Isabella Abbott

First Lady of Limu

And It was on this day a hundred years ago that Isabella Abbott was born.
She was the first native Hawaiian woman to earn a Ph.D. in science.  Abbott became known as the "First Lady of Limu" or seaweed.

When she was a little girl, she spent hours gathering seaweed for her mother to cook in traditional Hawaiian foods.
I found a video online of an interview that Leslie Wilcox did with Abbott back in 2008. When Wilcox asked Abbott about her love of studying seaweed, she said,

"There are so few of us [compared to] the thousands of people work on flowering plants. Flowering plants mostly have the same kind of life history so they become kind of boring; they make pretty flowers and make nice smells, they taste good - many of them. But, they're not like seaweeds.

With everyone you pick up, it does go through life a different way ...  It's a game, it's a game I bet with myself the whole time from the time I cut it on the outside I say oh I think this might be in such-and-such a family or something like that, and by the time I get to some magnification on the microscope...  Oh, No. 100% wrong. 

So let's begin again."

You can watch the video of the interview with Isabella Abbott in the Facebook Group for the Show: The Daily Gardener Community

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Isabella Abbott
Isabella Abbott

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