(1843-1915) A controversial botanist in his day, Edward L. Greene named at least nine species roses and hundreds of other plants. An excellent biography appears in The New Mexico Botanist,
No. 34, Dec. 6, 2005, available in pdf format.
Educated at the Albion Academy, Greene developed an early interest in plants under the tutelage of a Swedish naturalist, Thure Kumlien. After serving in the Union Army, Greene received a Bachelor of Philosophy from the Albion Academy. He taught school for a few years in the midwest but decided to head West. He established relationships with Asa Gray of Harvard University and George Engelmann in St. Louis to obtain books about botany of the West.
Soon after arriving in Denver in 1870, Greene entered seminary to become an Epscopal priest. Greene's middle years were spent as a minister in Colorado, California and New Mexico, where he collected and studied plants.
He eventually left the Episcopal church, became a Roman Catholic and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. Soon he was identiying plants for western plant finders. In 1882 Green became a lecturer at the University of California and in 1883 was curator of the California Academy of Sciences. In 1887, at his own expense, Greene established his own journal, Pittonia.
By 1891, Greene was a full professor and Greene was the chair of the University's new Department of Botany. He was named to the International Committee of Botanical Nomenclature. At the same time Green was an active field botanist, influencing a generation of California botanists, including his most famous student, Willis Linn Jepson. Within the universe of American botany, there was the expected rivalry between the coasts. West coast botanists, especially in California, resented having their determinations "checked" by Harvard botanists. In return, Greene earned a reputation as unnecessarily naming new species.
But by 1894, Greene had quarreled with the president of the University and accepted a position at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. He moved his entire library and vast herbarium across the country.
Greene's stay at the Catholic University was about 10 years before another dispute with the administration resulted in his resignation and move to the Smithsonian Institution with his library and herbarium. There, he put his knowledge of both modern and classic language to work in the preparation of Landmarks of Botanical History, Part I.
Greene never finished Part II. In 1914, Greene decided to move to Notre Dame, where he moved his library and herbarium. But he fell ill and died within the year.