What is YNES Mexia famous for

A woman chasing plants ...

... and fell off a cliff, which did not stop her!

We're talking about Ynes Enriquetta Julietta Mexía (1870-1938) who, at the tender age of 51, became enthusiastic about botany. As an adjunct student, she attended the University of California, Berkeley.
When she was 55, she came back to life, became a plant hunter and went stalking.

Source: California Academy of Science

Since she had lived in Mexico for a long time on the one hand Hispanic Wurzen and on the other hand, she made a plan. She suggested to Alice Eastwood, Curator of Botany at the California Academy of Sciences, that if she went to Mexico for a wild collection with Roxanna Ferris, assistant at the Stanford Herbarium, she could make a double collection, one for Stanford and one for her.

Although she fell off a cliff on the expedition, breaking several ribs and injuring her hand. And on this voyage of discovery, the first plant that bears her name was found: Mimosa Mexiae.
In the course of this trip she collected over 500 known and also 'unknown' plants.

In the following 12 years Mexía explored the plants of Argentina, Chile, Mount McKinley, Brazil, Ecuador, Perun and the Magellan Strait and the southwest of Mexico. In seven expeditions she visited all these areas and discovered a new genus of the composites (Compositae): Mexianthus and many other new species. In total she collected over 150,000 plants!

Their rides were adventurous. Once she went by canoe and three escorts on the Amazon to the Andes. Another time she lived with the Araguarunas, indigenous people of the Amazon, for three months. Then there were smaller experiences like cliff falls and the like.

In San Francisco she was a popular lecturer. She knew how to package her experiences in colored anecdotes and showed pictures of her journeys. She regularly wrote travel notes for 'The Gull'. And two of her travelogues were also published: "Three Thousand Miles up the Amazon" and "Camping on the Equator".
With these activities and the sale of her plant preparations, she earned the money for her expeditions.

Source: California Academy of Science

She fell ill in the mountains of Oaxaca in 1938, forcing her to return to Berkeley, California. Her health did not improve. Ynes Mexía died in July 1938.

A short résumé and a beautiful tribute to you by the artist Rafael López.
For everyone who likes to hear stories, a guitar playful listening story.

By the way:
With her inheritance, she sponsored Vernon Bailey, a naturalist who developed human live animal traps. So she did good posthumously!