A Friend of Baret

#OTD Today is the anniversary of the death of the French admiral and explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville, who died on this day in 1729.

On Bougainville's expedition, a woman named Jeanne Baret joined the crew after posing as a valet to the expedition's naturalist: Philibert Commerçon.

Commerçon had terrible health, and he likely needed Baret to help him.
 
Baret herself was actually a botanist in her own right.  When the ship stopped in Rio de Janeiro, it was Baret who ventured out into the tropics and returned with the lovely tropical vine that would be named to honor the expedition's commander: Bougainvillea.
 
 
 


This post was featured on
The Daily Gardener podcast:

helping gardeners find their roots,
one story at a time
Louis Antoine de Bougainville
Louis Antoine de Bougainville