Mary G. Henry; was [pbs] Nth. Am. Lilium

Jim McKenney
Fri, 18 Jun 2004 07:40:17 PDT
Thanks for the generous response, Dave. You wrote:

>In fact, a noted plantswoman in Pennsylvania by the name of Pauline Henry
(I >think) collected a range of the different forms of L. canadense along
in the >middle part of the last century.

It was Mary G. Henry, whose daughter Josephine inherited some of her
mother's love of lilies. I met Josephine about twenty years ago and briefly
had a chance to talk about her mother's work. Mary Henry discovered and
named Lilium iridollae (her "pot of gold" lily) and had a keen eye for
variants of our eastern lilies. She collected forms of L. philadelphicum,
superbum (and named one for her husband) and canadense - and doubtless a
lot more that I don't know about. 

During the '40's and '50's her big black Cadillac is said to have been a
familiar yet startling sight along backwater byways of Northern Florida,
Alabama and other areas.  

She was also keen on our native gentians and the flora of the South in

Mary Henry's enthusiasm was an inspiration to me, and my bog trays are a
sort of homage (on a very small scale; Mary Henry herself was a DuPont and
did things in style) to her. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7 where the bog orchids,
pitcher plants, Sabatia, native lilies and gentians in my bog trays all owe
something to Mary Henry's influence.


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