In late nineteenth century America, botany was understood as implicitly feminine. Young women took to studying botany in a conjoining of interest, social acceptance, and readily available schooling and textbooks. The growing field welcomed a community of participants. Few of these women became professional botanists or earned higher degrees, but as teachers, collectors, observers, writers, and botanical organization members, they had a significant impact. They were, not least, a participatory audience in the culture of American botany, which might otherwise have been confined to the academy.
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