Ynes Enriquetta Julietta Mexia
Ynes Mexia (1870–1938) was a Mexican-American botanist. She began her career at age 55, and by the end of her life she was considered the most accomplished plant collector of her time. Mexia spent 13 years exploring the Americas, often alone. She discovered over 500 species, including a new genus of Asteraceae (daisy), and collected over 145,000 specimens. She advocated for indigenous rights, and as a conservationist she fought to preserve California’s redwood forests. Curators are still cataloging Mexia’s specimens, most of which are at the New York Botanical Garden. They have named fifty species in her honor, including the daisy Mexianthus mexicanus.