Old York’s popular lecture series, History…with a side of soup! concludes with a talk by Melissa Cullina, research botanist and former director of education at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens: “Plants and Flowers of Maine: Kate Furbish’s Watercolors.” The lecture is followed by a dinner of soup and bread in historic Jefferds Tavern.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, in a field dominated by men, Kate Furbish (1834–1931) made a name for herself traveling the length and breadth of Maine, collecting, classifying, and illustrating the native flora of the state. In the course of her solitary travels, she discovered two previously unknown plants, which are named for her. She devoted sixty years of her life to this endeavor, and produced hundreds of illustrations, most of which are now housed at the Bowdoin College Library in Brunswick.
Melissa Cullina is a research botanist and former director of education at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. A longtime admirer of Kate Furbish, Cullina wrote the introduction to the recently-published Plants and Flowers of Maine: Kate Furbish’s Wildflowers, the first ever catalog of Furbish’s artwork. She currently is researching the modern flora of mid-coast Maine and is developing New England’s newest herbarium.
Image: Kate Furbish, Lousewort, watercolor. Published in Plants and Flowers of Maine: Kate Furbish’s Watercolors, courtesy of Rowman & Littlefield.