An Overlooked 1853 List of Iowa Plants by a Pseudonymous Botanist: Who Was “Flores”?

  • Thomas G. Lammers University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Keywords: Botanical history, David Sylvester Sheldon, Edwin James, flora, horticultural history, Iowa, Iowa Farmer and Horticulturist, Isaiah Reid, James Wilson Grimes, John Henry Rauch, Southern Iowa Horticultural Society


The Iowa Farmer and Horticulturist was an agricultural and horticultural journal that began publication in 1853 at Burlington, Iowa. An article serialized in its second, third, fourth, and seventh issues listed 252 native plants of horticultural merit that grew in the vicinity; for 79 of the species, it was the first report for Iowa. The author of this article was identified only by the pseudonym ‘‘Flores.’’ The article evinces numerous similarities of topic and phraseology with an address delivered to the Southern Iowa Horticultural Society in October 1852 by Dr. John Henry Rauch (1828–1894). The previous year, Rauch had published the first checklist of the state’s flora at the behest of the Iowa State Medical and Chirurgical Society, and it is suggested that he was the author of the 1853 article as well.