Help us uncover the life’s work of Lena Artz, a hidden figure of mid-20th century Virginian botany

The goal of this project is to liberate the scientific data associated with specimens collected by Lena Artz, a hidden figure of mid-20th century Virginian botany. Lena’s biography as a pioneering woman in science can be read here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lena_Clemmons_Artz

1935 George Washington University graduation picture of Lena Artz

Lena Artz dedicated her life to documenting the flora of Virginia’s Massanutten Mountains and was active in the Virginia Academy of Sciences’ early efforts in developing a flora of Virginia. While her 1935 Masters’ thesis research focused on the floristics and biogeography of shale barrens in the Massanutttens, her life’s work broadly and deeply documented the flora of the state and adjacent West Virginia. Her high-quality specimens bring to light the unique biodiversity of the Central Appalachians, including its range of endemic, near-endemic and highly disjunct plant species. The first expedition of this project focuses on specimens that Lena deposited in the Massey Herbarium (VPI) of Virginia Tech.

Please check out the Southeastern U.S. Biodiversity Project on Notes from Nature now and look for Plants of Virginia: The Botanical Legacy of Lena Artz, part 1.

— Andrea Weeks, Director of the Ted R. Bradley Herbarium at George Mason University

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