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Elizabeth McClintock, PhD, 1912-2004

Articles: Elizabeth McClintock, PhD, 1912-2004

Photograph by Imogen Cunningham, ca 1954

Elizabeth McClintock was an uncommon botanist in her passion and dedication to the world of horticulture, and particularly to the many challenges presented in maintaining consistency in the nomenclature of plants of ornamental value. Her contributions to public horticulture, through her involvement with the San Francisco Academy of Sciences, Strybing Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, Pacific Horticulture, and the California Native Plant Society, mark a long and distinguished career.

A native of Los Angeles, she held undergraduate and graduate degrees in botany from UCLA, and a PhD in botany from the University of Michigan; her specialty was taxonomy, or the classification, naming, and distribution of plants. She settled in San Francisco in 1949 and accepted a position in the botany department of the California Academy of Sciences. She retired from her position as curator there in 1977, with the title of Fellow of the Academy.

Among Elizabeth’s tasks at the Academy was editing of the Journal of the California Horticultural Society, which she did from the early ...


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