This is a biographical account of Mary Strong Clemens, an extraordinary woman and botanical explorer of the late 19th century and well into the 20th century. The life of Mary Strong Clemens is 'history from the bottom up'. She is the voice of an ordinary person who accomplishes out-of-the-ordinary, great things. The book begins with her humble beginning and continues for nearly nine decades of rambling around the fringes of the globe collecting and affecting those she met with her stoic faith. She makes us appreciate the manner in which collecting trips of 100 years ago were managed on frugal budgets. Today's botanists, back-yard botanists, arm-chair travellers, plant aficionados, institutions interested in botany, historians of two world wars, foreign missions, as well as biography buffs will be interested in this different way of living. This beautifully illustrated, informative book will appeal to the casual observer of nature, wildflower enthusiasts, naturalists, gardeners, and botanists alike.
Nelda B. Ikenberry married into a family of botanists when she wed Gilford Ikenberry Jr., the great-nephew of Mary and Joseph Clemens. From Joseph’s niece Ruth Clemens Ikenberry, she inherited a treasure trove of family records and the inspiration to find the real Mary and Joseph Clemens.