"As Schultes once said,
'Ethnobotany simply means someone who is investigating plants used by primitive societies in various parts of the world.'"
July 3, 1993
On this day, The Press Democrat out of Santa Rosa, California, reported on the first Richard Evans Schultes Award recipient.
The honor went to a preeminent botanist and plant explorer with the U. S. Department of Agriculture's Agriculture Research Service: Calvin R. Sperling.
Richard Schultes was a Harvard University professor widely recognized as the father of ethnobotany.
"Ethnobotany simply means someone who is investigating plants used by primitive societies in various parts of the world."
The award praised Calvin's accomplishments:
"Calvin Sperling is one of the foremost ethnobotanists today due to his consistent excellence in field research and to his extensive work to conserve biological diversity and to improve crop plants worldwide."
Calvin was selected to receive the award by an international committee established by the award's sponsor, The Healing Forest Conservancy in San Francisco.
An article about Calvin in the Star Tribune said,
"[Calvin] traipsed over mountain slopes [in the Soviet Union] in search of wild apricot trees. He had expected to find about 20 forgotten varieties. Instead, he brought back nearly 5O different specimens.
"I found some incredible ones with traits we've never known before... [like] tolerance for frosts and freezing that may allow apricots to be grown in areas with harsh winter climates."