The Botanist Entrepreneur
April 25, 1852
Today is the birthday of the botanist Marcus Jones.
Marcus's mom loved plants every day, and she sent little Marcus to gather fresh flowers to display on the family's mantle. This daily chore was the beginning of Marcus's passion for botany.
Marcus won national recognition for his botanical work in the American West.
In 1923 Marcus sold his personal herbarium for $25,000 - an impressive amount at the time. To this day, the Marcus Jones collection represents the largest archive of plants from Utah.
Marcus died in 1934 in San Bernardino, California. At the age of 81, Marcus was returning from a plant collecting trip at Lake Arrowhead when another driver hit his car. As seatbelts wouldn't be invented for another 25 years, Marcus was ejected from his vehicle and died from a skull fracture.
The columbine, Aquilegia jonesii (ii = "ee-eye"), is named for Marcus Jones. This columbine is rare and, like most columbines, does not transplant well. Select nurseries sell Jonesii columbine plants and seeds.