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The mystery Miss Armstrong and her lichens


So many female plant collectors remain anonymous figures so it is terrific when we find out more about them. I gave 'Miss Armstong' a mention in Gardening Women but had to admit I had drawn a blank in finding out any more about her than her name and that she sent lichens from Natal to Kew in 1867.


Well, now we know a great deal more about doctor's daughter Olivia Armstrong thanks to Ian Medeiros who got in touch to tell me he can fill in the blanks about this passionate plant collector and the lichens she collected in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.


Lichen growing on a Bottle Bush trunk in South Africa

You'll find a full copy of Ian's paper, 'Determining the type locality and collector of Nylander’s South African lichens' by following this link.

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