As I was researching Pacific reedgrass, I encountered two issues of Botanical Electronic News on the subject of the European “discoverer” of this plant, Tadeáš Haenke (it was certainly known to the native peoples of the region).
By coincidence (a 4 in 1461 chance!), Haenke’s date of birth is the same day as this entry, December 5. I highly encourage you to read both BEN 287 and BEN 288 for fascinating accounts of this Bohemian-born botanist. Frankly, his tale would make a good movie. He was born in Bohemia, trained by a Dutch botanist, permitted to be part of a Spanish expedition to explore the Pacific by an Austrian emperor, travelled as far north as northern British Columbia and died in South America. The next time you feel inconvenienced from missing a flight or connection, keep in mind that Haenke missed the two expedition boats he was supposed to be on–twice. Indeed, he missed the expedition boats when they left from Spain, by only a few hours! He finally caught up with the expedition eight months after it had left Spain. The written accounts from BEN also go into intriguing detail about the Malaspina Expedition and the fate of Haenke’s plant collections.
Photography resource link: Biofoto is in Norwegian, but the many photographs on the site aren’t restricted by language.