Why were there so many lady botanists? Because no one could stop you from going outside and collecting plants. Of all the sciences, this was one with few barriers, at a time (for so much of history) when women were blocked from education opportunities and membership in scientific academies and associations.
I’ve just learned of Ynés Mexíca, a Mexican-American botanist who collected an amazing amount of specimens, and has a large number of plants named for her, in spite of her late start. Yet another amazing woman I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of before!
Here’s a terrific little video about her from PBS.
Photo credit: By unknown – Original publication: unknownImmediate source: https://www.nybg.org/blogs/science-talk/2015/02/late-bloomer-the-short-prolific-career-of-ynes-mexia/, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60218315