Recollections of Cora Steyermark as she assisted her husband Julian in the preparation of the Flora of Missouri.
From the Dedication:
"To Julian Steyermark, the X.Y.: hero of the story.
The purpose of this story is to give the reader an insight behind the scenes during the preparation of a flora and to reveal the aspect of research seldom seen.
Over a period of 30 years the reader will follow the author of the flora, indicated here as X.Y., from his home in Illinois to Missouri and over thousands of miles within the state by car during his research for the 1728 page Flora of Missouri.
They will follow him every month from March to November on foot for hundreds of miles through rain, scorching sunshine, uphill and down, over rivers and through pathless forests in his determination to ferret out every hidden plant in the state.
They will experience the pleasures and miseries of his camps; problems encountered; thrilling surprises in plant life; landscape jewels never seen before by anyone capable of appreciating such canyons, or moss-covered and flower-covered slopes far from trails and highways. And they will meet friendly and helpful people.
It may seem that the story of the Flora of Missouri would be severely slanted to that one state. However, the flowers and birds discussed are common also to all central and northeastern states; the folklore; the conservation problems; and the sentiments and concerns are common to people all over the world.
It is the intention here to share some of the many experiences as the flora develops behind the scenes and finally comes to completion.
I, the X.X., went along to take notes and care for the camp.
- Cora Steyermark"