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National Women’s Day

March 8th is National Women’s Day, and Leaf’s Spring 24 shirt design focuses on the proud legacy of Women in Horticulture. In honor of that, I wanted to present some of the greatest female botanists, biologists, and horticulturists with ties to Texas. The contributions these women made through plant discovery, collection, conservation, and published findings forever changed the ways in which Texans landscape.

Maude Jeannie Young (1826-1882) became a botanist after the Civil War, and taught in many private and public schools throughout Houston. In 1873, while holding the prestigious title of State Botanist of Texas, she authored the first textbook on Texas Botany, ‘Familiar Lessons in Botany, with Texas Flora’ which was used statewide for many decades afterward.

Mary Sophie Young (1872-1919) was one of the first botanists at the University of Texas, arriving there in 1910. She collected many specimens from across Texas, but especially West Texas. This collection would become the university’s Herbarium, and she was its first official curator from 1912 until her death.

Eula Whitehouse (1892-1974) was a botanist and artist who achieved her Doctorate at UT in 1939. In 1936, during the course of her studies, she published, ‘Texas Flowers in Natural Color’. This was the first full-color illustrated book on Texas wildflowers, and Ms. Whitehouse wrote and illustrated each entry herself.

Lady Bird Johnson (1912-2007) was arguably one of the most influential First Ladies of the United States. When LBJ took office in 1963, she began an initiative to beautify American Towns and roadsides through the conservation of wildflowers. In 1982, Ms. Johnson founded the National Wildflower Research Center right here in Austin, Texas. Today, they have one of the most extensive databases for wildflower information and identification in the world.

I hope these women are an inspiration to you in your individual career. Leaf will continue to support its very own Women in Horticulture as they achieve their own success in the Green Industry.

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