Diverse plants, diversity in botany

Paul Sokoloff: Botanists don’t often wear ties, so Dave (left) still has to tie mine for me, like on the day we got married. Credit: Derrick Rice
Botanists don’t often wear ties, so Dave (left) still has to tie mine for me, like on the day we got married. Credit: Derrick Rice

Astragalus, the milkvetch genus, is a massive group of plants in the pea family what has diversified into over 3000 species, which can be found in various habitats across the northern hemisphere.  Its also a genus with a surprising queer history.  When I was offered an M.Sc. position studying a rare Astragalus species back in my home province of Newfoundland and Labrador, my initial work looking over all the relevant pressed plants and scientific publications kept bringing up the name of a self-taught English botanist who – literally- wrote the book on Astragalus: Rupert Barneby. 

Read the rest of Paul’s story here on plantae.org