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Follows the trail of over a dozen explorers who "botanized" the Rocky Mountains, and who, by the end of the 19th century, became increasingly convinced that the flora of the American West was distinctive. The sheer wonder of discovery, which is not lost on Williams or his subjects, was best captured by botanist Edwin James in 1820 as he emerged above the timberline in Colorado to come upon "a region of astonishing beauty."
Roger L. Williams is professor emeritus of history at the University of Wyoming and is one of the leading authorities on the history of botany in both the United States and Europe. He is also co-author with Ruth Ashton Nelson of Guide to Rocky Mountain Plants.