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.
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.)
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 Sr. and William Malcolm Jr., father's dates unknown, son lived 1768-1835: British nurserymen. 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.
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 web site: 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 web site. (On a related nomenclatural story, see the complete story of the naming of Picea pungens on this Four Corners Wildflowers web site.)Click for details about Menzies explorations along the Pacific coast.
Menzies was elected a member and later president of the Linnean Society. Anotites 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.
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. Minuartia obtusiloba Minuartia rubella
Moehring, Paul, 1710-1792: East Frisian physician, botanist, and zoologist. Moehringia machrophylla
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