Oct. 23, 2017


In 1747, Pehr Kalm traveled from Sweden to North America to collect specimens.  He was one of Linnaeus' principle disciples.  He must have had an incredible walk in the wild.  He was the first European to describe Niagara Falls in technical terms.  He recorded many observations of indiginous people, their interactions with Europeans, and of course brought back many new plant specimens.  Small wonder Linnaeus named this St.-John's-wort after Pehr.  Much later, I would have been working from Helen Smith's book Michigan Wildflowers when I figured this St.-John's-wort out.  That book was extra fun because Mom's name was also Helen.  Much later I met the Helen of the book.  We had a brief discussion about doing a new version with photographs.  I passed because I was in grad school and just couldn't handle it.  Another opportunity blown!

In the posting I mentioned we had two shrubby St.-John's-worts at that time.  The real botanists have now figured out that some of their specimens were a third species.  I haven't seen that one yet.  Another adventure is waiting!