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&i;The Ladyslipper and I&o; is the autobiography of G. Ledyard Stebbins (1906-2000), widely regarded as one of the most influential evolutionary biologists of the twentieth century. His opus, Variation and Evolution in Plants (1950), is perhaps the best known among his seven books and other major scientific contributions and provided the conceptual framework for the emerging field of plant evolutionary biology. Stebbins' influence extended beyond botany, and with many colleagues he would fundamentally shape modern genetics and Darwin's theory of natural selection toward what is now acknowledged as the modern evolutionary synthesis.
The stories Stebbins recounts here cover his first plant-collecting forays as a child in New England, friendships with other major figures in twentiety-century biology including Edgar Anderson and Ernst Mayr, his role in establishing the Department of Genetics at the University of California, Davis, his many treks in California, and more.