Mary Dedecker

Mary Dedecker

(1909-2000) Mary Dedeker was a self-taught botanist, author, environmentalist and teacher who moved to the Owens Valley as a child in 1935 and fell in love with the local flora. During her long life, she collected and described many specimens from around her home in Southern California and sent them to institutions around the country and to top botanists like Philip Munz. She kept a meticulous herbarium at her own home and became the pre-eminent plant expert in the northern Mojave and Eastern Sierra areas. She was also a hard-working environmentalist and fought to preserve Owens Valley and Eureka Dunes in California, founded a chapter of the California Native Plant Society, and published many articles and books.

Dedecker discovered an unknown species near Eureka Valley and after analysis by the California Academy of Sciences and buckwheat botanist James Reveal, it turned out to be from a completely new genera - a dream of any botanist. The plant was named in her honor and the canyon where it was found was later named Dedeckera Canyon.

Associated Plants