SOL Challenge Day 13 – Wild World of Plants

SONY DSCI have been reading about gardeners to keep me going in the winter months. Well, really it is more reading about women botanists.  It has been a small study of the women of our past and present and their work with plants. There are lots of women like myself who garden to feed the family and have flowers around – it use to be a way of life. All the women of my family in past generations had gardens. Some of them small and some of them very large.

SONY DSCMy reading moved towards the women who broke the cycle of a homemaker who raised children and put a few seeds in the ground. I have been reading about the many women who were really interested in botany. In the past they struggled to travel on their own, to have their research recognized and so they hid under a male name or sent their work to a male who then presented it to the scientific community. These women may have gardened but their time was out in the wild observing and discovering new plants. Now we can find many women all over the world who are recognized for their work with plants.

SONY DSCIt has been fun to explore this group of women. There first few I have read are:

  • Eloise Butler (create the first wild garden in Minneapolis – did lots of plant research and identification of plants. She was a science teacher as well.)
  • There is Beatrix Potter who we know as author and illustrator to Peter Rabbit. If you research her you will find she did work around mycology (mushrooms).
  • Rachel Carson – There is a book that is a collection of little know writings by her called Lost Woods – The Discovered Writings of Rachel Carson.
  • Robin Wall Kimmerer is a current scientist who wrote Braiding Sweetgrass and Gathering Moss.

A quick look at other female botanists can be found here-

As I plant my seeds in my basement getting ready for spring it is nice to know about the women who fought and continue to fight for recognition of their work in helping us to understand the wild world of plants.

If you want a historical fictional look at women’s roles in plants here are two young adult novels that highlight this struggle:


About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
This entry was posted in gardens, Reading and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to SOL Challenge Day 13 – Wild World of Plants

  1. This is so interesting! I never thought about women botanists, but of course there would be many, whether they were recognized or not. Thanks for the resources.

  2. arjeha says:

    Wow! What can be discovered with just a little bit of research. Thanks for the info.

  3. Bonnie K. says:

    What a wonderful passion I know nothing about. Thanks 🙂

  4. Tara Smith says:

    Thanks for pointing me in the direction to some new writers – I’m such a fan of Vita Sackville West’s work, she’s my gardening hero.

  5. Linda Baie says:

    I love reading books like these, Joanne, but not all are by women. How wonderful that you are doing this research, following your own passion. Thank you for the titles.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s