Today is the birthday of Edward Lee Greene, who was born on this day in 1843.
Greene performed yeoman's work when it came to the plants of the American West, naming or describing or even re-describing over 4,400 species.
Before Green made his way west, he reached out to Asa Gray of Cambridge and George Englemann of St. Louis at the Missouri Botanic Garden. They gave him good counsel, and in 1870, he started traveling to Colorado, California, Mexico, New Mexico, and Arizona. He eventually settled in Berkeley as a church rector.
In the early 1880s, an exciting thing happened: he left the episcopal church, and he became a Catholic.
While he was becoming Catholic, Greene began lecturing at the University of California, where he became the curator of the herbarium.
When he and the University's President didn’t agree on nomenclature for the plants, he ended up accepting a job at Catholic University in Washington DC, where he worked until 1904.
At that point, he ended up going to the Smithsonian. When he was there, he transferred his herbarium and published his masterpiece called Landmarks of Botanical History Part One.
Part Two was never completed.