The Forgotten Botanist: Sara Plummer Lemmon's Life of Science & Art
WILLA Literary Award Winner in Creative Nonfiction2022 Spur Award Winner2022 Top Pick in Southwest Books of the Year New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards Finalist in Cover Design Honorable Mention in the At-Large NFPW Communications ContestThe Forgotten Botanist is the...
2022 Spur Award Winner
2022 Top Pick in Southwest Books of the Year
New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards Finalist in Cover Design
Honorable Mention in the At-Large NFPW Communications Contest
The Forgotten Botanist is the account of an extraordinary woman who, in 1870, was driven by ill health to leave the East Coast for a new life in the West—alone. At thirty-three, Sara Plummer relocated to Santa Barbara, where she taught herself botany and established the town’s first library. Ten years later she married botanist John Gill Lemmon, and together the two discovered hundreds of new plant species, many of them illustrated by Sara, an accomplished artist. Although she became an acknowledged botanical expert and lecturer, Sara’s considerable contributions to scientific knowledge were credited merely as “J.G. Lemmon & wife.”
The Forgotten Botanist chronicles Sara’s remarkable life, in which she and JG found new plant species in Arizona, California, Oregon, and Mexico and traveled throughout the Southwest with such friends as John Muir and Clara Barton. Sara also found time to work as a journalist and as an activist in women’s suffrage and forest conservation.
The Forgotten Botanist is a timeless tale about a woman who discovered who she was by leaving everything behind. Her inspiring story is one of resilience, determination, and courage—and is as relevant to our nation today as it was in her own time.