Jan. 21, 2017

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The pollination of Kalmia was first studied by William J. Beal.  He was born in 1833 in Adrian, Michigan, where I am currently writing this, and grew up in nearby Rollin.  The house is still there, and I am acquainted with neighbors and a descendant.  Many of the oldest existing botanical specimens from this county were collected by William Beal in the 1860s.  This fellow alumni of the University of Michigan became one of the first professors at Michigan Agricultural College, also known as Michigan State University.  He had a long and illustrious career there, and was a pioneer in developing hybrid corn.  He founded what is now the W J Beal Botanical Garden at MAC, the longest operating botanical garden in the country.  I have spent many delighted hours there, and more than a few images from there will appear here.