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Wardian Cases and the Plant Explorers

Willis Linn Jepson (1867–1946), in the Sierra Nevada, 1911. California's most eminent early botanist and founder of the Jepson Herbarium (1950).

Jepson Herbarium

Specimen images: bryophyte and seed-plant; also Banks & Solander specimen.

Naturalist and Botanist Sir Joseph Banks collected about 800 plants with Daniel Solander

Augustin Pyramus de Candolle (4 Feb. 1778 – 9 Sep. 1841) was a Swiss botanist. He established a new genus, and he went on to document hundreds of plant families and create a new natural plant classification system. Although Candolle's main focus was botany, he also contributed to related fields such as phytogeography, agronomy, paleontology, medical botany, and economic botany. biodiversitylibra...

Richard Spruce (1817-1892). Collected extensively in the Amazon and Andes for Kew.

Alexander von Humboldt (September 14, 1769 – May 6, 1859) was a Prussian geographer, naturalist and explorer, whose quantitative work on botanical geography laid the foundation for the field of biogeography. Between 1799 and 1804, Humboldt travelled extensively in Latin America, exploring and describing it for the first time in a manner generally considered to be a modern scientific point of view.

Frank Meyer (right) converses with renowned plant explorer Dr. David Fairchild. At the young age of 22, Fairchild helped to create the USDA's Office of Foreign Seed and Plant Introduction where he served as chairman from 1904-28. Throughout Meyer's travels, Fairchild was a guiding force, providing insight and support through his letters.

Frank Nicholas Meyer (1875-1918) was an United States Department of Agriculture explorer who traveled to Asia to collect new plant species. He introduced 2,500 plants into the United States. The Meyer lemon was named in his honor. Through an arrangement with Charles Sprague Sargent and David Fairchild, Meyer sent trees and shrubs of ornamental value to the Arnold Arboretum . They archived images he collected of his travels. Meyer died near Shanghai in 1918.

French botanist Jeanne Baret’s (sometimes spelled Baré or Barret) life sounds like it has the makings of a compelling film. The explorer disguised herself as a man and set out on a journey that would make her the first woman to circumnavigate the globe. That was two centuries ago and she’s just now getting recognition, not to mention a plant species named in her honor.

Robert Fortune a Scottish gardener,botanist,plant hunter - & industrial spy was engaged to make a clandestine trip into the interior of China by the East India Company- territory forbidden to foreigners - to steal the closely guarded secrets of tea.For centuries,China had been the world's sole tea manufacturer.The East India Company as the middleman,was sinking,having lost its monopoly to trade tea.Its salvation,it thought,was to establish its own plantations in the Himalayas of British India.

For All the Tea in China