The Green Man
Today is the birthday of the British Botanist Kathleen Basford who was born on this day in 1916.
As a young girl, Basford's nanny, Winny, taught her about the natural world; she learned to identify wildflowers and trees.
In the 1940s, Basford had three children of her own. She began gardening. When she wasn't with the children, she started breeding orchids. She became so interested in botany, and she took evening classes on the subject.
By the early 1950s, Basford published a paper on a fuchsia she discovered. It proved that the fuchsia had existed 20-30 million years ago - before the break-up of the continents. Her article caught the attention of the chair of the botany department at Manchester University, a geneticist named Sydney Harland. He offered Basford a job on the spot.
Later in life, Basford also wrote a book called "The Green Man." Before her book, this topic was mostly unknown to the world. The Green Man is a mythical figure - portrayed as a man with a head that sprouts leave. It is a relic of the middle ages.